Apr. 26, 2022
Despite concerns that sanctions against Russia cause a shortage of fertilizers in Brazil, preliminary shipping data shows that orders are being fulfilled and ships are heading to the country, which could allow for a normal grain planting season.
At least 24 ships carrying nearly 678,000 tons of Russian fertilizer from the country’s ports are expected to arrive in Brazil in the coming weeks, according to preliminary shipping data compiled by Agrinvest Commodities and seen by Reuters.
Despite sanctions against Russia, the data shows that 11 of the 24 ships departed from ports, including St. Petersburg and Murmansk, after February 24, when the war began. Most contain potassium chloride that is used in soybean and corn fields.
Brazil depends on imports of fertilizers.
The Pebble Beach, carrying a 35,000-tonne potassium chloride cargo, was the last to leave Russia on April 4 en route to the port of Vitoria in southeastern Brazil, the data showed.
A fertilizer trader said deals were still possible as foreign units of Russian companies continue to fulfill orders, while banks that have not been hit by Western sanctions process payments.
Brazil’s total imports of fertilizers and raw materials used to make plant nutrients rose 24.57% to 9.795 million tons in the first quarter, according to data from industry group Siacesp. Potassium chloride imports increased by 41.75% to 3.080 million tons.
These volumes show that Brazil kept buying even as prices soared and the war threatened to disrupt sales by companies in Russia and Belarus. Delays or lack of fertilizers would jeopardize Brazil’s summer grain season due to start in the last quarter of 2022.
The top three suppliers of potassium chloride to Brazil in the first quarter were Canada’s Canpotex, whose shareholders are Mosaic and Nutrien, Belarus’s Potash Company and Russia’s UralKali, according to Siacesp.
Mosaic, Norway’s Yara and Brazil’s Fertipar were the top three importers of the chemical, with a combined 1.3 million tonnes between January and March, according to the data.
Tocantins Fertilizers, owned by the Russian private company Eurochem, also imported some 231,753 tons of potassium chloride in the period, which represents 7.52% of the total.