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Agribusiness is a vital sector in the Brazilian economy, directly accounting for 25% of GDP and 35% of employment. Brazil is a world-leading producer of sugar cane, corn, soybeans, coffee, oranges, eucalyptus and cotton. In addition to being a food source, supporting a number of industries, agricultural products are grown for fuel, pulp and paper, and textiles. Agribusiness accounted for $63 billion of Brazilian exports in 2009; approximately 39% of all of the country’s exports.
Consumable agricultural inputs accounted for 8% of all imports into Brazil. Of that number, potash is the largest component. In 2008, potash was the 6th most significant imported product by dollar value representing 2.2% of imports. Even amid a curtailment of demand in 2009, potash was still Brazil’s 10th most significant imported product.
Brazil’s unique climate allows for multiple crops throughout the year. Brazil’s main crops include soybeans, corn, sugarcane, and beans.
Brazil's Typical Cropcycle
Demand for Fertilizers in Brazil
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As demand for fertilizers grows around the world, Brazil lacks security of potash supply to support its agriculture industry. Due to the nature of Brazilian soils and the primary crops in Brazil, the country has a disproportionate demand for potash. Many Brazilian crops require no nitrogen, like soybeans.
Brazil is a world-leading producer of soybeans, corn, oranges, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton and eucalyptus owing to its vast arable land, abundant sources of fresh water and tropical climate that permits all year planting. Despite the countries obvious agricultural prowess, only 14% of the potential arable land is planted. Of the 550 million hectares of plantable area outside of the Amazon forest, most of this land is unused scrubland and underused pastureland, largely in the Cerrado region where the project is located. According to FAO, Brazil is home to 60% of the world’s undeveloped arable land. Land that will be needed to feed a growing world population with rapidly increasing dietary requirements. Fertilizer availability is a key obstacle hindering this development.
At the right price ThermoPotash will be attractive to all Brazilian farmers however for specific crops the advantages should classify ThermoPotash as a premium product. Long cycle crops like sugar cane, eucalyptus, coffee and oranges, the slow release characteristics of ThermoPotash should increase the availability of potash throughout the growing cycle and remove necessity for multiple applications. For many crops taste is adversely impacted by the chloride content in KCl, farmers have to supplement KCl usage with much higher cost sulphate of potash. ThermoPotash would compete directly with sulphate of potash as a non-chloride option for crops such as, beans, coffee, oranges, banana, tobacco, potato and tomato.