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BASF plants in Brazil partially paralysed on trucker strike

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HOUSTON (ICIS)–BASF said on Tuesday that its plants in Brazil are partially paralysed because of a recent truck-driver strike.

Braskem also confirmed that it has lowered rates at its industrial units in all of Brazil following a recent trucker strike that crippled the country.

BASF and Braskem did not say when they started lowering rates or when they should return to normal. They did not say what the operating rate was at each plant.

At AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, all of its Brazilian plants are either operating at reduced rates or have stopped production, said Andrew Wood, spokesman.

The company’s plant at Itupeva, Sao Paulo state, had already been down for scheduled maintenance when the strike started, Wood said. Because of the disruptions caused by the strike, AkzoNobel decided to delay the restart of the plant.

The Brazilian Truck Union (ABCAM) ended the strike on Monday after a week. As a result, logistics should start returning to normal as the truckers return to work.

Brazil rely predominantly on trucks to receive raw materials and distribute finished products because its rail system is paltry.

On the same day that ABCAM ended the strike, the Grande ABC industrial park in Sao Paulo state said it may begin to shut down operations.

The park did not say if it would continue with the shutdown now that the strike had ended.

Several chemical companies and distributors have operations at the park.

Among those companies is carbon-black producer Cabot. The company’s plant at the park has continued to operate, but the strike had disrupted its ability to ship products out of the facility and to receive raw materials, said Vanessa Craigie, spokeswoman. The company is looking for alternative ways to ship material so it can lessen the effects of the strike and continue to serve its customers.