Fertilizer producers report slow sales in Brazil
SAO PAULO Aug 25 (Reuters) - Fertilizer producers in Brazil reported slow sales on Tuesday, just weeks before planting of the 2015/16 grain crops starts as Brazilian farmers have less access to credit.
Fertilizer deliveries in the first seven months of 2015 were nearly 8 percent below the same period of 2014, though most analysts still expect a record 2015/16 soybean crop in the world's No. 2 producer as new fields are sown.
Brazilian fertilizer producer Fertilizantes Heringer expects total sales in Brazil to be 3 percent to 4 percent less in 2015 than in 2014.
Less fertilizer use could result in lower crop yields.
"What is worrying us a bit is the speed at which credit is being dispersed," Dalton Carlos Heringer, president of Fertilizantes Heringer, told Reuters.
He said there should be some additional sales in August and September, even though in normal years farmers have already purchased all their inputs by then.
A Brazilian currency at its weakest levels in 12 years has also slowed sales, as 75 percent of raw materials used in fertilizers are imported and priced in dollars.
"The farmer needs more reais than he needed last year at a time Brazil has less funds available and at higher interest rates," said Lair Hanzen, head of Brazil's division of Yara .
On the bright said, Hanzen said an economic slowdown meant plenty of trucks would be available to make last-minute fertilizer deliveries because there is less transportation demand from other sectors. (Reporting by Gustavo Bonato; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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