SAO PAULO – The truckers’ strike in Brazil entered its ninth day on Tuesday despite the government announcement of an accord reached with them over the weekend, while the shortage of basic goods continues, though with a slight improvement.
Gas stations in a number of cities including Rio de Janeiro have gradually received fuel supplies, though the lines of vehicles continue to stretch for kilometers (miles).
Gasoline tankers have been escorted by the military and police amid the roadblocks set up by truck drivers, who have demonstrated for more than a week against the constant increases in the price of diesel.
Even so, just 10 percent of gas stations in Rio de Janeiro state have been fully supplied, according to the association of gas station operators, but the situation is expected to return to normal later in the week.
Also in Rio state some 300 trucks with food shipments were escorted by the army from the nearby hills to the city.
In Sao Paulo, the richest, most populous city in Brazil and which last week declared a state of emergency, the situation remained critical.
Access to the port of Santos, the most important sea terminal in Latin America, remains blocked, causing losses to export companies.
Meanwhile, the state’s 150 sugar mills and ethanol distilleries remained paralyzed and their losses could amount to 180 million reais ($48.6 million) a day, according to the group representing the sugar industry.
The Brazilian government announced Sunday night a new agreement with truck drivers, which includes a drop in the price of diesel of 0.46 reais (12 cents) for the next 60 days, but many truckers are staying on strike around most of the country.