Brazilian business leader Flavio Maluf, president of the successful Eucatex firm, sees a weakening on the horizon for Brazil’s agriculture sector. This comes, despite the Brazilian economy, Latin America’s largest, showing a 1.2% growth rate in the first quarter, year on year. Maluf has drilled down into those numbers and beneath the good overall showing, the agriculture economy has taken a hit. Numbers show growth is down in this all-important sector by 2.6% in the first quarter, over the prior year.
Flavio Maluf, an expert in Brazilian business and economic matters, is fearful that the second quarter will see similar results due to a 10-day truckers’ strike in May that all but brought the movement of farm products to a standstill. With 19% of Brazil’s sugarcane crop and 33% of the corn and maize crop due for harvest during the 2nd quarter, the lack of available transport has prevented circulation of these key resources into the greater economy. View Maluf’s profile on linkedin.
Coffee, an important component within the entire Brazilian export economy has also suffered considerably. Flavio Maluf was quick to point out that over 60% of the coffee crop was harvested in the second quarter but was stuck on farms, unable to reach ports for export.
The repercussions of these stoppages will have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the agriculture industry, creating something akin to the perfect storm.Maluf notes that without these harvested goods, the livestock populations that rely on them for food, corn in particular, will suffer and decline as well.
Despite his concerns, Flavio Maluf has turned his expert eyes and business acumen to brighter spots in Brazil’s agriculture sector. Soybeans experienced a bumper crop in the first quarter when 61% of the crop is harvested, bringing in a record crop for Brazil’s beleaguered farmers. Maluf cautions anyone to be too worried by these numbers, noting that 2017 was a record year for Brazilian agriculture and 2018 could never have been expected to meet those expectations.