June 19, 2015

Fertilizer Distribution in Brazil down 12% thus far in 2015

The National Association of Fertilizer Distributors in Brazil (Anda) reported earlier this week that fertilizer delivers during the month of May declined 21.4% compared to May of 2014. Anda indicated that 2.066 million tons of fertilizers were delivered in May compared to 2.629 million tons in May of 2014.

Thus far in 2014, the numbers are down as well. From January through May, there have been 9.044 million tons of fertilizers distributed, which is down 12% compared to the 10.276 million tons distributed during the same period in 2014.

Fertilizer imports also declined 5.5% in May compared to May of 2014 to 1.790 million tons. From January through May, fertilizer imports into Brazil declined 18.4% to 7.255 million tons compared to 8.888 million tons in 2014. Approximately 70% of the fertilizers used in Brazil are imported and the cost of imported fertilizers is higher compared to last year due to a weaker Brazilian currency compared to the U.S. dollar.

The decline in fertilizer imports and sales is being attributed to a lack of credit availability from the government, low commodity prices, and caution on the part of the farmer as he assesses price prospects for the 2015/16 crops in Brazil. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) has indicated that fertilizers account for 29% of the input costs for soybean farmers in Mato Grosso. They estimate that chemicals will account for 53% of the input costs and seed will account for 17% of the input costs for soybean production. The total costs for inputs for the 2015/16 growing season in Brazil are expected to increase 10% to 30%.