Brazil is in discussions with the United States for a truce that would allow Brazilian companies to buy fertilizers from Iran. Because the United States has imposed sanctions on Iran, Brazilian firms are hesitant to purchase Iranian fertilizers as doing business with Iran might provoke a reaction from the US.
Carlos Franca, Brazilian Foreign Affairs minister informed of his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a public hearing at the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations and National Defense (CRE) last week.
Access to Iranian fertilizers could help Brazil reduce its dependency on Russian supplies, which account for about a third of Brazilian imports of fertilizers. On the other hand, Carlos França pointed out that Iran has a significant store of fertilizers that it plans to export to Brazil as Russia’s conflict against Ukraine restricted its capacity to export as it is currently facing Western sanctions.
“There is a large surplus of fertilizers in Iran, to which Brazilian importers have little access. What we do with Iran, in practice, is barter because we deposit the funds in an account in Brazil and Iran uses it to buy medical supplies and food. That is why I negotiate with the United States a temporary truce in this embargo so that Brazilian companies can negotiate with Iran without suffering reprisals from the United States
The use of Iranian fertilizer would, in fact, help Brazil provide better services to Europe and the US itself. Do you remember a few years ago that Petrobras was wary of refueling an Iranian freighter docked in Santa Catarina due to the possibility of US reprisals?” recalled the minister addressing Senators..
The president of CRE, Senator Kátia Abreu (PP-TO), argued that it is “absurd” for Brazil, under the current circumstances, to keep having an external dependence on fertilizers.
“It’s amazing the hypocrisy here around fertilizers. We have water, soil, temperature and state-of-the-art technology, but we cannot produce fertilizers. We impose monstrous food insecurity on ourselves by not being self-sufficient in terms of input. Environmentalism is key for Brazil, but disregarding autonomy in the fertilizer market is complicated. Without food, you can’t live. We can’t pretend that nothing is happening,” protested senator Katia Abreu, a former agriculture minister.