State-owned Bank of Brazil (BB) has disbursed 6.7 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 3.7 billion) for the funding of the 2008/2009 crop from early July to September 15, Of these funds, 5.5 billion reais (US$ 3 billion) were turned to business agriculture, which represents expansion of 43.2% over the same period in the previous crop, and US$ 1.2 billion went to family agriculture, growth of 6.1%.
This information was disclosed by a BB spokesperson, in a press statement, and shows that the disbursements up to now have grown 34% when compared to loans made for the 2007/2008 crop. The largest volume, 4.1 billion reais (US$ 2.2 billion), was for cost operations, against 2.4 billion reais (US$ 1.3 billion) in the same period in 2007.
This increase was necessary, mainly, due to the high prices of fertilizers, up on average 120% over the last 12 months, according to figures supplied by the National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA).
The greatest demand for agricultural credit generally takes place between September to October, and the BB expectation is for another 11.4 billion reais (US$ 6.2 billion) to be made available by the end of the year, 15% more than in the period from July to December last year. In the month of October alone, the funds turned to the sector should exceed 2.7 billion reais (US$ 1.5 billion).
Apart from fund for covering costs and investment in agriculture, the BB also promises to keep its eye on the performance of the deposit balances in savings accounts to, if necessary, make available greater volumes of funds for agricultural credit.