Agro exports attain US$ 160 billion, however imports rise to US$ 50 billion
Russia’s war with Ukraine has given new impetus to demand, driving up commodity prices
Agribusiness exports should reach a record US$ 160 billion this year, a level not imagined a few years ago. The value represents an increase of 32% compared to 2021, when the numbers had already surprised.
On the other hand, however, imports never reached such a high value. Pressured by growing volume and high international prices, purchases of agricultural inputs will reach US$ 50 billion, an increase of 51%.
Such high revenues from exports began with the effects of the pandemic, when countries, in view of the danger of an interruption in the supply of food, increased their stocks.
Russia’s war with Ukraine gave new impetus to demand, due to the importance of both countries in the supply of grain to the foreign market, once again raising the prices of commodities.
The pandemic and the war, however, while benefiting Brazilian producers with higher prices, boosted spending.
Russia, an important supplier of fertilizers, reduced the supply of the input. Prices skyrocketed.
Brazil is well positioned when it comes to food purchases. They represent 28% of total imports. Cereals, driven by wheat, add up to the highest expenses of these purchases.
The main Brazilian expense, however, comes from inputs, mainly fertilizers and agrochemicals. Highly dependent on imported fertilizers, the country intensified purchases after the war.
Importers came to buy a volume of more than 4 million tons per month from May to July this year. In November, the volume already retreated to 2.4 million.
Prices skyrocketed, but are starting to retreat. This change in the level of international values in the negotiations brought new costs to Brazilian agriculture, which will reflect on next year.
Brazilian spending on purchases of fertilizers rose to US$ 23.6 billion from January to November, well above the US$ 13.4 billion in the same period last year.
In this market resettlement, Canada rose to the second position in the supply of fertilizers to Brazil. Russia remains in first place, but with a lower value.
Despite the acceleration of purchases in the middle of the year, imports of fertilizers, which already reached 36 million tons, should be below those of 2021, according to data from Secex (Secretary of Foreign Trade).
The jump in spending on imports of products aimed at agriculture is also due to purchases of pesticides. This year, imports totaled 640 thousand tons, worth US$ 6.5 billion. Volume rose 58% in the year, and spending, 73%.
Exports were driven by the soy complex, which should reach US$ 59 billion in revenues this year. Meats, which have already yielded 29% more up to November, add up to US$ 22 billion. Cereals, due to the increase in corn, wheat and rice exports, reach revenues of US$ 12 billion in the year, with an increase of 200%.
Brazilian agribusiness exports —which amounted to US$101 billion in 2020, rose to US$121 billion last year and should be close to US$160 billion this year—, do not have such an accelerated continuity of guaranteed gains for the coming years .
Successive international crises have caused a slowdown in the world economy, and there are signs of a decline in international commodity prices.
Brazil must also prepare for an increase in protectionism and import barriers, mainly from the European Union. The bloc promises to impose new rules and requirements on imports of commodities, and Brazil will be one of the most affected.