August 8, 2017

Brazilian Truckers Block Highway BR-163 in Mato Grosso

Brazilian truckers are once again blocking highway BR-163 in protest of higher taxes on diesel fuel. The blockades in Mato Grosso started last Monday and they have continued at least through Monday of this week. The cause of this protest is an increase in taxes on diesel fuel of R$ 0.46 per liter which translates to approximately $0.56 per gallon. Truck drivers contend that they can barely make a living the way it is, much less with such a large tax increase on fuel.

Exporters are worried that corn shipments are being impacted the most and there is a possibility that ports may run low on available corn supplies for export. The National Association of Grain Exporters (Anec) warned last Friday that if the protest continued this week, they might have to delay grain exports.

Of major concern are blockades on highway BR-163, which is the primary avenue for grain exports out of the state of Mato Grosso to ports in both northern and southern Brazil. Passenger cars and trucks carrying live animals or perishable goods are allowed to pass through the blockades. What is being impeded are trucks carrying grain and general cargo.

Gasoline and ethanol prices were increased as well, but not as much as diesel prices. Diesel prices were increased R$ 0.46 per liter ($0.56 per gallon). While gasoline prices were increased R$ 0.14 per liter ($0.17 per gallon) and ethanol prices were increased R$ 0.20 per liter ($0.24 per gallon).