Fertilizer shipments to Brazil stabilize or fall as cost concerns weigh – Yara executive


A farm worker drives a tractor spreading fertilizer in a soybean field, near Brasilia, Brazil, February 15, 2022.REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

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SAO PAULO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Fertilizer deliveries to Brazilian farmers will level off or fall in 2022, an official at Yara YAR.OL, a major Norwegian supplier, told Reuters on Thursday, citing a global price hike that is driving also logistical bottlenecks.

Crop nutrient shipments have been rising steadily since at least 2019, according to data from Brazilian industry group Anda, after jumping 13% to 45.8 million tonnes at the end of 2021.

“In recent years, we’ve seen impressive market growth,” said Maicon Cossa, vice president of sales for Brazil at Yara, one of the country’s top three fertilizer companies. “This year we see the market tending to be stable or maybe even a bit smaller than in 2021.”

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Factors behind a potential reduction include higher prices after the threat of war-related supply disruptions in Ukraine, which triggered sanctions against Russia, a major fertilizer exporter, and caused a increase in Brazilian imports from countries such as Canada.

Brazil imported 23.6 million tons of crop nutrients up to July, including potash and formulated products containing NPK, an increase of 15.5% compared to the same period last year. one year old. In value terms, the import bill rose 175.3% to $16.1 billion, according to government data.

Even amid a surge in imports, Brazilian fertilizer shipments in May fell 4.7% to 3.2 million tonnes, Anda said.

“On the one hand, the specter of (fertilizer) shortages caused by war has disappeared,” Cossa said. But getting produce in and shipping to the farm is going to be a challenge, he added.

Cossa said Brazilian farmers have delayed fertilizer orders this year, affecting port unloading operations on the eve of Brazil’s planting season. A drop in fertilizer applications is a possibility, he said.

Brazil depends on imports for about 85% of its fertilizer needs.

In July, Yara temporarily shut down a blending unit in southern Brazil, blaming war-related supply disruptions in Ukraine. To avoid Russian suppliers despite the sanctions, Yara’s Brazilian arm has sought to import more from its own sites in Europe, as well as from Morocco, Israel and North America, Cossa said.

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Reporting by Ana Mano Additional reporting by Marcela Ayres Editing by Frances Kerry

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