Explosion hits Argentina's grains hub Rosario: export chamber

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 27, 2017 1:28 PM

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - An explosion hit port General San Martin in Argentina's grains hub of Rosario on Wednesday, affecting shipping activities, the CIARA-CEC chamber of export companies said.

A local newspaper said more than a dozen dock workers were injured in the explosion and television images showed thick black clouds of smoke billowing from the port. Details about the cause and size of the blast were not immediately available.

"I was just informed that there was an explosion at a plant operated by Nidera, which now belongs to COFCO. There apparently were injuries but I do not know how serious," Andres Alcaraz, spokesman for CIARA-CEC, told Reuters by telephone.

A COFCO spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. Rosario newspaper La Capital said there were at least 17 injuries. Local police told Reuters they could not confirm details of the incident.

China's COFCO agreed in 2014 to buy Dutch grain trader Nidera. This and other deals gave COFCO assets in some of the top grain, vegetable oil, sugar and coffee producing regions.

Argentina is the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed as well as a major global supplier of corn and raw soybeans.

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry)