RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil, April 28 (Reuters) - Tight credit in Brazil has slowed the sale of fertilizers in Latin America’s biggest agricultural producer, executives of Yara, the biggest supplier of the crop nutrients in Brazil, said on Tuesday.
In the first quarter of 2015, fertilizer sales fell 5 percent from a year ago, according to the fertilizer distributors association Anda.
Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara, which accounts for a quarter of Brazil’s fertilizer market, said its own sales were even slower than first-quarter Anda statistics indicate.
“Intead of having three or four months of sales already closed, we have only two or one month ahead,” said Yara sales director in Brazil, Cleiton Vargas.
At the start of a fiscal austerity push, Brazil’s government is reining in subsidized credit widely, including for agriculture, which is heavily dependent on cheap state-led financing.
Fortunately for Yara and other fertilizer companies, local grain producers are flush with cash after several years of big crops at good prices. Soy and corn prices have since eased with bumper output from both Brazil and the United States.
Yara’s president in Brazil, Lair Hanzen, said it was still possible later in 2015 that the company’s sales here catch up with last year, later in 2015. (Writing by Reese Ewing; editing by Gunna Dickson)