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Brazilian farmers buy less fertilizer

Fertilizer sales in Brazil dropped for the second month in a row in September due to falling commodities prices and a credit crunch resulting from the global financial crisis, the industry said Oct. 18.

Sales totaled 2.16 million tonnes in September, down 26.75 per cent from the same month last year. In the previous month, sales had fallen 29.1 per cent year on year, data from the National Fertilizer Distributors Association (Anda) showed.

“The most important reason by far is the credit crisis in markets,” Anda executive director Eduardo Daher, said.

Volatility on the world financial markets has dried up credit lines that producers, exporters and trading houses use to finance planting, harvesting and sales of the crop.

Brazilian farmers are now planting the 2008-09 grain crop, which is expected to be a record one.

Brazil’s fertilizer industry had benefited from a sharp rise in demand over the past year.

The country is Latin America’s farming powerhouse and the No. 1 exporter of sugar, coffee, orange juice, beef and poultry and the No. 2 soy exporter.

Anda expected fertilizer sales this year to reach 26 million tonnes, up from last year’s record of 24.6 million tonnes. Now, it expects sales to be close to that level.

“What is really worrying us is the outlook for 2009. There hasn’t been any forward purchase (for 2009), and we normally would have some, for the winter crops,” Daher said.

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