Argentine grains truck owners and government officials were locked in heated talks on Wednesday to try to defuse protests over fuel prices in the South American country that have delayed the transport of soy and corn to ports in the middle of the harvest season.

Argentina is the world's no. 1 exporter of processed soy oil and meal and the no. 2 for corn, which are being threshed from the fields after drought and frosts have already dented production of the two grains.

The strike by the Federation of Argentine Transporters (FETRA), which began on Monday, has yet to hit shipments, though port sources said the impact could be felt in the coming days if the protests continued and grain reserves in the port terminals ran out.

The government said in a statement around midday (1500 GMT) that a breakthrough was not proving easy in the talks.

"After more than two hours of the meeting, a half-hour intermission was held due to lack of agreement between the chambers and entities in discussions over the freight rates," the Ministry of Transport said.

Edgardo Aniceto, a spokesman for FETRA, told Reuters ahead of the talks on Wednesday that the union was expecting a "hotly debated" meeting with the government.

Aniceto said a deal would be easier if the government can show that fuel prices can be controlled.

FETRA is demanding an increase in grain transportation rates to reflect a rise in diesel prices.

Argentina has been suffering for years from high inflation, which has accelerated worldwide since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. The war has driven up many commodity prices, including the cost of cereals and fuel.

Argentina's Minister of Economy on Monday said that March inflation would exceed 6%.

Trucks provide the transportation for some 85% of Argentina's grains shipments to ports, which typically leads to busy roads in farming regions from April onward.

That traffic has dwindled to almost nothing. Data from agricultural logistics firm AgroEntregas shows 13 trucks entered ports on Wednesday, down from 4,000-6,000 before the strike.