Agrochemical Update Brazil & Latin America - 11/15/2023

Syngenta Crop Protection sales fell 9%


Ministry of Agriculture published registration requests for 30 equivalent technical products: 9 herbicides, 11 fungicides, 9 insecticides, and 1 acaricide/insecticide. (MAPA)

Pátria Investimentos Ltda., through the Private Equity Holding VII – Alpha S.A., announced the acquisition of shares representing 80.43% of the total and voting share capital of TMF Indústria de Fertilizantes Ltda., a manufacturer of special fertilizers. After completion of the acquisition and subscription of new shares (capital increase), Pátria will own 85% of the total and voting share capital of TMF. (Pátria Investimentos Ltda.)

Graciela Mognol is the new marketing director for Basf’s “soybean cultivation system” and Juliana Justi is the new HR director for the agricultural solutions division in Latin America. (Basf Agricultural Solutions)

Syngenta Crop Protection sales fell 9%, to US$ 11.5 billion in the first nine months of 2023, amid continued inventory decreases in Brazil. According to the company, the EBITDA was significantly impacted by a “weaker” market in Brazil, when compared to 2022. (Syngenta Crop Protection)

GeN Fertilizantes has opened up a new factory in Barcarena, State of Paraná, with an investment of US$ 16.28 million. With the new factory, 300 jobs should be created, and it has the capacity to produce 400 thousand tonnes of fertilizers per year. (GeN Fertilizantes)

Brazil imported from Russia 7.76 million tonnes of fertilizers between January and October of 2023, a record for the period. Brazilian purchases of fertilizers from China also continue to increase, reaching 5.20 million tonnes by October. Canada, the third main country exporting fertilizers to Brazil, also increased sales in 2023, totaling 4.32 million tonnes by October. (Comex)

According to the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics, the purchase of inputs is slower during the current agricultural season. This scenario is in part due to farmers’ expectations regarding a possible decrease in fertilizer prices. (Cepea)

The vast majority of agribusiness companies in Brazil are not delivering according to their budgets this year. We are going to be an exception”, said Antonio Carlos Zem, CEO of Biotrop. “Biotrop will close the year slightly above… We will deliver both the top line and the bottom line, revenue and profit”. (Biotrop Soluções Biológicas)

Mosaic Fertilizers announced an adjusted EBITDA of US$ 147 million, compared to US$ 343 million in the 3Q of 2022, due to the impact of lower fertilizer prices, according to a company statement. (The Mosaic Company)

Fertilizer Purchasing Power Index (IPCF) closed at 1.02 in October of 2023, reflecting a slight increase of 2% in fertilizer prices, compared to September. This level still favors the exchange ratio during the end of the summer harvest and the preparations for the off-season. (The Mosaic Company)

Forum AllierBrasil was held on November 1st and 8th in New Delhi (India) and Nanjing (China) respectively, organized by AllierBrasil. The event featured lectures on pesticide market and registration in Brazil and Mexico. (AllierBrasil Consulting)

Agrobiológica Sustentabilidade, a company from the Crop Care holding, is opening up the Johanna Döbereiner Advanced Research Center, in Itápolis, State of São Paulo. The laboratory, focused on the development of bio-inputs, has rooms for incubation, insect breeding and molecular analysis to develop new formulas. “The center must cover several lines of research. To achieve this, we quadrupled the R&D team… we followed four lines of research to develop new products: bioherbicides, biofungicides, bioinsecticides and bionematicides”, according to Rafael Garcia, CEO of Agrobiológica. (Agrobiológica Sustentabilidade)

Ministry of Agriculture has published deliberations in the area of pesticide registration (Act No. 49, from 11/06/2023, published on 11/09/2023). Measures include 13 registration withdrawals for UPL, and 1 registration process rejection for Bioma. (MAPA)

In the 3Q, Corteva’s net sales decreased 7% when compared to 2022. The company’s outlook for Brazil was revised, influenced by “lower-than-expected corn planted area, ongoing headwinds in crop chemicals, delayed farmer purchases on both plantings and crop protection applications, as well as elevated levels of generic products”. (Corteva)

Kynetec’s research shows that, although the use of Bt technologies is increasing in Brazilian farms, there has also been an increase in the adoption of insecticides against caterpillars “These products reached almost 80% of planting in areas with Bt biotechnology, compared to around 50% five harvests ago”, said Millôr Mondini, specialist at Kynetec. According to Mondini, caterpillar-focused insecticides corresponded to 30%, or US$ 0.75 billion, of the total US$ 2.48 billion insecticide market. (Kynetec)

According to Vittia’s CEO, Wilson Romanini, the company is investing US$ 32.56 million to expand its industrial plant in São Joaquim da Barra, State of São Paulo. “It is already the biggest biological factory in Latin America and, with the completion of the 2nd phase at the beginning of this year, we have tripled our solid fermentation production capacity…” said Romanini. Vittia presented a net profit of US$ 11.85 million in the 3Q of 2023, a drop of 25% compared to 2022. Even so, the balance points to an improvement in activities, because the company presented a loss of approximately US$ 2.86 million in the 2Q. (Vittia S.A)

Anvisa will organize a webinar about the evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of pesticides. (Anvisa)

According to a report by Rabobank Brasil, the trends for Brazilian agriculture in 2024 involve cheaper inputs, greater pressure on soybean and corn prices, and good returns for sugar, coffee and orange farmers. According to Rabobank’s analyst Bruno Fonseca, during the 2023/24 season, fertilizer costs represented 36% of the total costs for farming grains, and deliveries of input from industries to end customers are recovering compared to last year. “Agrochemical prices are also falling on the market, but as soybean and corn prices are also lower, the margins in the production of these grains may become worse”, stated Fonseca. (Rabobank Brasil)

