With the prices of soybeans and corn on the rise in the Brazilian market, the Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) should zero the import tariff for both products.
The idea is to have more grain supply internally to increase competition and push prices down. With the devalued real favoring prices on the foreign market, soy and corn producers destined production for export, which increased the price of products sold in Brazil.
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The request to reset the tariff came from animal protein producers, who use the inputs in feed. Representatives from the Ministries of Economy, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, in addition to the Presidency of the Republic, met virtually on Friday (16) to discuss the situation.
According to sources who attended the meeting, although there is consensus in the chamber on the need to reset the tariff, there is still debate over how long the exemption may be worth: until January, March or June. The vote on the topic was expected until 8 pm. The Ministry of Economy is expected to release a note on the decision after that time.
Last month, the chamber had already zeroed the import tariff on rice. The government established a quota of 400 thousand tons until the end of the year that can enter the country without the fee, which is valid for rice with husks and beneficiaries. At the time, the decision was aimed at containing the surge in the price of rice – the five-kilogram package, which sold for around R $ 15, came to cost R $ 40 on some websites.
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The exemption triggered purchases of rice abroad. According to data from the Ministry of Economy, there was an increase of 1,295% in the import of unpeeled rice, when 51.3 thousand tons were purchased, and 55.9% in the purchases of unpeeled rice, with an import of 73.9 thousand tons. Currently, the package of five kilos is found for about R $ 20 to R $ 25 in supermarkets.
Soy and corn are not lacking in the Brazilian market, but the high price worries the government and meat producers. In the case of soybeans, after record shipments abroad, the country goes through off-season and the new production only reaches the consumer at the end of February. Corn, on the other hand, despite the fact that the country is harvesting the second crop, a good part of the crop has already been sold and a new crop only arrives in January.
According to data from the Ministry of Economy, Brazil exported US $ 27.162 billion of soybeans from January to September, 27.8% more than in the same period last year. More than 70% of sales went to China. In the same period, imports totaled US $ 160 million, an increase of 314.7%, almost all from Paraguay.
Corn sales declined in relation to 2019, when Brazil had a record harvest, falling 32.1%, to US $ 3.308 billion. The main destinations in the period were Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan. Imports totaled US $ 109 million, down 7.3%, and come mainly from Paraguay and Argentina.
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