Coronavirus is already affecting all Brazilian society sectors. Despite that, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, farmer´s entities and cooperatives declared, last week, that production “cannot stop”. For now, coronavirus pandemic has not change routine of the sector worldwide.
“Brazil is a big barn, designed for food production, and we don’t need to have any negative expectations that we will not have food for our people or the world,” said Teresa Cristina, minister of Agriculture. Unlike beef slaughterhouses, poultry and pork plants have guaranteed they will stay in production. However, the fall in demand from the food service industry does cause worry. Companies have already experienced a 10% to 15% drop in orders. On the other hand, orders from the wholesale and retail chains increased. Nonetheless, unexpected situations can become obstacles. For example, the lack of available containers hampered sales of animal proteins last week.
The Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA) have drawn up a scenario about the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Brazilian agricultural production, based on periodic surveys on internal and external markets. Regarding the main markets for Brazilian products, there is no relevant changes for now in China, US, EU or Saudi Arabia.
The CNA’s Shanghai Office did not identify an interruption on imports of agricultural goods due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite that, sea routes are already closing, resulting in delays in international transport. The European Union, in turn, is still without significant impacts on trade with Brazil because restrictive measures focus on reducing people movement, not goods and products circulation.
As in the EU, there is no impact on trade between Brazil and US. The US government has taken more focused measures on people’s health and has ensured that food production does not stop. Saudi Arabia, although, has an increased demand for Brazilian producers in order to supply domestic market. Brazilian exporters and importers report a delay at the Gidá Port, which, apparently, is stricter at its control.