The balance sheet for Brazil’s agribusiness closed out August with a surplus of US$ 7.48 billion. Sales to other countries totaled US$ 8.89 billion, whereas purchases cost US$ 1.41 billion. Figures were released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.
According to the data, however, the revenue from exports was reported to drop by 12.5% against August last year. As for the soybean complex (grain, chaff and oil), for instance, the revenue fell from US$ 3.6 billion to US$ 3.1 billion, a decline of 14.1%.
There has been a reduction in the sale of grain sales, but chaff and oil mounted. In spite a lower figure for the volume exported, the soybean complex ranks first on the revenue list. In August, the income accounted for 40.4% of exports.
The sugar-alcohol complex was also observed to decline, going from US$ 1.6 billion to US$ 994 million, a decrease of 40.9%.
Another sector with a remarkable performance is meat, for which a growth has also been reported. Its income climbed up from US$ 1.42 billion in 2013 to US$ 1.52 billion this year, a 6.6% rise.
Brazil’s agribusiness trade balance had closed out July at a surplus of US$ 8.1 billion, resulting from earnings of US$ 9.61 billion in exports and costs of US$ 1.51 billion in imports.
Soy (beans, meal, and oil) topped the list of exports that month, accounting for 41% of sales amount – it sold US$ 3.94 billion in July, 0.3% less than in the same month of 2013. Shipments amounted to 7.44 million tons, up 0.8% compared to July 2013.
The second leading export was meat, with sales of US$ 1.66 billion, 14% up from July 2013. Poultry led the group with sales of US$ 772 million, followed by beef exports which amounted to US$ 690 million. Pork exports totaled US$ 139 million.
The sugar-ethanol group was the third largest exporting sector in July with US$ 1.05 billion in sales and shipments of 2.56 million tons. Other major exports included forest products and coffee. Pulp and paper lead forest products with earnings of US$ 652 million. In the coffee sector, exports totaled US$5 83 million, 65.2% up from July 2013.
President Dilma Rousseff has said earlier this year that Brazil expects an unprecedentedly large grain crop in 2013/2014 in excess of 193 million tons. “This record is set to make Brazil the leading global soybean producer, which only attests Brazil’s robust agriculture, a key driver of the country’s growth.”
During the weekly Café com a Presidenta (Breakfast with the President) radio broadcast, Rousseff explained that the record-breaking performance has resulted from the farmers’ joint efforts, combined with innovations in agriculture and government support.
“We have made R$ 136 billion [US$ 56.85 billion] available to medium and large farmers for the 2013/2014 harvest season. And an additional R$ 21 billion [US$ 8.78 billion] is going to family farming,” she told the presenter.
The president reported more than US$ 38 billion in loans have been taken by farmers, a 50% increase over the same period in 2012.
Another contributing factor was the Agricultural Machinery Modernization Program, which has provided US$ 3.63 billion in credit for machinery and equipment purchases by the mid-harvest season. In 2013, 83,000 agricultural machines were bought, a growth of over 18% compared to 2012, the president reported.
About the National Midrange Farmer Support Program, Rousseff announced that the government has “made over R$ 13 billion [US$ 5.43 billion] available in low-interest funding (rates reduced from 5% to 4.5% a year), and increased funding limits.”
Nearly US$ 3.90 billion in credit has been used by medium farmers in the current harvest season. “One third of this credit was used to purchase machinery and improve facilities,” she explained.
The president went on to cite the Low Carbon Agriculture Program (ABC) designed to promote sustainable farming practices, which has made US$ 1.888 billion available in the current season.
“With the ABC program, credit is facilitated to farmers with interest at 5% per annum and amortization periods between five and eight years,” she said. The program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect natural resources, and increase productivity.
The government has also offered a credit line of US$ 10.45 billion to fund the construction of private crop warehouses within the next five years and US$ 209 million for the construction and modernization of public warehouses.
In order to ensure crop distribution, the president announced investments in roads, railways, waterways, and ports. The current priority, she reported, is a new 880 kilometer-long Central-West Rail Link (FICO) that will connect to the North-South Railway. “The FICO railway is going to be a logistics milestone in our country,” she promised.