Brazil truckers strike for second day over fuel prices

Sao Paulo (AFP) –


Brazilian truckers on Tuesday staged a second day of strikes and road blockages to protest rising fuel costs.

Major roads in nearly all the 27 states saw some level of blockades, the Federal Highway Police said in a statement.

The worst hit were Mato Grosso and Goias in the center, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro in the southeast and Parana and Santa Catarina in the south.

Brasilia's international airport was forced to "take more caution" over fuel use to keep planes on schedule.

Truck drivers want a reduction in diesel prices, which giant state oil company Petrobras has been raising since late 2016 in line with increases in oil prices on the international market.

The average cost of refinery diesel, before tax, has risen 12 percent this month and petrol 14 percent.

The drivers' discontent adds to pressure on President Michel Temer's lameduck government ahead of October general elections and threatens the politically sensitive policy, introduced only at the end of 2016, to give Petrobras autonomy over its price setting.