Crop Protection and Nutrition - Weekly Update Brazil & Latin America (03/21/24 – 03/27/24)


Syngenta began its “barter” campaign for the 2024/25 season, with available credit of US$ 1 billion


In compliance with a court decision, Anvisa approves the toxicological evaluation of atrazine 900 g/kg WG, from Perterra. (Anvisa)

Guilherme Caldeira Carneiro is Biotrop’s new financial, legal and IT director. (Biotrop Soluções Biológicas)

Nutrien announced changes to its organizational structure. Adolpho Lemos Neto is the company’s new director of strategic partnerships, and Matheus Aquino is the new director of proprietary products. (Nutrien Soluções Agrícolas)

Cases of tomato late blight increased in autumn, causing an increase in the demand for fungicides. Caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans, the disease spreads quickly in areas with dense plant populations. Just one outbreak of the disease can compromise the entire production, causing significant losses in quality and quantity. Tomato late blight can cause a reduction of 20% to 70% in production, depending on climate and management conditions. The first noticeable symptoms are small dark spots on the leaves of infected plants, that can spread to adjacent leaves, which turn yellow, wither, and can present a strong odor. (Sindiveg)

AgroGalaxy has avoided the early maturity of two Agribusiness Receivables Certificate – CRA issues, totaling US$ 130.47 million. The company organized a meeting with bond creditors and obtained approval to be exempted from presenting leverage information, measured by the relationship between net debt and Ebitda. (AgroGalaxy)

In the past five years, the Brazilian biopesticides market grew 45% in Compound Annual Growth Rate. Meanwhile, the agrochemicals market grew only by 6%. This information was presented by Embrapa at the opening of the symposium “Trichoderma: the most important biological control agent for plant diseases”. According to Paula Packer, head of Embrapa’s Environment unit, “Brazilian agriculture must be sustainable and we demonstrate this in several ways, such as through science-based biological control”. (Embrapa)

State of Rio Grande do Sul will review tax benefits for pesticides. The agricultural sector in Rio Grande do Sul should pay more taxes from April onwards. The Agricultural Federation of the State of Rio Grande do Sul has estimated an increase in production costs of US$ 3.35/ha for soybean and US$ 3.25/ha for wheat. (Government of Rio Grande do Sul; Farsul)

“Historically the leader in sales of pesticides in soybean, fungicides reached US$ 3.79 billion in sales and fell to #2 in value during the 2022/23 season. These products accounted for 36% of total transactions, worth US$ 11.44 billion”, according to Kynetec Brasil. Herbicides reached US$ 4.01 billion. These products “moved forward because of price increases and supply restrictions. Fungicides tend to regain leadership in the 2023/24 season”, according to Lucas Alves, specialist at Kynetec. (Kynetec Brasil)

Syngenta began its “barter” campaign for the 2024/25 season, with available credit of US$ 1 billion. The company is betting on the “cashback” system to sell more pesticides, giving customers the possibility of participating in gains from rising commodity prices. Through the “Barter+” program, farmers will be able to “lock” the price of soybeans, coffee, cotton and corn in the exchange negotiation for pesticides, participating in a possible increase in the value of the commodity until the contract is closed. (Syngenta)

Glyphosate prices showed a substantial drop. “In March of 2023, the prices of the most used herbicide in the world exceeded US$ 5/kg (95%) in China, the largest manufacturer in the world. In the Brazilian market, a kg of product reached US$ 9.03 to US$ 10.03. Now, 12 months later, prices in China are in the range of US$ 3.60/kg, and in Brazil, we see prices close to US$ 4.61 to US$5.02/kg”, according to Jeferson Souza, market analyst at Agrinvest Commodities. “About the future of glyphosate, opinions are very divided. Some still believe that prices could reach US$ 3.50/kg in China. In my opinion, it seems that we are close to the lowest possible value”. (Agrinvest Commodities)

