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December 23, 2014

Brazil Imports 11% more Fertilizers in 2014

The Brazilian government has set a goal of being self-sufficient in fertilizer production by the year 2020, but each year Brazil becomes more dependent on imported fertilizers and 2014 is no exception. During the first eleven months of 2014, Brazil imported 11% more fertilizers than during the same period in 2013. According to the National Association for the Distribution of Fertilizers (Anda), Brazil imported 22.4 million tons of fertilizers thus far in 2014 compared to 20.1 million tons during the same period in 2013.

In contrast, the amount of fertilizers produced in Brazil thus far in 2014 has declined 6.4% to 8 million tons. In 2013 Brazil produced 9.3 million tons of fertilizers. Approximately 70% of the fertilizers used in Brazil are imported and the goal of being self-sufficient in fertilizer production within five years no longer seems possible.

In related news, Petrobras announced late last week that they were pulling out of a consortium to build and operate a nitrogen production facility in the city of Tres Lagos in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The Nitrogen Fertilizer Unit 3 (UFN 3), which is a joint venture between Sinopec and Galvao Engenharia, has stopped paying suppliers and workers. State officials have indicated that they will take all appropriate measures to insure that the consortium fulfills its legal responsibilities.

The construction of the facility is 82% complete and it is scheduled to produce on an annual basis, 1.2 million tons of urea and 70,000 tons of ammonia for farmers in the center-west region of Brazil and in Parana and Sao Paulo. The immediate fate of the project has not yet been determined.