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Chile fruit exporters face $50m loss from port strike

San Antonio: Chilean fruit exporters could lose $50m as more workers join a strike at the port of Angamos.  

More workers have joined a strike that started on 20 March at the northern port of Angamos, port workers from Iquique Terminal International, Antofagasta Terminal International and San Antonio. The strike has hit Chile’s fruit industry and is affecting 2.3m boxes of grapes that should reach the US and Korea before ‘marketing orders’ deadlines end.

The marketing order is a measure that is imposed in the US and other nations from 10 April of each year, depending on the country, and that means that the fruit that comes after that date is subject to additional requirements.

“So, obviously there is an extra risk and what we are trying to do is to [make sure shipments] arrive before then,’ said the president of the Association of Chilean Fruit Exporters, Ronald Bown.

Without an immediate solution which would be the end of the strike in those ports, exporters risk to lose $50m. “Failure to comply with the new requirements that occur at the beginning of the ‘marketing order’, means that table grape would face restrictions difficult to meet,” said Bown.

In Chile, specifically San Antonio is the largest port complex for the industry, said Bown, and three vessels were awaiting immediate sailing. "We have asked the authorities to solve the problem soon. That is a state problem,” said Bown.

 

 

 

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