Pesticide prices have continued to fall in Brazil this year, according to a study in the country’s major agrochemical user state. Prices were down in the 12 months to April 2008 for all classes of pesticide: herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, acaricides and plant growth regulators, the executive director of the Brazilian agrochemical industry association, the Andef, José Otavio Menten, writes in the national daily, Valor Economico. He cites analysis by the agricultural market research group, the IEA, on behalf of the not-for-profit Sao Paulo agriculture industry association, the Fundepag.
The study found that prices were down in nominal terms for 80.5% of the 123 surveyed products in 34 Sao Paulo municipalities. Only seven products rose in price in real terms, against 116 that fell. The real price reductions were between 1.1% and 36.3%. Sao Paulo accounts for a fifth of pesticide use in Brazil.
The Andef director notes the favourable situation for farmers when considering the purchase of pesticides in Brazil. The swap relationship between agrochemicals and agricultural commodities has risen yet further due to the rising prices of crops, such as wheat, maize and rice. The IEA calculates that in April last year, 7.8, 60 kg bags would have bought a “basket” of pesticides for use on soybeans. By April this year, that had fallen to 4.8 bags, a 38.3% fall and around three bags fewer per ha. The reduction for beans was 61.9% or 3.8 fewer bags.
The falling prices are part of a trend going back some years, the Andef chief says. Farmers had to pay the equivalent of seven bags of maize or R$403 ($251) at 2008 prices, in October 2001, but just 1.6 bags, or R$330 ($205), in January this year.
However, the price of pesticides is rising across the world as demand increases, with prices up by 70% “in the past few months” in China, the director notes. “As China is a major pesticide exporter, the Brazilian market will find it difficult to maintain prices at their current levels,” he adds.