August 29, 2011

Brazil Ag Co-ops Report US$ 3 Billion Trade Surplus in 2011

During the first seven months of 2011, Brazilian agricultural cooperatives have been able to accumulate a balance of trade surplus of US$ 3 billion which is 33% greater than during the same period in 2010. Strong demand for agricultural products and high commodity prices has contributed to their strong balance sheet.

Thus far during 2011, China has been the principal importer of their agricultural products accounting for 11% of the total value followed by Germany at 10%, United Arab Emirates at 10%, United States at 7.3% and the Low Countries at 5.3%. The leading export products by value were sugar, which accounted for 17% of the total value, followed by coffee at 12.7%, and soybeans at 12.5%.

The state of Parana has the most agricultural cooperatives in Brazil and cooperatives in that state accounted for 34.5% of the total amount of exports from Brazilian cooperatives followed by Sao Paulo at 32.8%, Minas Gerais at 12.8%, Rio Grande do Sul at 8.2% and Santa Catarina at 4.7%.

Brazilian cooperatives were importing products as well and the total value of imported products increased during the first seven months of 2011 going from US$ 147.6 million in 2010 to US$ 188.3 million in 2011.

The principal products imported by Brazilian cooperatives were potassium chlorate fertilizer, which accounted for 17.7% of the total value, followed by barley at 12.6% of the total, and malt at 9.4%. These products came from Argentina, which accounted for 19.5% of the total value, Germany at 17.6%, Russia at 7%, United States at 6.7%, and Canada at 6.7%.

A notable absence from these lists is the state of Mato Grosso, which is the leading agricultural state in Brazil. The reason why Mato Grosso is missing is because agricultural cooperatives are not as strong in the state as they are in southern Brazil and because the major agricultural exports from the state, notably soybean, corn and processed beef, are less valuable than the products exported from southern Brazil notably compared to sugar and coffee.