Apr 10, 2023

Grain Inspector Strike in Argentina Ends After One Week

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The strike by the National Grain Inspectors Union (Urgara) in Argentina ended last Thursday after they accepted a contract to double their salaries plus a bonus. The strike lasted one week, which is about par for the course for labor disputes in Argentina. The short duration of the work stoppage did not appear to have any significant impact on port activities.

Work stoppages in Argentina usually do not last very long and that will probably be true this year given the fragile nature of the Argentine economy. With inflation over 100%, workers cannot afford to go very long without a paycheck and companies cannot afford to go very long with their facilities shut down.

This is the first of what is expected to be numerous work stoppages by workers at Argentina's crushing facilities, dock workers, and other labor unions at Argentina's ports and export facilities. The relatively quick resolution of this strike, and the terms of the settlement, could serve as a template for other strikes to come.

The soybean and corn harvests in Argentina are just getting underway with very disappointing yields for both crops. The crops in Argentina suffered under the worst drought in sixty years, record high temperatures, and even a mid-summer frost. The resulting low soybean production is going to force crushers in Argentina to import as much as 10 million tons of soybeans from neighboring Paraguay and Brazil in order to meet their contracts for soybean meal and soybean oil.