Brazil will be launching this month an ambitious national plan to stimulate investment in the country's fertilizer industry, cutting on foreign dependency now worsened by the Ukrainian war and shipping difficulties.
Agriculture minister Tereza Cristina said that fertilizers are a national security matter and must be addressed immediately. ”The plan should be ready for debate in two weeks time and aims to minimize bottlenecks, in terms of taxes and environmental legislation.
Brazil which is among the world's leading exporters of soybeans and corn, imports about 85% of its fertilizer consumption, including potash, which faces a bigger bottleneck due to the conflict in Ukraine and Western sanctions on Belarus. In the case of potash, the country's foreign purchases account for 96% of consumption.
Anyhow according to Cristina Brazil has fertilizer stocks that should last until October, when the harvest of the country's main crops intensifies.
In February, the head of grains-growing and trading firm Amaggi, Blairo Maggi, said the group is in talks with Canadian investor Stan Bharti to help develop the largest potash mine in Latin America, in a push to wean Brazilian farmers off costly fertilizer imports.
The Brazilian government announcement comes when Belarus has halted sales of fertilizers to Brazil, according to the country’s embassy in Brasilia. Belarusian diplomacy stated that supplies have been disrupted due to a blockade imposed by Lithuania.
“Belarusian fertilizers account for 20% of the market in Brazil, and their supply has been disrupted due to the transit blockade imposed by Lithuania limiting the circulation of goods and people through its territory to the port of Klaipeda. According to the Belarusian Embassy, the port has historically been used to ship potash from Belarus to Brazil”.
The Lithuanian side banned transit under far-fetched political pretexts and declared that the transit of Belarusian potash fertilizers to Brazil, among other things, threatened Lithuania’s national security.
Brazil is the world’s largest importer, accounting for roughly one-third of all international purchases.