Trucker strike paralyzes Brazil auto production


Sao Paulo (AFP)

Brazil's auto industry was completely shut down on Friday because of a truckers' strike that has severely affected supplies throughout the country, a manufacturers' association said.

"Assembly lines of Brazilian car manufacturers have stopped. The truckers' strike will affect our results significantly, including for exports," the National Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers said, on the fifth day of the strike.

Despite an agreement announced by the government with certain truckers' representatives late Thursday, the strike was still going strong, with numerous roads blocked across the country early Friday.

Access to refineries was also cut.

The strike is affecting all sectors of the economy including aviation. The airport in Brasilia said its kerosene reserves had run out.

As a result, American Airlines decided canceled a flight from Miami that would have landed in the capital Brasilia during the morning, as well as an evening return flight.

In the country's major cities, most gas stations are empty and public bus services are only partially operating.

The GloboNews channel showed images of wholesalers nearly empty of supplies, while many supermarkets were short of fresh goods.

Truckers are protesting a steep diesel fuel price increase in line with higher fuel prices generally and a new pricing policy from state oil giant Petrobras, aligning itself since the end of 2016 with the international market.