Brazil looks to reduce fertilizer imports by 2018 with new plants

28 August 2013 21:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Looking to reduce their country's dependency on imports, fertilizer producers in Brazil expect their market share to increase with the addition of substantial investments into new plants, the country's National Association for the Promotion of Fertilizers (ANDA) said on Wednesday.

Data released by the Brazilian fertilizer association highlights a surge in domestic production, as it is calculated that in 2013-2018 approximately $13bn (€9.8bn) in new production facilities will come online to serve the booming agricultural industry.

ANDA said it is expected that total Brazilian production of nitrogen, phosphate and potash could grow from 3.348m tons to 6.973m tons, which would reduce the amount of imports by nearly 20%.

Nitrogen production could increase from 825,000 tons in 2013 to as high as 3.991m tons in 2018, ANDA said.

Phosphate production could jump from 2.245m tons to 4.106m tons, reducing imports by roughly 35%, the organisation said.

Potash production is viewed as potentially being raised from 274,000 to 709,000 tons, reducing imports by around 7%.

While Brazil relies on roughly 70% of its fertilizers to be imported, similar agricultural economies in other parts of the world are far less dependent on foreign supplies. By comparison, the US has roughly a 36% rate of imports, India about 43% and China about 7%.

This imbalance is a situation that worries domestic fertilizer producers and the region’s agricultural industry, both of whom have lamented that Brazil’s tax system favours import interests over opportunities for localised production. Brazil ranks as the world's fourth largest user of fertilizers but has quickly ascended into the top ranking of those nations who export agricultural goods.

“We need strong investments in the long term to reduce this dependence on foreign product,” said Roberto Busato Berger, MBAC Fertilizer president.

By: Mark Milam
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