SAO PAULO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Fertilizer deliveries to
Brazilian farmers could fall between 5% and 7% this year, an
executive at Brazilian trade group Anda said on Wednesday,
citing figures from analysts and industry estimates.
Anda, which represents global suppliers including Nutrien
and Mosaic, said farmers have delayed purchases
or decided not to buy fertilizer this season amid a rise in
prices sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
After the conflict began, Brazil hurried to secure supplies,
as it depends on imports for 85% of its domestic use, pressuring
ports and other logistics capabilities.
"We brought in more fertilizers than the farmer needed at
that time," Ricardo Tortorella, Anda's executive director, said
referring to the first half of 2022. "This clogged up ports, all
of them are full until today."
Tortorella said potential unforeseen weather problems,
uncertainty over Chinese demand for crops and the war in Ukraine
had also accounted for the weaker demand for
fertilizer. Logistics bottlenecks at ports had not affected
deliveries to farmers, he said.
"The grower's atypical stance is natural," he said. "The
farmer has to calculate risks and do a lot of math."
Volatile fertilizer prices have somewhat abated, which could
raise demand for fertilizers in the short term, Tortorella and
an analyst said.
While the fear of global fertilizer shortages drove up
imports in Brazil, it also changed the outlook for domestic
production, which is slated to grow for the first time in 15
years, according to Tortorella.
Anda's latest data for fertilizer deliveries in July,
released this week, had pointed to the possibility of a drop in
deliveries this year.
Deliveries in July fell by almost 30%, with deliveries
between January and July down nearly 9% to 21.7 million tonnes.
Still, a fall in deliveries will not compromise expectations
for a bumper grain crop, Tortorella said.
(Reporting by Ana Mano; editing by Richard Pullin