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13 May 2022, 14:46

Belarus eager to resume potassium deliveries to Brazil, drives down prices

MINSK, 13 May (BelTA) – Belarus is in negotiations on resuming potassium deliveries to Brazil and is driving down prices, BelTA learned from an interview of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Brazil Sergei Lukashevich with the Brazilian weekly Correio Braziliense.

Sergei Lukashevich said: “Our products are offered on the most beneficial terms: the average price for potash fertilizers from Belarus in 2022 was 60% lower than prices for fertilizers from Russia and Canada. It is a fact that it is impossible to replace Belarusian potash on the Brazilian market because it accounts for nearly 20% of the Brazilian market. However, its transit to Brazil via the traditional sea port of Klaipeda, Lithuania was stopped on 1 February 2022 by the Lithuanian government acting on fictional political reasons. It is important to understand that measures against the transit of potash fertilizers from Belarus via Lithuania are not related to armed hostilities in Ukraine. These sanctions were prompted by the USA's and the European Union's refusal to recognize the presidential election in Belarus in August 2020 and by consequent hostile actions of the USA and the European Union, which are designed to harm the countries, which depend on Belarusian potash fertilizers such as Brazil, China, and India.”

Brazilian foreign trade statistics (Comex Stat) indicates that in January-March 2022 Brazil received about 612,000 tonnes of potassium chloride from Belarus, about 659,000 tonnes from Russia, and 719,000 tonnes from Canada. These three countries remain leading suppliers of potash fertilizers to Brazil just the way they were in 2021.

According to Sergei Lukashevich, possible options are being discussed with Brazilian authorities. In April 2022 a Belarusian delegation held a number of negotiations with the Brazilian government, with the parliamentary agricultural bloc, and with the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil. It was noted that Brazil is interested in getting potash fertilizers for its agriculture at a reasonable price. The current prices on the fertilizer market, which are affected by difficulties with deliveries, drive up agricultural costs in Brazil due to poorer access to potash fertilizers.

The ambassador stressed: “The resumption of potassium deliveries from Belarus to Brazil will definitely result in a significant reduction of prices for this kind of fertilizers on the Brazilian market and of the prime costs of agricultural products. Belarus is driving down prices for potash fertilizers. Some countries promise assistance with buying fertilizers. But there is a difference between buying a tonne for 1,000 reals and a tonne for 5,000 reals.”

Sergei Lukashevich stressed that the situation requires a complex decision: “Despite assurances from Canadian potassium manufacturers, it seems logical for Brazilian agriculture to keep competitiveness on the market and reopen channels of deliveries from Belarus.”

Sergei Lukashevich also reminded that the Belarusian government had decided to liberalize the export of potash fertilizers as from 6 April. In this context direct communication between end consumers in Brazil and a fertilizer manufacturer in Belarus may become an effective solution. A group of major agricultural companies in Brazil could consider buying potassium in Belarus directly, the diplomat believes. “Historically potash fertilizers have been supplied from Belarus to Brazil via mediators. When the political situation around deliveries of potash fertilizers from Belarus became complicated, the mediators could not resolve it since they were not interested in reasonably priced potassium on the Brazilian market and due to political pressure on the part of the USA and the European Union,” he explained.

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