Minister Tereza Cristina (Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply) met on Wednesday (15) in Beijing with Chinese and Brazilian businessmen from the planted forests and pulp sector. At the meeting, representatives of China requested the standardization of phytosanitary certificates for trade in products.
Tereza Cristina suggested to the Chinese, who are the largest importers of pulp in the world, that talks on this issue take place during a BRIC meeting (a group formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) to be held in Brazil in November this year.
The minister highlighted the high use of technology in the sector, which has grown within the Brazilian economy and the quest to expand business with China. “It is a sector that has had a strong development in recent years, extremely organized. I am very proud to be from a state that solved part of its problems when it brought this forestry activity as one of the main ones, Mato Grosso do Sul, “he said.
Currently, Brazil has 10 million hectares of trees planted, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), which corresponds to 1% of the national territory but is responsible for 91% of all wood for industrial purposes. Of this total, 5.8 million hectares have some type of forest certification with internationally recognized indicators, according to ministry data.
The planted forests are located mainly in Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul.
According to the Legal and Institutional Relations Director of Suzano, Pablo Machado, exports of the sector reach US $12.5 billion. China, according to the executive, accounted for 42.7% of sales last year and 40% in 2017. “Brazil is a reliable partner and has the capacity to offer more pulp to China. We would like to continue and extend these partnerships in the long term.” Suzano leads the eucalyptus pulp segment in Brazil.
In 2017, the sector accounted for 5% of Brazilian exports and 10% of agribusiness exports. Forestry production ranks fourth, behind soybeans, meats, and the sugar and alcohol industry.
José Carlos da Fonseca Junior, director of Institutional Relations at Iba, proposed that degraded areas in Brazil be used for planted forests, which would generate more than US $6 billion in investments in the coming years. “Brazil can expand capabilities and meet the growing needs of China.” According to the producers, the country leads the global forest productivity ranking, with an average of 35.7 m³ /ha/year for eucalyptus plantations, which represents almost twice as much productivity in the countries of the Northern Hemisphere and 30.5 m³ /ha/year for pinus.
Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply launched the National Plan for the Development of Planted Forests – PlantarFlorestas, which plans to increase the area of cash crops by 2 million hectares by 2030.
Tereza Cristina also met with Frank Ning, CEO of ChemChina and Sinochem, Chinese companies active in the agrochemicals and energy sectors. At the meeting, Ning said that with the trade dispute between the United States and China the Chinese “will increasingly have to diversify the search for food and buy more from Brazil.”
Tereza Cristina points out that the dispute could be an opportunity for Brazilian exporters to increase their participation in the Chinese market, the largest importer of soybeans and meats.
The Minister stressed that on 11 February in Niigata, Japan, Western Hemisphere Agriculture Leaders committed to work together “in defense of global food security and agricultural trade, based on scientific principles and risk”, which may stimulate relations with the Chinese. The topic discussed in the presentation of the CEO of the Company of Agricultural Cooperatives of Brazil (CCAB), Jones Yasuda, who highlighted the role of Brazil in global nutrition and food security in the coming decades.
Ning also reported that the group’s companies are sustainable and there will be no problems for the supply of products to customers, including Brazilian producers.
The federal deputy and president of the Parliamentary Front of Agriculture, Alceu Moreira, who is part of the delegation, discussed the importance of the National Congress to conclude the vote on the proposal amending the legislation on agrochemicals. Parliamentarians from the party accompanied the two meetings on Wednesday.