Peruvian grape and mango seasons threatened by possible trucker strike

Peruvian grape and mango seasons threatened by possible trucker strike in Piura

The Peruvian grape and mango seasons have been thrown into jeopardy after truckers in Piura threatened to strike from next week if authorities don't remove tolls on urban roads in the northern region.

A local trucker union said they would strike from Monday unless they were allowed to freely pass through the roads in Piura and Castilla, given that there are no other alternative roads.

The local government on Oct. 9 announced that it would implement a fee for heavy goods vehicles passing from Piura to the port of Paita, but the local truckers union rejected this.

Erik Fischer, president of the Peruvian Exporters' Association (ADEX), urged authorities to immediately begin works to open alternative roads in the region for truckers so that fruit exports are not affected.

The grape season is just getting underway in northern Peru, as is the mango season, with large volumes of fresh fruit passing through the region's port of Paita.

"In the last few years exports from Piura have grown thanks to the work of every member of the supply chain, but infrastructure has not improved in parallel, which is why we are now facing a threat of a strike by truckers," he said.

He also criticized the Provincial Municipality of Piura for bringing in the fees for truckers.

"Exporters have got through challenging times during the pandemic, and it is a shame that the local government is implementing a toll for truckers, as this will impact costs and make exports less competitive," he said.

He said that the export campaigns of grapes and mangoes could be heavily impacted if the strike goes ahead.

Peru's table grape export association Provid recently forecast that volumes would rise by 16% year-on-year during the 2020-21 season to around 56m boxes.

Meanwhile, the Peruvian Mango Growers and Exporters' Association has forecast a decline in exports this season to around 200,000 metric tons (MT), down from a record 234,000MT last year.