Agrochemical Update Brazil & Latin America - 12/13/2023

Brazil spends US$ 25 billion per year on fertilizer imports


Ministry of Agriculture approved 18 new registrations of technical products. 16 are equivalent technical products, and 2 are new technical products, tiafenacil and pyriofenone, from ISK Biosciences. (MAPA)

According to NGO Repórter Brasil, the environmental wing of the federal government increased pressure this week for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to veto sections of the Pesticide Bill No. 1459/2022. According to the NGO, Ibama technicians prepared a list with the recommendation of six vetoes to the Bill. The report points out “setbacks” and lists six “essential vetoes” on the text. Lula has until December 27th to decide on the matter. (NGO Repórter Brasil)

It is speculated that an Asian pesticide company with a branch in Brazil will increase product portfolio through the purchase of registrations.

Anibal Scarpa is the new CEO of GSP Agroquímica do Brasil. (GSP Crop Science)

25% of foods of plant origin in the country have residues of prohibited pesticides or above the permitted level. Nonconformity is a sign of “errors in the production process and in the adoption of good agricultural practices”, according to Anvisa. The Agency analyzed 1772 samples of 13 foods of plant origin, in 79 cities in all regions of Brazil. There was a reduction in the acute risk for oranges: in 2013/15, 12.1% of orange samples were classified as having “acute risk potential”, while in 2022 only 0.6% of samples had this classification. One of the main reasons given for the drop was the “ban on the use of carbofuran in the reevaluation process and the exclusion of the use of carbosulfan in citrus farming”. (Anvisa)

Department of Agriculture of the State of Rio Grande do Sul carried out research on co-inoculation of bacteria in soybean. Research evaluated the inoculation of the bacterium Bradyrhizobium elkanii and co-inoculation with the bacterium Azospirillum brasilense, observing parameters of plant growth and nodulation in soybeans. “We concluded that inoculation and coinoculation significantly increased the number and weight of nitrogen-fixing nodules. There was also an increase in the biological fixation activity that occurs in the nodules formed by the association of plant roots with the inoculated bacteria”, said researcher Gerusa Pauli Kist Steffen. Combined use of the bioinputs provided an increase in root and shoot fresh mass. (Seapi – RS)

Luis Arruda is the new senior distribution director at Mosaic Fertilizers. (The Mosaic Company)

MAPA, Ibama and the Civil Police of the State of Minas Gerais have carried out joint inspections in the State of Goiás to investigate the robbery at Sipcam Nichino, in Uberaba, State of Minas Gerais, in July, which resulted in losses of US$ 10.07 million. Perpetrators were identified. Authorities pointed out the involvement of pesticide dealers in the Goiás who were involved in the distribution of stolen products in the region of the municipalities of Goiatuba, Caçu, Vicentinópolis and Edealina. Products that were seized were valued at US$ 240 thousand. (MAPA; Ibama; PCMG)

Carlos Renato Brega will step down as CEO of agricultural resale franchisor Goplan in March 2024. Until a new CEO is announced, the company will be led by Patrícia Milan, strategic administrative director. (Goplan)

Soybean farmers in the State of Santa Catarina are worried about possible severe cases of Asian soybean rust. Farmers have been suffering from excessive rain and from replanting, in addition to the fear of losing their production due to the disease. “This is already starting to affect our yields. The seed that was supposed to be put in the ground in October now had to be planted in November. Farmers wait as long as they can and, when there is a bit of sun, they go and use preventive pesticides. Without a doubt we are already concerned about Asian soybean rust”, said the regional manager of the Agricultural Research and Rural Extension Company of the State of Santa Catarina, Getúlio Tonet. (Epagri)

Industry, Commerce and Services Committee of the Chamber of Deputies debated, on December 05th, the Incentive Policy for the Fertilizer and Bioinputs Industry. Representative Heitor Schuch requested a hearing, highlighting the country currently imports 85% of the fertilizers. “We need to reduce dependence on imported fertilizers and develop the national industry, both in chemical fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc.) and agricultural bioinputs,” said Schuch. “We need to encourage biological products, bio-inputs, improve legislation, the “on farm” product. External dependence can also be minimized with organomineral fertilizers – which are organic fertilizers enriched with mineral nutrients to nourish the soil. And we also have biological alternatives”, said deputy Tião Medeiros. (Câmara de Notícias Agency)

Brazilian agroindustrial production had a growth of 2.5% in September of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. Agricultural inputs sector, on the other hand, had a drop of 8.3%, the eighth in a row. There has been a reduction in demand for fertilizers and pesticides for the winter corn. With the drop in price and the narrower margins, farmers have delayed planting. An estimated reduction in corn planted area is expected, which has a negative impact on demand for inputs. “A drop in the agricultural inputs [sector performance] is expected, but it is important to monitor demand for the summer season, which is the main agricultural season of the year,” said Felippe Serigati, researcher at FGV Agro. (IBGE; Conab; FGV Agro)

