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Brazil's Fertiliser Imports Jump Sharply

19 August 2010

BRAZIL - Fertiliser imports increased by 58 per cent for the first seven months of this year compared to the same period of 2009.

The Brazilian fertiliser market is hot. The product's domestic output increased by 14.2 per cent from January to July this year over the same period of last year, and imports grew even further, by 58.4 per cent. According the executive director of the Brazilian Fertilizer Mixers Association (AMA), Carlos Eduardo Florence, the growth was mostly due to the fact that last year was atypical because of the economic crisis.

He said: "As a result of the crisis in 2008, inventories were high in 2009."

From January until July, domestic fertiliser production reached 5.17 million tonnes, as against 4.5 million tonnes in the same period of 2009, according to data from the National Association for the Promotion of Fertilizers (Anda). Imports have gone from 4.5 million tonnes from January to July last year to 7.2 million tonnes in the same period of 2010.

Deliveries of fertiliser to growers totalled 10.8 million tonnes up until July, as against 10.6 million tonnes during the same period of 2009. There was growth of 1.6 per cent. The difference between the growth rates of production and imports is due to the fact that not all of the fertiliser gets delivered to growers as soon as it is produced by the domestic industry or imported, some of it remains in inventory.

Mr Florence believes that this year, both domestic production and imports should continue to grow. The executive director of the AMA attended a meeting of the federal government's Thematic Chamber for Agricultural Inputs, which brought industry leaders together in the Brazilian capital Brasília this Monday (16th), and claims that Brazil may increase its production even further in the future, and thus reduce its imports. This, however, he claims, should take place only four years from now. Presently, he said, domestic production supplies 30 per cent of the market, and imported products account for 70 per cent.

Last year, 24.5 million tonnes of fertilisers were delivered to Brazilian growers, the same volume as in 2008. This year, the forecast is that growers should receive 23.5 million tonnes, a slightly lower figure than last year's.

TheCropSite News Desk

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