SAO PAULO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Fertilizer sales in Brazil will likely be between 30 million and 31 million tonnes in 2015, down from 32.2 million tonnes in 2014 due to market uncertainty, the head of U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co in Brazil, Floris Bielders, said on Wednesday.
Bielders said farmers were not booking sales as far in advance as usual, which could result in a crunch at Brazilian ports when the imported products finally arrive, potentially resulting in delayed delivery.
Farmers will start planting the 2015/16 grain crops in mid-September in Brazil, the world’s No. 2 soybean producer, and analysts expect soy area to expand less than in recent years with lower margins expected.
Late or decreased application of fertilizer could result in lower yields from the upcoming crops.
“Farmers are waiting because there is a lot of volatility in prices of the grains and of the fertilizers,” Bielders told Reuters at an event in Sao Paulo, adding that a weaker Brazilian currency had made the cost of imported fertilizers more expensive.
Farmers benefit from the real, which has been trading at its weakest levels in 12 years, when they sell soybeans and other crops that are priced in dollars.
Mosaic is the world’s largest producer of finished phosphate products. (Reporting by Gustavo Bonato; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)