A strike by Chilean truckers is hitting exports of fruit -as well as salmon, meat and wine- from the South American food producer to the United States, Europe and Asia. The week-long standoff has created port backlogs, raising the risk of food price spikes and fuel shortages in some regions.
A port official said almost no export shipments were leaving as scheduled. “There is practically no Chilean cargo that can leave or with the loads that should be leaving,” said Carlos Mondaca, a spokesman for San Antonio port.
Chile’s fruit exporters association (ASOEX) said it had six ships due to set sail this week for the United States, Europe and Hong Kong with kiwi, apples, pears and citrus but it was struggling to get the produce to the port.
The strike began last Thursday when the Confederation of Chilean Cargo Transport, one of three truckers’ confederations, mobilized over the increasing number of attacks on truckers in the south-central Araucania region and the slow security reforms by Congress.