Vaivém: Agro won’t stop, the sector’s focus is the consumer, not politics, says businessman

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Vaivém: Agro won’t stop, the sector’s focus is the consumer, not politics, says businessman

The threats of the most radical are constant, but agribusiness will not stop. It has never stopped because of pandemics and economic crises and it will not stop for political reasons.

This is the assessment of Marcello Brito, a businessman in the sector, in relation to more radical demonstrations after the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

“We don’t live on politics, but on consumers and markets. And the market, whatever space you leave, is quickly occupied by others.”

The country is experiencing a dichotomous shock. And this is the fault of the economic, financial and intellectual elite and of all those who thought it was best to face each other. The construction of a road that could go forward was lacking, says the businessman.

Within the sector, many people took sides. That’s democracy. With the election over, however, it is time for a friendly, uniform relationship and for Brazil’s reintegration into the world, he says.

One of the positive points of this election was the recognition of the immediate result of several of Brazil’s trading partners shortly after the election, such as France and the United States. President Jair Bolsonaro’s delay in speaking out, however, is worrying for democracy.

“If we want to overcome this phase of hunger, we need to make things happen. Four years from now we will have new elections and, again, someone will be sad and others will be happy.”

Brito says that the new president’s life will not be easy, but that solutions are not needed for tomorrow morning. The country needs credible promises, which has not been happening for seven years, since the governments of Dilma Rousseff, Michel Temer and Jair Bolsonaro.

He cites the case of deforestation. The structures were dismantled, but the government needs to put together a medium and long-term program and gradually implement it. If everything is fulfilled, the laurels will only come in the next government, he says.

The new government will have a strong opposition and he hopes that Lula does not do what Bolsonaro did, who did not understand that he had only 30% of the electorate’s votes in 2018. The others were fugitives from the PT.

In the case of Lula, a good part of the votes come from a broad front, which must be considered in government actions. “I hope your words in the speech are fulfilled.”

The agribusiness scenario will not be as strong as it has been in recent years because the biggest cycle of high commodity prices in the world is closing. “There has never been a cycle of prices so high and for so long.”

Brazil was well positioned in the pandemic and in Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the producer made a lot of money, especially the big one. The same, however, did not happen with the little one, he says.

The government will have a great challenge ahead. It has no money and will have to generate conditions to attract private capital from abroad.

Markets are now tending to come into equilibrium, inflation is high and there is a global economic crisis. In addition, there is a demand destruction in China.

In seven months, palm oil imports, important in the food industrial process, dropped 75%. And there was no replacement for other oils.

This destruction of demand is a giant challenge for Brazilian agribusiness, since Brazil has a strong dependence on the Chinese in this sector.

Among the new guidelines, the country needs to look for a plan for the sector. Currently, everyone looks to their side and rows alone.

The current planning is a “boom collapse”, says the businessman. When something goes well, everyone goes for the same product. When it runs out, there is a collapse in production, and then there is a quest for reduced import duties or a savior country.

“We, in the sector, should be self-critical and see that a sector the size of ours needs planning.” He cites the example of biodiesel. In the midst of a record soy harvest, the government reduced the percentage of blending biodiesel with diesel.

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