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Brazil unusually re-exports fertilizer amid storage shortage - port authority

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Brazil, which normally relies on fertilizer imports to boost crop yields, is re-exporting cargoes as there is nowhere to store them following a surge in inbound shipments earlier this year, according to the port authority of Antonina on Monday.

In an unexpected turn of events, an importer will re-route 24,700 tonnes of DAP fertilizer that had arrived from Jordan but will now be shipped to Turkey over the next few days, the authority said.

The move follows the re-export last month of a 17,000-tonne phosphate fertilizer cargo that had sat at an Antonina customs storage facility for two months coming from Egypt.

The Egyptian consignment was re-routed from Antonina, a port located in southern Brazil, to the United States on Sept. 22, a situation the authority described as unprecedented.

"Four to five months ago we were talking about a possible fertilizer shortage," said Jeferson Souza, an analyst with Agrinvest. "Now we have nowhere to put product."

The rare fertilizer re-exporting deals expose Brazil's logistics woes at a time of ample supplies and slow farmer buying.

No taxes will apply on re-exported cargos as these remained at the port's customs area, Antonina said.

The threat of fertilizer shortages escalated after the war in Ukraine, which sparked sanctions against major supplier Russia and caused prices to surge earlier this year. Prices have since abated some.

Brazil's import rush during the first months of 2022 rose port storage costs and demurrage, a penalty cargo vessel operators pay when facing unloading issues, Antonina said.

The nation, which relies on imports for 85% of its fertilizer needs, brought in some 30.77 million tonnes of in the nine months through September, a record.

Nationwide, Brazilian ports are "full" of fertilizer imports that have not been moved internally, trade group Anda told Reuters last week.

Anda also confirmed expectations that fertilizer deliveries to farmers could fall between 5% and 7% in 2022 as farmers either delayed or decided not to buy after prices jumped. (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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