Sugarcane wilting syndrome has been observed in several regions of Brazil. The disease has caused a significant reduction of yields and of theoretical recoverable sugar, and can cause losses of more than 25%. Recommendation for sugarcane farmers is to harvest sugarcane in advance, which is the only effective measure against the disease so far. “Many farmers have applied chemical and biological fungicides and carried out tests with different types of fertilizers, with macro and micronutrients, but without effect. So far, no resistant varieties have been detected”, says Ivan Antônio dos Anjos, researcher at the Campinas Agronomic Institute. (IAC)

Brazil spends US$ 25 billion per year on fertilizer imports. The fertilizer industry contributes with approximately 2.2% of the agribusiness GDP; 6.0% of GDP from agriculture; and almost 15% of GDP from the input chain. This market is responsible for creating more than 28 thousand direct and indirect jobs. (Sinprifert; MDIC)

Average price of fertilizer imports by Brazil rose again in November 2023, interrupting the sequence of decline that had occurred since June 2022. Cattle rancher’s purchasing power was 145.6 kg of fertilizer per arroba [unit equivalent to 15 kg] of fed cattle in November, which, despite the drop compared to October, was the biggest for the period since 2020. Compared to November of 2022, the livestock farmer’s purchasing power increased by 43.7%, since the indicator went from 101.3 kg of fertilizer per arroba of fed cattle to 145.6 kg in November of 2023. (Comex; Cepea)

Juan Carlos Rojas will be Corteva’s new vice president for Brazil and Paraguay. Ana Claudia Cerasoli will be the vice president of global biologics integration. (Corteva Agriscience)

Copacol has just implemented a new inputs unit, in Barracão, State of Paraná. “With this input unit, we complete the area of operation in the Southwest of Paraná, enabling close service to the cooperative members, knowing the demands of each one”, said Fernando Fávero, the company’s input manager. (Copacol)

Brazilian fertilizer imports went from 7.4 million tonnes in 1998 to almost 38.12 million in 2022, a growth of 515% in 24 years. (ANDA)

Mosaic’s Fertilizer Purchasing Power Index (IPCF) closed at 0.95 in November of 2023, a drop of 8% compared to October, when it was 1.02. Considering that the lower the IPCF, the better the purchasing power, this month’s level remains favorable for farmers to invest in fertilizers. Fertilizer prices showed a slight drop of 3% from October to November, in particular because of urea, which fell 12% and is one of the main inputs used for planting corn. (The Mosaic Company)

Kazakhstan has opened up a consulate in Campo Grande, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, focused on agribusiness in the Central-West region, mainly aimed at fertilizer trade. “The Brazilian market is moving forward right now, but we do not know where fertilizers will be obtained from in the 2024/25 season. This could cause chaos in Brazil, firstly because the cost is very high, and secondly because there is not enough for everyone. The only country that can supply Brazil in terms of fertilizers is Kazakhstan”, said the new consul of Kazakhstan, Alípio de Oliveira. (Consulate of Kazakhstan)

Alert was issued about a significant increase in the presence of Euschistus heros, known as the brown soybean bug, which has already become one of the main phytosanitary threats for the 2023/24 season. Losses caused by the pest are estimated at more than US$ 2.42 billion per harvest. (UPL Ltd.)

Diego Fernando Pereira is Rizobacter’s new biosolutions manager for Brazil. (Rizobacter)

Jacob Crosariol Netto, researcher at the Cotton Institute from the State of Mato Grosso, highlights the relevance of baculovirus in the integrated pest management. “It is selective, it preserves natural enemies. Furthermore, it has a unique mode of action, different from chemicals. It can be used to manage resistance…” said Netto. (IMAmt)

Anvisa published voluntary withdrawal of toxicological evaluation of the pesticides methomyl 215 g/L SL (Corteva), cypermethrin 250 g/L EC (Prentiss) and aluminum phosphide (Syncrom). (Anvisa)

Although there is room for increases in the short term, fertilizer prices are expected to remain at low levels in the 2023/24 season. After a significant increase in production costs in 2022/23, the outlook for 2023/24 is for a reduction in operating costs, which can be attributed to the sharp drop in fertilizer prices. “Fertilizer costs for the 2023/24 season are expected to decrease by approximately 18%, this being the item with the greatest influence on reducing operational costs, for which we estimate a drop of around 11% over the 2022/23 season”, according to a report from Itaú BBA. (Itaú BBA)

Atlas Agro to invest US$ 1.01 billion to build a green nitrogen fertilizer factory in Uberaba, State of Minas Gerais. The company began the process of selecting suppliers (bidding) with national and international companies for the basic studies and design stages of the engineering project, in addition to defining parameters for the construction contract. A technical visit took place on December 05th. “We gave everyone the opportunity to get to know the land and the basic requirements of the project, before each company’s final proposal”, said Atlas Agro’s project director, Michael Kozlov. (Atlas Agro)

