Mar. 25, 2021
By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
A total of 668,386 tons of agrochemicals were imported into Brazil last year, according to a survey by the Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (Abiquim).
The result represents a drop of 5.8% in comparison with Brazilian purchases of crop protection products abroad in 2019, when 709,613 tons were imported.
In dollars, Brazilian pesticide imports totaled US$5.257 billion in 2020, according to Abiquim's monitoring report. The value meant a drop of 2.2% in relation to Brazilian external purchases of agrochemical products, which totalled $5.374 billion in 2019.
The export of agrochemicals produced in Brazil, on the other hand, was immensely lower, totaling 47,067 tons last year, equivalent to $327,513. The figures represented a decrease of 5% over the 49,542 tons sold by Brazilians to foreign markets, which were equivalent to $367,383. In dollars, the fall was 10.9%, as a result of a large devaluation of the Brazilian currency, the Real, against the dollar.
In the overall total of chemical products for all purposes, Brazil imported $41.4 billion in 2020, the total amount paid for the acquisition of more than 51.5 million tons. This represented a record in volume imported by Brazilians throughout Abiquim's historical follow-up series, which began to be registered in 1989.
In comparison with the results for 2019, there was a 6.3% reduction in the monetary value of imports, but a significant 8.2% increase in the physical quantities acquired. According to Abiquim, this was due to the serious global and national economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to agrochemicals, Abiquim highlighted the intermediaries for fertilizers, which were noticeably the main import item. Virtually $7.2 billion were purchased in 2020, equivalent to 61.7% (31.8 million tons) of the 51.5 million tons in external purchases of chemical products.
The main supplier countries were Asian, particularly China and India, which together accounted for 35%, more than a third of total Brazilian purchases last year.
For Abiquim’s Executive President, Ciro Marino, 2020 will be remembered for the time when everyone, especially the chemical industry, focused their efforts on facing the sanitary, economic and social challenges imposed by the pandemic, ensuring full supply for the various value chains and avoiding chaos in people's daily lives.
“The entire industry, particularly the transformation industry, had, has and will continue to play a decisive role in facing the pandemic and in transforming the economic recovery movement into a sustainable cycle of recovery and growth. The Brazilian industry, especially chemical, is a strategic asset for Brazil and must be supported by consistent, perennial and State public policies, especially in economic and commercial matters, elaborated from a vision that guarantees legal security capable of ensuring a business environment that allows you to demonstrate all your already proven competitiveness from the door to the inside. It is essential to resolve the limitations that Custo Brasil presents for the full exercise of its productive potential,” Marino highlighted.
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