Ibama – Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources has carried out an operation against the irregular use of pesticides on farms and companies in the State of Minas Gerais. Six fines were imposed, worth US$ 86,783, and approximately 2 thousand L of expired pesticides were seized. There was also a buildup of empty packages, which is not permitted by law. (Ibama)

Federal Government has published two Joint Ordinances, establishing new rules for pesticide registration. The first Ordinance (No. 02/2023) establishes guidelines for changes in pesticide registration, regarding inclusions or exclusions of registered technical product or premixes, formulators, handlers and packages. “Currently, more than 70% of registration change requests… fall within the types of requests contained in the standard regulation, which have a low toxicological, environmental or agronomic impact and which, therefore, are subject to simplification”, said the secretary of agricultural defense, Carlos Goulart. The second Ordinance (No. 03/2023) establishes specific procedures for the distribution of pending registration processes for equivalent technical products, premixes and formulated products. “In order to legally comply with the deadlines, it was necessary to establish specific procedures for distributing processes with a view to technical analysis, so as to avoid constant judicialization in the registration processes”, according to Goulart. (Ministry of Agriculture)

Anvisa publishes toxicological evaluation withdrawal requests of iprodione 500 g/L SC (Simplified Registration Level I) and paclobutrazol 250 g/L SC (Formulated Product Based on Equivalent Technical Product), from Tradecorp. (Anvisa)

During the 2nd Fórum Futuro do Agro, the bioinputs researcher at Embrapa Milho e Sorgo, Christiane Paiva, stated that the use of biologicals is not a “fad”, but a revolution in the farms, part of integrated production management. MAPA’s director of plant health, Edilene Cambraia, said that Brazil does not yet have a specific legislation for bioinputs. While the matter is under discussion in the National Congress, the use of biologicals is included in other laws, such as the one related with chemical pesticides. (Embrapa; 2º Fórum Futuro do Agro)

Increase in the population of weeds, especially crowsfoot grass (Eleusine indica), can put soybeans at risk in the State of Mato Grosso. “We’ve already had conditions in which weeds were able to ‘dominate’ the crop. We have losses reaching up to 90% if the weeds are not controlled. We know that the farmer will not leave the area without care, but on average we see losses of 30% to 40% in the State…”, according to Lucas Heringer, researcher at Fundação MT. (Fundação MT)

AgroGalaxy had a net loss of US$ 18.07 million in the 3Q, compared to a net profit of US$ 3.95 million in the same period in 2022. The company’s adjusted EBITDA fell 54.9%, to US$ 15.15 million, and net revenue fell 22.9%, to US$ 480 million. Of the total net revenue recorded in the 3Q, US$ 270 million came from agricultural input sales, a drop of 41.5% when compared to the same period of 2022. (AgroGalaxy)

According to a report from Kynetec Brasil about non-selective herbicides, “after a moment of sharp increase in the prices of some molecules, mainly due to the availability/possible limitation scenario, 2023 will see a decline in the price of non-selective herbicides (glyphosate, glufosinate and others), which will return to previous levels and, in some cases, below historical values. On average, the spot price of glyphosate 720 went from US$ 04.94 in January/20 to US$ 24.68 at its peak, during July/22. In 2023, we are noticing a decline in this price, which went from US$ 21.80 in January to US$ 05.14 in October.” (Kynetec Brasil)

Latin America

Bayer’s fungicide business increased 16.2%, mainly due to higher volumes in Latin America. Soybean seed business also recorded growth of 15.6%, driven by higher license revenues in Latin America. Herbicide sales decreased 17.3%, with substantial price declines offsetting higher volumes across all regions. (Bayer)

In Argentina, “wholesale prices for fertilizers have shown a major acceleration in the last 12 months, with an inflation rate of 234%”, according to a report by economists Juan Garzón and Franco Artusso, from the Fundación Mediterránea. The researchers indicate that there do not appear to be any external factors that could justify the strong increase, as international prices are lower than last year. (Fundación Mediterránea)

Surcos, a family business in the agrochemical market from Argentina, plans to invest US$ 36 million and earn US$ 500 million by 2028. “We have ten patents granted, more than 98 patents filed and we have an ambitious project to reach around US$ 500 million in revenue”, said the company’s president and CEO, Sebastián Calvo. “Surcos’ international expansion plan establishes new business modalities that add to the current production and distribution under the Surcos brand in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.” (Surcos)

President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, announced the beginning of construction of the Agroinputs Industrial Plant in Potosí, which should benefit more than 2,800 farmers, and provide fertilizers for 70,200 hectares of potatoes, corn, wheat, etc. “This industrial plant will be very useful for farmers, as we will no longer import these fertilizers, since the raw material to generate our fertilizers will be made in Potosí for all Bolivians”, said Arce. (Viceministerio de Comunicación)

According to Miguel Amado, director of innovation and marketing at Yara for Latin America, Colombia is a strategic market for the fertilizer sector. “One of the great advantages that Colombia has, when compared to other countries in the region, is that there are fertilizer factories in the country. The Yara factory [in Colombia] has the capacity to produce more than 300 thousand tonnes of complex fertilizers, more than 120 thousand tonnes of calcium nitrate, more than 150 thousand tonnes of ammonia…”, said Amado. (Yara Fertilizantes)

Multinational and local companies in Mexico have already filed 37 lawsuits against the decrees that gradually ban the use of glyphosate in the country. 17 cases were archived and 20 are still in dispute. (Cofepris; Conahcyt; Semarnat)


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