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Chile truck strike ends with 'minimal' impact for salmon farmers

Nova Austral reaches agreement with local authorities, transport companies to end demonstration blocking roads.

A strike held by Chilean trucks in the southern city of Punta Arenas from the early hours of Tuesday ended with an agreement signed by Nova Austral to prioritize local drivers to transport its product.

In addition, authorities agreed to accelerate the construction of a parking space for trucks in the region of Magallanes.

Truck drivers blocked the roads from and into Punta Arenas requesting lower fuel prices, a commitment from local industries to only work with local trucking companies, and the construction of an area to accommodate parking for the vehicles.

Chile truck strike paralyzes salmon deliveries in Magallanes

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The strike affected all salmon companies operating in Magallanes – Salmones Magallanes, Australis, Nova Austral and Cermaq – which had to stop harvests on Tuesday.

“Luckily the impact has been minimal, it can be reverted easily,” Ricardo Misraji, CEO of Australis, told IntraFish.

The road is now unblocked and cargo transport is allowed to get in and out of the city of Punta Arenas. Salmon farmers will resume harvests Wednesday and Thursday, meaning they've suffered a halt in deliveries of two days. On average, companies in the region are harvesting around 100 metric tons a day.

"It is just two days but anyway it's damaging, because we can't meet all the orders of fresh for the week and that has an impact, of course," Oscar Garay, farming manager of Salmones Magallanes, told IntraFish.

The strike was expected to hit Puerto Montt, in Los Lagos, on Friday if drivers did not reach an agreement with the authorities and industry leaders.

“Nova Austral is recognized as a 100 percent local company, we signed an agreement with the regional government and transport companies that put an end to the strike,” Nicos Nicolaides, CEO of Nova Austral, told IntraFish.

“In base of this agreement, we will cooperate with other economical sectors in the region to make progress regarding the needs of service companies.”

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