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Brazil truck freight talks lag, lead to shipping delays

BRASÍLIA, June 12 (Reuters) - Talks on new prices for truck
freight in Brazil, following a nationwide truckers strike in
May, have yet to be concluded and the lack of a deal is hurting
goods transportation, Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi
said on Tuesday.

Maggi told reporters in Brasilia that at least 60 ships in
all Brazilian ports are facing loading delays because of reduced
trucker movement from areas such as Brazil's center-west grain
belt to southern ports.

Owners of goods such as soybeans, corn and meat are at odds
with the government over minimum truck freight prices it
proposed as a measure to end the strike and many are refusing to
hire trucks.

A new proposal promised by the government has yet to
materialize.

"There are a lot of products waiting for transportation. We
should be moving 450,000 tonnes of goods to ports every day, but
we are not," said Maggi.

The minister added that the situation is having a negative
impact on forward sales of the new Brazilian soy crop, since
traders find it hard to estimate how much they will spend with
transportation, which is necessary to define prices they are
willing to pay to farmers for grain.

There were some reports on Tuesday that the government would
abandon the idea of minimum prices and let the market define
those values, as it was before the protests. There was no
confirmation from the government.
(Reporting by Jake Spring; writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing
by Steve Orlofsky)

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