The Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA) participated, on Tuesday night (7), a debate on agricultural exports in the pandemic of Covid-19, in a live broadcast promoted by agribusiness management company Campo Vivo, based in Linhares (ES), in partnership with Sebrae and Hydra Irrigação.
CNA's Superintendent of International Relations, Lígia Dutra, was one of the exhibitors and outlined an overview of the external sales of Brazilian agro in 2020. The meeting also had the participation of representatives of important sectors of agribusiness capixaba. The mediator was the director of Campo Vivo, Franco Fiorot.
Lígia highlighted the growth of exports in the sector even with the pandemic. China, the first country where the coronavirus crisis broke out, expanded purchases of Brazilian products, and was the destination of 40% of Brazil's export tariff. The superintendent revealed that agro in 2020 already accounts for 51% of total exports this year.
She reported that in the first six months of this year, agro exports totaled $51.8 billion, more than half of all 2019 revenue stemming from foreign sales. "This shows that we have had accelerated sales and that we continue to export. But we cannot say that all sectors have benefited. Segments such as fruit growing were greatly affected due to flight restrictions," he said.
According to the representative of CNA, the reduction of air shipments, the main modes of transport for shipments of European fruits, occurred mainly in the European Union, which accounts for 80% of the exports of Brazilian fruit growing. On the other hand, there was a high number of exports of products such as soybeans, beef, sugar and cotton.
Despite the expansion of agro exports, Lígia pondered that the country needs to increase its participation in international trade, which today is 1%. "It's a very small number close to our potential." In this context, she reported that CNA has taken actions to increase its participation in the foreign market and diversify the commercial agenda.
These actions include the opening of a representation in Shanghai, China, and in the future a second office is expected to open in Southeast Asia. In Lígia's assessment, this is a potential market for Brazilian agro products, given population growth and income growth.
"We have increased our production year by year and our internal population will not grow in the same proportion. That's why we need to have a market to take our products. We need to be more present in the international market because our competitors are," he warned.
Impacts and actions – One of the sectors most affected by the pandemic in agribusiness capixaba was papaya. Espírito Santo is one of the main exporters of fruit and the EU is one of the main markets for culture. Rodrigo Martins, director of UGBP, a papaya papaya producer and exporter, reported that with the coronavirus crisis, shipments of the product fell 63% in April, 47% in May and are expected to fall 40% to 50% in June due to flight restrictions.
Maria Stella Coutinho, representative of Frigorífico Rio Doce, reported the situation of the beef sector with the pandemic. According to her, despite the good performance of Brazilian beef exports, only 25% of total production has the foreign market as their destination, with the domestic market being the main consumer.
Thiago Orletti, director of Expresso Robusta Café, reported that exports of conilon coffee, a traditional variety in the state, performed well attributed to the high dollar. Octaciano Neto, former Secretary of Agriculture of ES and presenter of Podcast 4.0 in campo, advocated greater participation of producers and entities in international fairs and highlighted the role of logistics in exports.
Professor Paulo Cabrita, an expert in business economics and sectoral policies at IBMEC, spoke about the importance of Brazil in the future to provide food to the world with population expansion.