Argentina’s port and grain union workers have ended a 20-day strike after reaching an agreement on Tuesday, with the settlement coming after the government intervened in the dispute.
The move lifts a major work stoppage that had left more than 150 ships stranded at the country’s ports.
Argentina is one of the world’s largest suppliers of soybeans, corn, and wheat. The strike has hampered the large flow of grain out of the country, which has weighed down grain markets for several weeks.
Failure to unload those grain ships at Argentina’s ports had cost the government approximately $1.9 billion in payments to the ships’ owners. Market traders were concerned that an ongoing strike would cause global end-users to look to the U.S. for soybeans, but the U.S. is already dealing with tight soybean supplies.
The possibility of expanding dryness in soybean-growing areas of South America over the next two weeks was adding fuel to a recent rally in soybean prices, which hit a six-year high earlier this week.
Analysts at Bower Trading say weather and demand news will likely be the biggest market drivers now that the strike is over.