Argentina: A dispute between US-based Mosaic and port workers increases the risk of port disruptions in Santa Fe, affecting soy exports.

Analysis: Port workers in the city of Rosario, Santa Fe, are likely to go on strike next week over a dispute with US fertiliser company Mosaic. The workers, who are part of the Argentinean Ports Union (SUPA), have prevented the loading and unloading of Mosaic’s shipments at Rosario’s San Martin port for a week, and are currently demanding the incorporation of workers from local cooperatives into the company’s payroll. Conversations between both parties reached a stalemate on 2 June, after unions accused Mosaic of not attending a negotiating table that had been called by the government.

Risk Implications: The government has called for a second negotiating table on 6 June. However, the unions have threatened to disrupt port operations at 16 terminals in Rosario in order to pressure the company into employing local cooperatives. This is significant as Rosario ports are responsible for about 78% of the soy and soy products exported by Argentina. Such a strike is also likely to disrupt shipments from firms such as Cargill, Bunge, Noble and Dreyfus. Significantly, these latter firms are involved in a tax dispute with the state, which has accused them of evading $868 million in taxes.

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