Commodities Shuttle: Area expansion requires record import of fertilizers and pesticides

The pace of Brazilian imports of agricultural inputs at the beginning of the month indicates that the volume in September will reach record levels.

Foreign purchases of pesticides point to 55 thousand tons this month, while a of fertilizers should exceed 5 million, according to preliminary weekly data compiled by Secex (Secretary of Foreign Trade).

The pace may slow down in the second half of the month, but it shows that industries are preparing for the new record harvest that lies ahead.

Market calculations indicate that the soy and corn areas should increase by 3.7 million hectares, compared to the previous harvest. The most optimistic bet on an evolution of more than 4 million hectares.

With good prices and strong demand for commodities, producers will dedicate more than 40 million hectares to soybeans and close to 22 million hectares to corn in the 2021/22 harvest.

This increase does not mean, however, the opening of new areas. Corn, in some states, advances a little more than soybeans in the summer, and the oilseed will occupy pasture areas. In winter, corn grows on the areas left by soybeans.

The good news is that, with the advance of the area, the country may reach 300 million tons of grain for the first time. This volume depends, however, on the climate, which is favorable at the beginning of planting.

Data already consolidated by Secex indicate that fertilizer imports, per working day, total 252 thousand tons up to the second week of this month, an increase of 55% compared to the same period last year.

In the same period, the external purchase of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, nematicides, etc., classified by the Ministry of Agriculture as pesticides, totals 2,633 tons per working day, 21% more than in September 2020.

With the consolidation of the expansion of the planting area in Brazil, external purchases of inputs have been recording record levels in recent years.

From January to August, fertilizer imports totaled 24.8 million tons, with expenditures of US$ 7.5 billion (R$ 39.4 billion). Purchases of agrochemicals reached 223 thousand tons, with expenses of US$ 1.93 billion (R$ 10.1 billion).

Recovery The workforce in agribusiness totaled 18 million people in the second quarter of this year. This number shows a recovery compared to 16.7 million in the same period last year, when the country was going through one of the worst moments of the pandemic. The data are from Cepea.

historic month September could be confirmed as a unique period for protein exports. Foreign sales of pork and poultry are 61% higher than in the same month in 2020.

Historic month 2 The evolution in the beef sector is even greater, with an increase of 83%. There are 12 thousand tons exported daily. This volume, however, should not be sustained due to the barriers placed by some countries after the two atypical cases of mad cow in Brazil.

Drones The use of this equipment increases in agricultural spraying, and is due to the comparative advantages with other practices, according to Giovani Amianti, from XMobots.

Drones 2 Speed, mapping of the plantation, detection of weeds and economy of inputs are reasons for this evolution, according to the executive. XMobots currently has agribusiness as the main destination for the technologies developed by the company, he says.

Juice The Brazilian stock should decline at the end of the harvest, in June 2022. In the assessment of CitrusBR (National Association of Exporting Industries of Citrus Juices), it will be between 170 thousand and 190 thousand tons. If confirmed, these volumes will be lower than the 317,000 on June 30th.

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