“… Belarusian fertilizers make up 25% of the Brazilian market …”
Exclusive interview with Sergey Lukashevich, Belarus ambassador to Brazil since September 2021. Lukashevich is a career diplomat, having also served as Counselor of the Belarus Embassy in Brazil from 2014 to 2016; he was head of the Belarus diplomatic mission in Spain, as well as having worked at the Belarus embassies in Uzbekistan and Argentina.
Belarus has recently suffered sanctions from the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
AgriBrasilis – Why is there a shortage of fertilizer supplies?
Sergey Lukashevich – Since the beginning of 2021, the cost of fertilizers increased between 20% and 70%, depending on the type. Overall, global potash prices have increased by up to 50% since October last year.
There are several reasons for this situation, including the prevailing price environment and growing demand for fertilizers. However, in our opinion, the key factor in the increase in fertilizer prices was the fear of the global market because of the artificial tightening of supply caused by the US and EU sanctions against Belarusian fertilizers, which represent about 20% of the global market
AgriBrasilis – How important is Belarus in the supply of fertilizers to Brazil?
Sergey Lukashevich – Belarus is one of the three main fertilizer suppliers to Brazil. This has been the case for many years. The share of Belarusian fertilizers in Brazil reaches 25% of the market.
If we remove Belarusian fertilizers from the Brazilian market, then of every four Brazilian farmers, three will have them and one will have none at all. The farmer without them will see his farm’s yield drop drastically and the quantity of soybeans, corn and other agricultural products decrease. The farm could go bankrupt, the family would be without money and the state without taxes.
AgriBrasilis – Russia announced that it will maintain supply to Brazil. How has the dialogue between the Brazilian and Belarusian Governments been about this situation?
Sergey Lukashevich – The production of potassium-based fertilizers and their delivery to consumers depends on a very complex process, which has been perfected for decades. You have to understand, there is no extra fertilizer anywhere in the world right now, not at all. There is no magician who can pull the right rabbit out of a hat.
However, Belarus has been and remains a reliable partner for Brazil.