UPDATE 1-Brazil corn freight prices jump 20% in wake of road blockades - trade group Abiove
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By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Protests over Brazil's election result that blocked roads in Mato Grosso state earlier this week lifted truck freight prices, affecting the operations and margins of global grain traders at a time when farmers are selling their abundant second corn crop.
Truck freight rose 20% or 50 reais ($9.40) per tonne in Mato Grosso, Abiove, an industry group representing global firms like Cargill, Bunge, Cofco and Louis Dreyfus Co., told Reuters on Thursday.
The most affected routes are the Sorriso-Miritituba and the Sinop Miritituba to Brazil's northern ports, Abiove President Andre Nassar said by telephone.
As a result of the disruption, certain Abiove members expressed concern about failing to honor corn export contracts or facing demurrage costs, Nassar said, referring to a charge for failing to load a ship on a pre-agreed schedule.
He added that some companies had reported loading less corn than scheduled for export on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Other Abiove members, however, saw the situation improving with no material effect on export volumes, Nassar noted.
The blockades and the violence displayed by some demonstrators had made transportation companies "afraid" of using local roads, according to Nassar.
Brazil's federal highway police said all Mato Grosso federal roads are clear at the current time as authorities had acted to lift the blockades that had caused long lines of trucks in some places.
Abiove declined to estimate by how much Brazil's overall corn export volumes could be affected in November as a result of the protests.
Anec, an association representing grain exporters, this week projected overall exports this month at 6.4 million tonnes. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Kirsten Donovan)
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