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Brazil scraps revised minimum freight rates

08 Jun 2018 23:07 (+01:00 GMT)
Brazil scraps revised minimum freight rates

Sao Paulo, 8 June (Argus) — Just four hours after releasing a revised version of minimum freight rates, Brazil's government backtracked again over the controversial issue that has the powerful farm sector and truckers at odds.

The original resolution establishing minimum rates for freight in Brazil was signed by Brazilian president Michel Temer on 30 May as a concession to truckers to end a crippling 11-day nationwide strike that started on 21 May.

But soon after the original resolution was published the next day, large agricultural groups pushed back against the new minimum rates, arguing they would cause their transport costs to skyrocket.

This prompted Brazil's agriculture minister Blairo Maggi to promise that the transport regulator ANTT would revise the initial draft of the new norms, which it published late yesterday.

One of the significant changes in the first revision was allowing clients to negotiate backhaul rates.

But other aspects of the revised minimum rates prompted the unions representing truckers to threaten to strike again.

After meeting with the unions last night, transport minister Valter Casimiro announced that the newly revised freight rates would be revoked.

The minister said that the ANTT identified some problems with the new resolution that needed to be rectified.

Casimiro said the original resolution would remain in force while a new version is being drafted by the ANTT.