A rise in international prices ensured an increase in the value of agribusiness exports from Rio Grande do Sul in the first quarter of the year. To the sales reached $3.7 billion, 4.7% increase in relation to the same period of 2022. Average product prices rose 23% and offset the reduction in shipped volume, which dropped 14.9% in relation to the first three months of the previous year. The value of exports is the highest for the quarter in the historical series, which started in 1997, and represented 73% of the total external sales of Rio Grande do Sul in the period.
Information on foreign agribusiness sales was disclosed this Thursday morning by the Economics and Statistics Department (DEE), linked to the Planning, Governance and Management Secretariat (SPGG), in the RS Agribusiness Indicators bulletin. Prepared by researchers Sérgio Leusin Júnior and Bruna Kasprzak Borges, the document also includes data on formal employment in agribusiness in the first three months of the year.
Of the top six export sectors, five were dischargedhighlighting the increase in meats, which had an increase of 18.6% and a total of US$655.30 million in sales. The segments of tobacco and its products (total of US$ 592.14 million; +20%), forestry products (US$ 424.06 million; +11.6%) and agricultural machinery and implements (US$ 167.67 million ; +29.3%) also grew leveraged by the rise in average prices. O soybean segment continued as the leader in exports in value (US$791.88 million; +1.9%), even with the 14.5% drop in shipped volume, sustained by the 19.2% increase in average prices.
“The performance of Rio Grande do Sul’s agribusiness exports in the quarter still does not reflect the severe drought that impacted the productivity of the main summer crops. This is due, first of all, to the basis of comparison, since in 2022 the State also suffered the effects of an even more intense drought”, analyzes Leusin.
A The largest absolute drop in value in exports from January to March was recorded in the cereal sector, flours and preparations, with -13.3%, with a total of US$ 673.95 million in sales. O mainly responsible for the decline was wheat which, despite the record harvest harvested in Rio Grande do Sul in 2022, had a 27.6% drop in volume shipped between January and March. The bulletin points out, however, that the reduction occurred in relation to a high sales base registered in 2022, when the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, major world producers of the cereal, reorganized the international trade of the product, benefiting exports. gauchas.
In the case of meat, the significant increase between January and March was driven by chicken meat, with a total of US$ 386.94 million in sales, an increase of 23.4% in value. Pork was also a highlight in the period compared to 2022 (total of US$ 157.28 million; +50.4%), and the sum of the two offset the 34.8% reduction in the value of beef trade ( US$64.97 million).
In tobacco and its products, the increase reflects the significant growth in average product prices, which rose 63.2% compared to 2022, and offset the 26.5% reduction in volume sold. Non-manufactured tobacco is responsible for almost all sales (US$559.37 million; +21.1%).
“Tobacco exports for the quarter still reflect the availability of the product from the past harvest. The reduction in production in 2023, due to the drought, will only affect the volumes shipped in the following quarters, but it can still be offset by the import of raw material from other producing states”, explains Leusin.
In the forest products segment, cellulose ensured the sector’s growth, with sales of US$ 308.58 million (+25.3%). In agricultural machinery and implements, exports of agricultural tractors (US$ 73.76 million; +22.9%), combine harvesters (US$ 47.35 million; +28.5%) and sprayers (US$ 31.31 million ; +41.9%) saw an increase in trade.
Although usually outside the list of the main agribusiness export products from Rio Grande do Sul, biofuels had a significant result in the first quarter of 2023, with sales of US$ 27.1 million, an increase of 384.8% compared to the same period of the year last year, as a result of sales to the United States (US$ 19.9 million), the first made by Brazil to the country on a commercial scale, and the European Union (US$ 7.3 million).
China remains the main buyer of products from Rio Grande do Sul
A Indonesia was a top destination of exports from Rio Grande do Sul at the beginning of 2023, responsible for buying 7.4% of everything that agribusiness in Rio Grande do Sul sold in the first quarter. According to the bulletin, sales of wheat and soy bran sustained growth for the Asian country, which won the third position in the ranking of the main buying countries in the state. A China (18.3% of the total) is again in the lead, followed by the European Union (14.2%). The United States (6.2%) and Vietnam (4.7%) close the list of the top five destinations.
Compared to the same quarter of 2022, the European Union had the biggest drop in trade with Rio Grande do Sul (-24.1%), while Indonesia (+67.8%) and the United States (+42. 8%) conquered space.
Employment in the field had a positive balance
Traditionally the period of the year with the highest hiring of labor in the field, the first quarter of 2023 recorded a positive balance (hiring minus layoffs) of 22,073 jobs with a formal contract. The difference was above that registered in the same period last year, when the balance was positive in 21,152 jobs.
The main activities generating employment in the countryside between January and March were the tobacco industry, permanent crops and wholesale trade in agricultural and agro-industrial products. Considering the State’s economy as a whole, agribusiness was responsible for 52.3% of the balance of formal jobs in the period.
Of the three segments of agribusiness, the so-called “after the gate”, predominantly composed of agricultural activitiesit was the leader in the creation of jobs with a formal contract, with a balance of 15,818 jobs. The tobacco industry (10,742 jobs), the wholesale trade of agricultural and agro-industrial products (2,995 jobs) and the manufacture of starch products (1,837 jobs) stood out.
A meat slaughtering and manufacturing industry continues to be the segment with the highest number of formal contracts in agribusiness, with a total of 67,323 jobs in March 2023. In the first quarter, the activity registered a positive balance of 311 jobs. Among the main losses of the “after the gate” segment are the manufacturing of preserves (minus 592 jobs), manufacturing of bakery products (minus 277) and dairy products (minus 145).
The only agribusiness sector to register a negative balance of formal jobs was “before the gate”, formed by activities dedicated to the supply of inputs, machinery and equipment for agriculture, with 451 fewer jobs. “This sector suffers less from the effects of the drought in the State, but suffers from the effects of the economic situation of rising production costs and financing for the acquisition of agricultural machinery and implements”, emphasizes researcher Bruna Kasprzak Borges.
As for the average real salary in agribusiness in Rio Grande do Sul, in March 2023, at the time of admission, the average value was R$ 1,728.41, 3.5% above the same month last year.