According to Mario Bianchi, researcher at Cooperativa Central Gaúcha Ltda., it is very difficult to calculate losses caused by drift in soybean farms. “At this time of year, in the 2023/24 season, we have soybean areas where drying is occurring and we also have areas with developed soybean plants. This combination can cause some problems. This is also a period in which we have a lot of wind. This wind, associated with small droplets, in addition to growing crops and areas which are still in need of desiccation, can result in the movement of herbicides to non-target locations”, said Bianchi, who suggests that farmers avoid applications in wind conditions above 8 km/h. “Be very careful with the size of the pesticide droplets. Use thick droplet nozzles… to ensure that the majority of the product stays on the target”, according to Bianchi. (CCGL; RTC)

Favorable weather conditions increased rice sowing in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. Application of herbicides and nitrogen fertilizers was resumed. Increase in the number of dry days was crucial for rice farmers, who faced delays in planting and needed to replant in areas affected by floods. (Emater)

Bayer’s cashback campaign guarantees that part of the money invested by farmers in purchasing agricultural inputs is returned to them. “We are the first agricultural company in Brazil to have a cashback program”, says Carolina Zanotti, the company’s campaign coordinator. “The money is returned directly to the farmer’s account. And they can use this money however they want. There is no obligation to buy only products from Bayer”, according to Zanotti. (Bayer)

Anvisa approves toxicological evaluation for registration of new microbiological products based on Trichoderma hamatum strain SYM37537 (Indigo) and Bacillus subtilis CBMAI1680 + Bacillus subtilis CNPSo 2657 (Total). 2 new formulated products based on pyriofenone, from ISK, were also approved. (Anvisa)

Aenda, Sindiveg and Unifito organized a technical workshop on December 06th about studies for the registration of biological products. Topics such as conditioning and sample preparation, determination of content/purity in biological products, and toxicological pathogenicity studies were covered, among others. (Aenda)

According to Kynetec research analyst, Lucas Montrasio, the special nutrition market for coffee farming encompasses the foliar, fertigation, biostimulants and ‘drench’ categories. The four segments showed a consistent evolution, with emphasis on the adoption of foliar nutrition and biostimulants. The first reached approximately 70% in area (1.43 million hectares) and increased 14% when compared to 2020/21. Biostimulants covered 622 thousand hectares, compared to 426 thousand hectares, an increase of approximately 46%. (Kynetec Brasil)

35% of pesticide registrations of generic formulated products (Formulated Product based on Equivalent Technical Product) of 2022 were approved via court decision. According to Flavio Hirata, partner at pesticide registration consultancy AllierBrasil, legal action reduces significantly the time for pesticide registration approvals. (AllierBrasil)

Latin America

Imports of urea and monoammonium phosphate fell by 30% and 15% in Argentina, respectively. “There is less availability of fertilizers for the 2023/24 season, something ridiculous for a country that urgently needs to harvest and export… Amount of urea imported until October of 2023 reached 560 thousand tonnes and showed a decrease of 30% when compared to the same date of 2022”, according to a report from AZ-Group. “We are reaching the end of the commercial year with significant drops in imported volumes due to problems in the approval of SIRA [Import System of the Argentine Republic] and other mechanisms that make operations difficult,” said Jeremías Battistoni, market analyst at AZ-Group. (AZ-Group)

Another court decision in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, determined an exclusion zone banning the use of pesticides. Judge Marcelo Giacoia determined a ban of 1000 m around the city of Marcos Paz for the application of pesticides. A few days ago, in the city of Pehuajó, in the same province, an exclusion zone for pesticides was also implemented. The Confederation of Rural Associations of Buenos Aires and La Pampa – Carbap is against these decisions: “We have always been attentive to the use of phytosanitary products in the province of Buenos Aires… The situation depends on good agricultural practices, which is what really defines how a product should be used. In the province of Buenos Aires, unfortunately there is a chaotic situation regarding the ordinances that try to regulate this. There are more than 89 ordinances, each one different from the other,” said Horacio Salaverri, president of Carbap. (Carbap)

Government of Bolivia delivered 39 tonnes of fertilizers to 782 families affected by the drought in the city of Entre Ríos, in the department of Tarija. (Ministry of Civil Defense)

Agricultural Institute of Colombia has granted authorization for the manufacturing of organic fertilizer based on coca leaves. In his participation at COP 28, the country’s president, Gustavo Petro, even mentioned the possibilities of using coca leaves to fertilize crops, and the need to destigmatize the crop in the country. “The industrialization of coca leaves without alkaloids is our initiative”, said Victoriano Piñacué, indigenous leader and representative of organic fertilizer manufacturing communities. (ICA)

Temporary Collection Center for Agrochemical Packaging was reactivated in Rosario, in the department of Sinaloa, Mexico, with a storage capacity of 36 tonnes of pesticide packaging. (Conselva)


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