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International conflict generates apprehension at the main ports of entry for fertilizers in BR

Russia’s military action on Ukrainian territory raises apprehensions around the world. In particular, port activity and foreign trade fear the consequences of the conflict that may affect the market and production in Brazil. As the main gateway for fertilizers in the country, the administration of the ports of Paraná closely follows the moment of tension in Eastern Europe.

Although it is still too early to know what the direct and indirect impacts of military activities in Ukraine will be, as the CEO of Portos do Paraná, Luiz Fernando Garcia, comments, the situation is worrying, especially in the import bulk segment, especially fertilizers. .

“To give you an idea, of the almost 11.5 million tons of fertilizer imported last year, about 2.35 million, more than 20%, come from Russia”, says the executive.

Ukraine, according to Garcia, is not traditionally a fertilizer producing region. “The concern is really with Russia, which, due to war, tends to suspend port activities and trade with countries, mainly western ones”, points out the director of the Paraná ports.

SEGMENT – As the executive manager of the Agricultural Fertilizer and Corrective Industry Union in the State of Paraná (Sindiadubos) explains, Décio Luiz Gomes, both Russia and the neighboring country, Belarus, are major producers of fertilizers, especially potassium chloride.

“The apprehension is about the logistical problems to dispose of these products. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine further complicates the already delicate situation with Belarus, another important market,” he comments.

According to Gomes, the fertilizer market and industry in Brazil – as well as around the world – had been feeling for some time, when Russia decided to suspend exports of the products.

Another situation in Eastern Europe, which was also worrying the segment, was the impediment imposed by Lithuania for the circulation of Belarusian products. The country is another option, in addition to Russia, for the flow of potassium chloride production to the world. “An alternative for the Brazilian market, when importing the product, would be Canada, which is also a major producer and exporter of chloride”, he adds.

Most of the fertilizer companies in both countries – Russia and Belarus –, as Gomes explains, are state-owned. “In other words, the decisions of these companies follow what the respective governments decide in relation to the international market”, points out the executive manager.

“The reduction in the world supply of fertilizers will certainly affect us”, he comments. The lack of product and the increase in price, according to him, will be the main effects of the conflict, which also has an impact on other activities, including agriculture and final consumption in the country.

SCALES – The ports of Paraná rarely receive ships with the flags of these countries (Russia, Ukraine or Belarus). According to the president of the Union of Maritime Navigation Agencies of the State of Paraná (Sindapar), Argyris Ikonomou, the concern is not so much with the manpower, in this case, the crews.

“The possibility of a negative impact that I can see, at the moment, would be the difficulty, high risk and the increase in the value of freight for ships that, from now on, will call at Russian ports to load fertilizers, for example” , comments.

However, according to Argyris, it is necessary to wait for the evolution of this conflict. “It is still too early to know what will happen in the next few days”, completes the representative of the maritime agencies in Paraná.

 

Source: Portos do Paraná

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03.02.2022

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