Commodity Shuttle: Brazil imports 8% less fertilizer, but spends 104% more

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Commodity Shuttle: Brazil imports 8% less fertilizer, but spends 104% more

The trade balance data, released this Thursday (3) by Secex (Secretariat of Foreign Trade), indicate how this will be a difficult year for farmers and consumers.

Brazil maintains an accelerated pace in exports, but what is entering the country comes with prices much higher than those of a year ago.

There was already an upward trend in the prices of food and agricultural inputs on the international market, which is also reflected internally. With the war in Russia and Ukraine, however, the pace of readjustments is more intense.

Fertilizers are the main example of this acceleration. The industry reduced the imported volume of these inputs to 5.25 million tons in the first two months of this year, a drop of 8.2% compared to January and February 2021.

Spending, however, rose to US$ 2.8 billion in the first two months, 104% more than in the same period last year, according to Secex figures.

Considering only the February data, the price increase is even more expressive. The cost per ton, according to the average of imported products, is 129% higher than in February 2021.

Wheat, one of the main foods imported by Brazil, also follows the same trend. Imports rose 5% in volume, but spending rose 14% last month.

Imports of agrochemicals reached 76 thousand tons in the first two months, with an increase of 78% in relation to the same period last year. Spending, however, rose to $674 million, up 104%.

On the export side, meats maintain a good pace. In the first two months of the year, foreign sales totaled US$ 3 billion, up 45% in relation to the financial value of the same period last year.

The biggest evolution occurred with beef, which reached US$ 1.62 billion in the two-month period, well above the US$ 948 million in the same period in 2021.

The ton was traded, on average, at US$ 5,591, an increase of 23.2% over the previous year’s value. China, the United States and Egypt stand out in terms of imports of the Brazilian product.

Soybean exports, with the advance of the harvest, begin to take off. Last month, the country sent a volume of 6.27 million tons out of its borders, a record volume for the month. The accumulated for the two-month period totals 9.72 million in the two-month period.

Soybean has been maintaining a price scale in recent months. The current ones are 28% higher than a year ago.

Corn exports lost pace, due to the short-season break in 2021 and the summer crop this year.

Exporters placed just 1.3 million tons of this cereal on the foreign market in January and February, well below the 3.1 million in the same period last year.

Still heated Agricultural products, due to the war in Russia and Ukraine, have kept accelerating prices on the foreign market for several days.

Wheat The May cereal contract closed at US$ 11.34 per bushel (27.2 kg) this Thursday, on the Chicago Stock Exchange, up 7.1% on the day. The increase in the product is due to the importance of the two countries involved in the war in the international wheat market.

Corn The day’s rise was 3.1%, with the May contract rising to $7.48 a bushel (25.4 kg). Soybeans, which reached US$ 16.99 per bushel (27.2 kg), ended the trading session at US$ 16.68, up just 0.3%.

Sugar The new level of oil prices, which closed at US$ 106.3 in the United States, has been supporting sugar, since the product competes for sugarcane with ethanol.

Beef cultivated The matter has become state policy in China, which intends to produce this type of protein on a commercial scale from 2027. With this, China is committed to building the future of food, according to Mirte Gosker, director of The Good Food Institute Asia Pacific.

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