UPDATE 1-Brazil reopens some roads as strike's economic toll mounts

viernes 27 de febrero de 2015 16:07 GYT

(Adds Rio Grande, Itajai ports, poultry plant closures, farmers' fuel survey)

By Marcelo Teixeira

SAO PAULO Feb 27 (Reuters) - Striking truckers lifted their blockade of dozens of highways in Brazil on Friday after police began fining and arresting protesters who have slowed grain deliveries in the commodities powerhouse.

Road blockages were reported at 59 locations across six states on the 10th day of the strike, down from the Thursday count of 88 road blocks, according to highway police.

The strike caused temporary closing of 60 pork and poultry plants, reducing the country's slaughter by 50 percent and causing some companies to default on export orders, said the president of the Abpa industry group, Francisco Turra.

"They don't have access to corn or soymeal. Chickens are going hungry ... Cannibalism has started," Turra told Reuters.

Protesters also blocked access to the main pork and poultry exporting port of Itajai, the port spokesman said.

But silos at Paranagua, Brazil's second-largest port for soy exports, now have enough soybeans to keep filling ships until March 3, rather than March 2, after more trucks arrived on Friday, port spokeswoman Ceres Battistelli said.

Since the protests began, Chicago Board Of Trade March soybean prices have risen nearly 4 percent on fears of supply disruptions in Brazil, the world's No. 2 soy producer.   Continuación...