Brazil top court blocks effort to shut key grain export terminal
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's top court on Thursday barred the City of Santos from stopping its Ponta da Praia neighborhood, which handles 15 percent of the country's grains exports, from moving, loading and storing dry bulk goods such as corn and soybeans.
The decision by the full Supreme Court was unanimous and confirmed a January injunction by judge, and now Chief Justice, Ricardo Lewandowski. That decision stopped implementation of a Santos municipal statute, Brazil's national ports secretariat said in a statement.
The court ruled that because the port areas in the neighborhood come under federal jurisdiction, the city had no legal power to interfere with port activities, the statement said.
Santos is Latin America's largest port by value of cargo moved. Many Santos residents have complained about heavy truck movement in an area, which is close to popular beaches.
The Port of Santos handles about 35 percent of Brazil's exports of grains and 43 percent of the grains exports through Santos are concentrated in the Ponta da Praia area.
The ruling also allows for Brazil to move ahead with plans to auction rights to operate nine new areas inside the Port of Santos, one of them in the Ponta da Praia area.
Officials at the Supreme Court and City of Santos were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Richard Chang)
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