• Thu. Sep 22nd, 2022

Brazil is too big a food producer to rely on fertilizer imports, industry says

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Aug 23, 2022

A farm worker drives a tractor spreading fertilizer in a soybean field, near Brasilia, Brazil February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/

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SAO PAULO, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Global fertilizer companies operating in Brazil can increase local production of important crop nutrients if the government continues to improve the regulatory framework for the sector, representatives from the sector said on Tuesday. the industry.

Speaking at a one-day industry event, key players said Brazil was too big a food producer to depend on fertilizer imports.

Marcelo Altieri, general manager of the local unit of Norwegian company Yara International (YAR.OL), told a morning panel discussion that Brazil’s dependence on imports poses a threat to global food security, as the country is one of the largest food suppliers in the world.

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On the sidelines of the event, however, Altieri declined to say whether Yara would be interested in bidding on a nitrogen fertilizer project being offered for sale by Brazilian oil major Petroleo Brasileiro (PETR4.SA). Read more

Petrobras, as it is known, is also seeking bidders for potash mining rights in the Amazon. Read more

Brazil imports around 85% of the fertilizer it needs, according to the Anda trade group. In March, after the start of the war in Ukraine, the government announced a plan to relaunch local production.

Mosaic Co (MOS.N), the world’s fourth-largest fertilizer producer, said the outlook for Brazilian production began to improve after Brazil adopted new rules for the gas market.

The government has also improved tax laws that tended to favor imports, a Mosaic executive said.

“Relying on imports penalizes not only the country, but also the world,” said Arthur Liacre, an executive at Mosaic Fertilizantes in Brazil, during an afternoon panel discussion.

Liacre recalled that 25 years ago, local production of the NPK fertilizer blend was sufficient to meet 55% of Brazil’s needs. Today it’s just under 10%, he noted.

Ibram, a mining trade lobby, said at the event that he supports mining in Brazil’s indigenous territory, which the Constitution allows, as a way to reduce reliance on imported fertilizers.

Toronto-based Brazil Potash Corp plans to open a potash mine in the Amazon. Read more .

In southern Brazil, Australia’s Aguia Resources Ltd (AGR.AX) hopes to build the region’s first phosphate mine by the end of 2023.

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Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Bill Berkrot

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