Corn farmers in the State of Mato Grosso are facing a high incidence of corn leafhopper (Dalbulus maidis) and green-bellied stink bug (Dichelops furcatus). According to Roberto Rodrigues, regional marketing manager at Ihara, it is still too early to say the extent of the damage to crops, but the damage is already visible regarding production costs. “It is essential that farmers are prepared and adopt efficient and sustainable management strategies to guarantee grain quality. Furthermore, they must be attentive to market perspectives to maximize yields and profitability in the farms”, said Rodrigues. According to Juliano Ricardo Farias, entomology researcher at Seminare, the green-bellied stink bug can cause losses of up to 100% if not properly controlled. “This insect requires the most investment in control, as the damages it causes are ‘silent’ and less visible when compared to other pests. Today, this pest is resistant to most insecticides…”, said Farias. (Ihara; Seminare)

Federal Supreme Court has resumed on March 22nd, the judgment that discusses the validity of rules that establish tax reductions for pesticides. The judgement should end on April 03rd. (STF; Conjur)

Fungicide carbendazim was detected in the Santo Antônio River, a tributary of the Pantanal biome’s basin, in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul. Samples were collected in 2023. “The half-life of carbendazim and its metabolites in the environment is relatively high, of around two months under aerobic conditions and 25 months under anaerobic conditions. In this context, the degradation of the active ingredient is considered slow, as it is a chemically stable compound”, according to a report by the SOS Pantanal NGO. Metolachlor was also detected in the water: “This active ingredient is a pre-emergent herbicide with selective action, especially used to control grasses”. (SOS Pantanal)

10th edition of Abisolo – Forum and Exhibition promoted by the Brazilian Association of Plant Nutrition Technology Industries (Abisolo) will take place on June 5th and 6th, in the city of Campinas, State of São Paulo. Confirmed speakers are: Rafael Otto, from the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture; Átila F. Mógor, from the Federal University of Paraná State; Fabrício Rodrigues, from the Federal University of Viçosa; Sérgio Vale, from the law firm MB Associados; and Roberto Levrero, president of Abisolo; etc. (Abisolo)

Economic evaluation study performed by Embrapa Rice and Beans unit on the use of biological products for coinoculation, which were used to replace nitrogen fertilizers in bean farming in the States of Goiás and Minas Gerais, showed a return on investment (ROI) rates between 190% and 214% for commercial crops; and 113% for family farming. “The best performance was obtained when treating seeds with rhizobia and three doses of Azospirillum sprayed on the plants. This resulted in return rates of 190% in Goiás and 214% in Minas Gerais, for commercial crops; and of 113% in Goiás for family farming, which makes coinoculation economically profitable”, stated Enderson Ferreira, researcher at Embrapa. (Embrapa)

Until the 1H of 2023, Brazil led the global ranking in the adoption of biopesticides, biostimulants and biofertilizers. In the case of biological control, more than 55% of crops already used some type of biopesticide. In the EU, the application of biological products reached 23% of farms, and in China, which is third on the list, it reached 8%. (Ministry of Agriculture)

Agricultural adjuvants – as well as their raw materials, acquired by their manufacturers – are not entitled to the tax benefits covered in article No. 1 of Law No. 10925, of 2004, because they do not fit the definition of agricultural pesticides… and because they are not raw material for pesticides”, according to a note from the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service in response to public consultation carried out by an anonymous company of the pesticide sector. (Brazilian Federal Revenue Service)

Vinícius Andrade is the new director of seed production, acquisition and sustainability research at Syngenta in Brazil. (Syngenta)

Sugarcane processing company BP Bunge Bioenergia managed to replace the use of mineral nitrogen fertilizers in 100% of its sugarcane planting area (approximately 50,000 ha), through the application of the bacteria Nitrospirillum amazonense. The company uses Azospirillum brasilense bacteria in 100% of its ratoon sugarcane area, which has already generated a 50% reduction in the need for mineral nitrogen. Vinasse applications are used in 80% of the company’s 300,000 hectares. “The results, with the replacement of mineral fertilizers, demonstrate an increase in sugarcane yields of around 3 to 10 tonnes/ha, in addition to increasing sugarcane plants’ longevity for two years and reducing the amount of potassium chloride bought in the fertilizer market by 80%”, said Rogério Bremm, the company’s agricultural director. (BP Bunge Bioenergia) 

