Overview by AgriBrasilis (02/03/24 - 02/09/24)

Number of deaths caused by forest fires increased to 130 in Chile

President Javier Milei’s mega-decree, known as the “Omnibus Law”, received “general approval” by the Lower House of Congress, with 144 votes in favor and 109 against. This seeks to reduce regulation of the economy, aims for the privatization of State-owned companies, as well as tax changes, etc. Deputies must also vote promptly on each article of legislation, but general approval means that the matter will go to the Senate, where 7 of the 72 senators are from the president’s party. (Congreso de la Nación Argentina)

According to S&P Global, geopolitical risks and leadership changes, as in the case of Argentina, continue to pose challenges for emerging economies in Latin America. S&P considers a negative economic outlook for Panama, Colombia, Peru and Chile, due to low growth prospects and complications with their reforms. In the case of Argentina, S&P sees risks in local debt swaps in 2024, which could increase default scenarios. (S&P Global)

National Meteorological System renewed warnings for intense heat and dry days, especially in the “Núcleo Zone”, the country’s main agricultural region. At least 20 provinces are suffering from extreme temperatures, showing losses of productive potential in soybean and corn crops. San Juan, Mendoza, Neuquén, Córdoba, San Luis, Salta, Chaco, Formosa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, Buenos Aires, Chubut, Río Negro, La Pampa, Corrientes, Misiones, Jujuy and Santiago del Estero stand out. (SMN)

Team of 10 representatives from the Bolivian government carried out a technical visit to the National Supply Company – Conab, in Brazil, to learn about public production and supply policies. Objective is to formulate similar systems to be implemented in Bolivia. The delegation was made up of technicians from the Ministry of Rural Development and Land and the Food Production Support Company. This is part of a technical and scientific cooperation agreement in agriculture, signed in 1996. (Emapa)

Elisa Agro, a Brazilian irrigated agriculture company, filed for judicial recovery [a court-supervised process that allows insolvent companies to suspend debts and negotiate new terms for them]. Company’s debts with banks, investment funds and suppliers reached US$ 137.24 million. (FII Galapagos Recebíveis do Agronegócio)

Federal government will invest US$ 950 million in highways and railways used to transport agricultural production in 2024. Public investment in the “agricultural corridors” was announced by the Minister of Transport, Renan Filho. Approximately US$ 540 million of the amount will be allocated to actions in the so-called Arco Norte; and US$ 410 million will be invested in the South-Southeast region. (Ministry of Transport)

State of Mato Grosso is expected to plant 6.94 million hectares of corn in 2023/24, which represents a reduction of 7.31% compared to 2022/23. “This scenario was mainly driven by farmers’ uncertainties regarding the final profitability of the season, since the price sold in the State does not cover production costs”, according to the Institute of Agricultural Economics of the State of Mato Grosso. (IMEA)

Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Fávaro, once again stated there will be a crop failure in the 2023/24 grain season. “We need to estimate what the size of this harvest will be. There will be losses in the State of Mato Grosso, but the State of Rio Grande do Sul, for example, should produce 10 million tonnes more”, said Fávaro. “We have lived through years of uncertainty in our farms and of adverse weather conditions, but we are far from an established crisis.” (MAPA)

Government of the State of São Paulo, through the Secretariat of Agriculture and Supply, provides a record amount of US$ 18.16 million in Rural Insurance with the aim of helping farmers harmed by climate conditions. According to Guilherme Piai, secretary of agriculture of São Paulo, the release of credit is a response to estimates of crop failure. “We do not have time. There are farmers who may suffer significant losses, which affect the entire agroindustrial chain.” (Government of São Paulo)

Lar Cooperativa earned more than US$ 4.23 billion in 2023. US$ 28.55 million will go to the Cooperative’s almost 14 thousand members. “2023 was very difficult. We were worried about not having a good result and, if we consider the complexity of the period, we did achieve a good balance”, stated Lar’s CEO, Irineo da Costa Rodrigues. (Lar Cooperativa)

JBS’s “Escritórios Verdes” [Green Offices] program performed 8,000 socio-environmental regularizations of farms in Brazil. In 2023, the initiative recorded 4,000 regularizations and reached 2,300 hectares for forest restoration. Program offers technical assistance to livestock suppliers, aiming at socio-environmental compliance in the supply chain. (JBS)

Robusta coffee prices increased in January, reaching the highest value since October of 2021. Average prices reached US$ 160.95 per bag, representing an increase of 8% compared to December of 2023. This increase is driven by increased external demand and uncertainties related to local production. (Cepea)

Number of deaths caused by forest fires increased to 130. According to the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, the fires that are affecting the country are the biggest emergency since the 2010 earthquake. Drought and high temperatures recorded during the summer, climate change and the El Niño are the main factors that worsened the fires in the region. (Government of Chile)

Country harvested 959 thousand bags of 60 kg of washed Arabica coffee in January, an increase of 10.5% when compared to January of 2023. (FNC)

Export of beef to El Salvador was allowed. “With this new achievement we will help the livestock sector and strengthen relations with El Salvador, to continue opening doors and creating commercial ties. We will continue to promote exports, open markets, and support economic development of rural families in Colombia,” said Juan Fernando Roa, general manager of the Colombian Agricultural Institute. (ICA)

According to fruit producer and exporter Standard Fruit Company, the Central Bank’s exchange rate policy harms competitiveness of the fruit sector. “Although banana farmers in Costa Rica have made many efforts to increase their yields, other producing countries are taking advantage of the exchange rate situation in Costa Rica”, according to the company. Standard Fruit Company, part of the Dole Food Company group, announced the closure of two farms, and the dismissal of 111 workers due to the decrease of the dollar against the local currency, which reached a variation of more than 25% from July of 2022 to January of 2024. (Standard Fruit Company Costa Rica S.A)

Approximately 63% of the country is suffering from some level of drought, according to classification by the National Water Information System. There are 1565 municipalities with drought, out of a total of 2471. Of these, 499 municipalities were classified as “abnormally dry”. Nine departments in the country have 100% of municipalities experiencing some degree of drought. (Conagua)

Paraguayan Pig Farmers Association said it should export at least 10,000 tonnes of pork to Taiwan in 2024, which represents 80% of exports. In 2023, Taiwan purchased US$ 13.8 million worth of pork from Paraguay. (ACCP)

Soybean harvest is ahead of the average for the last five years, with a full harvest expected, according to Esther Storch, director and partner at the consulting firm Dasagro. Area harvested for summer soybeans reached 50%, above the average of 30% for this period over the last five years. (Dasagro)

Reduction in mango exports from Peru. “Due to the challenges posed by the 90% reduction in mango production this year, we are adapting our strategies to ensure the continued supply of high-quality mangoes to our customers”, said Jorge Aranguri Bazán, CEO of fruit exporter Dominus. “So far, Peru has sent almost 80% less fruit to Europe than last year. (Dominus)

National Agricultural Health Service authorized the import of 225,000 blueberry plants from Chile for three Peruvian agricultural companies. Agrícola Santa Azul will import 50 thousand blueberry plants, while Agrícola Interandina will import 125 thousand, and Family Farms Perú, 50 thousand. Their objective is to seek out new varieties of blueberries that can resist climate change. (Senasa)

Milk purchasing power index ended December of 2023 with a decrease of 2.4% compared to November, reaching the lowest level in almost five years. Milk sector production costs increased by 13% between December of 2023 and 2022. (Inale)


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