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August 14, 2014

Ag Chemical Sales up only 6% in Brazil in 2014 Insecticides Led Way

Brazilian farmers will start planting their 2014/15 soybean crop on September 15th if there is enough soil moisture for germination and estimates are that they will increase their soybean acreage by 4% to slightly more than 31 million hectares. A record large soybean crop in the United States has put downward pressure on soybean prices which in turn, is expected to force Brazilian farmers to trim the cost of production for the 2014/15 crop.

The agricultural chemical industry in Brazil had been expecting a sales increase of 6-9% in chemical sales for 2014, but an industry spokesperson now expects a sales increase of 6% or less. The total sales of agricultural chemicals in Brazil in 2014 is expected to be slightly more than US$ 12 billion.

Soybeans accounted for 51% of all the agricultural chemicals used in Brazil during the 2013/14 growing season, which was up from 47% the prior year. Sugarcane and corn came in second and third accounting for 10% and 9.5% respectively. Insecticides were the most widely used agricultural chemical in Brazil due to their demand for soybean production. The recent discovery of new leaf-eating insect pests in Brazilian soybeans has been driving force behind the increase.

Most of Brazil's agricultural chemicals are imported and total imports thus far in 2014 is down 3%. Insecticides though are bucking the trend and the sales of insecticides are expected to increase 17% in 2014.