Fábio Lima will be Syngenta’s new commercial director in Brazil, after Luciano Torres Daher leaves the position on April 8th. (Syngenta)

“Corn leafhopper (Dalbulus maidis) is an important vector pest of diseases in corn farms. Biological control is a viable alternative, especially in populations resistant to chemical products. Regarding the control with microorganisms, some species of the genus Metarhizium show promise”, according to Jonathan Guerrero, a researcher at Embrapii. (Embrapii)

Agricultural inputs market should pick up in 2024. The forecast is for growth, but margins are still under pressure. So far, there has been an increase in the overall planting area, a reduction in stocks and an increase in organic revenue in the period, while financial costs, production chain liquidity and delays in farmers’ purchases are the main problems. (Crosara Consultoria)

Agricultural pesticides company BRA Agroquímica is diversifying its portfolio by entering the seeds market. Focus is on tropical grasses, such as Brachiaria spp. and Panicum spp. The company seeks to help farmers going through pasture reform. (BRA Agroquímica)

After the historic high records of 2022, fertilizer prices are going through a period of stability. Rabobank predicts that sugarcane, coffee and citrus crops will consume more fertilizers due to the prospect of better margins. 2024 will demand caution from farmers, but the prospects for these crops are positive. (Adufértil Fertilizantes; Rabobank)

Koppert presented a project to expand its facilities in Piracicaba, State of São Paulo, which involves the construction of a new industrial park for the production of biological pesticides, with an investment of approximately US$ 140.46 million. (Piracicaba City Hall)

Latin America

Renato Guimarães is the new global vice president at FMC and president of FMC Latin America. (FMC Corporation)

Fertilizer consumption in Argentina reached 4.58 million tonnes in 2023, which represented a decrease of 4% when compared to 2022. Climate problems, mainly drought, are some of the factors that explain the decrease in consumption, in addition to international prices and governmental fiscal policies. Approximately 65% of the total fertilizers used in Argentina are imported. (Fertilizar Asociación Civil)

There is a shortage of phosphate fertilizers in Argentina. “We started to see a lack of phosphorus for some companies and in some regions, mainly in the south (in the Pampas region). This shows that suppliers are not buying because they are waiting to see the demand trends. This is due to the uncertainty in the development of the local market, the acceptance of these input/product relationships by the farmers and the international downward trend”. (IF Ingeniería en Fertilizantes)

Mariana Castanho is the new commercial director for Brazil and Paraguay at Corteva. (Corteva Agriscience)

Approximately 42% of fertilizers imported into Colombia come from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. 29% of urea is imported from Russia, 20% from Venezuela, 14% from Trinidad and Tobago and 13% from Ukraine. Colombian agriculture imports 75% of its demand for fertilizers, in a market of 1.5 million tonnes per year, with NPK sales accounting for 95% of this. According to Manuel Iván Gómez, researcher from the National University of Colombia, any country is capable of manufacturing urea, since its source is the atmosphere, but this is not done due to energy issues and lack of technology for the industrialization process. María Helena Latorre, director of the National Association of Businessmen from Colombia, said that “although Colombia does not manufacture potassium, phosphorus or urea, the country has 13 production units, mainly in Cartagena and Barranquilla… In these centers, products are formulated to supply Colombian agriculture and also to export to 50 countries”. (Grupo Bancolombia)

“Among all the major global agricultural players, only Mexico is on the verge of approving a ban on glyphosate”, said José Escalante de la Hidalga, president of the Mexican Union of Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators – UMFFAAC. “We consider this to be a mistake, as it will make national farmers less competitive: up to 40% of the production of grains and other crops could be lost if this herbicide is not available.” According to a statement from UMFFAAC, “the Mexican population will not have ‘better health’ with the ban on glyphosate. In fact, their health could be harmed because the farming costs of production will become more expensive and they [the Mexican population] will not be able to afford the increase in food prices”. (UMFFAAC)


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