Dispute in Brazil disrupts corn export payments, industry group says

Band Nayara Figueiredo

SAO PAULO, July 29 (Reuters)According to a local trade group representing global grain traders, a protest from Brazilian federal tax auditors is delaying the approval of documents needed to receive payments for corn exports.

The issue has been affecting exporters since the start of the year, including at the height of Brazil’s soybean export season in January, Anec chief executive Sergio Mendes said in an interview.

There’s no end in sight and the problem is only getting worse, said Mendes, whose trade body represents people like

Cargill, SMA, LDC LOUDR.UL and Cofco CNCOF.UL.

Auditors have been protesting since December 2021, demanding the hiring of more staff as well as a pay rise and performance-related bonuses, according to Unafisco, the auditors’ union.

The Economy Ministry declined to comment on the protest, which slowed paperwork without stopping export activity altogether. Data from Anec shows that Brazilian maize exports have increased by 110% until July.

Yet the tax auditors’ protest is just one example of the obstacles to doing business in Brazil, the world’s largest supplier of soybeans and other agricultural products, as companies sourcing millions there tonnes of grain face obstacles such as bureaucracy and logistical bottlenecks in storage. and shipping products to ports.

Brazil is harvesting a second larger maize crop than last year and traders are likely to export more than last year as demand is strong amid a supply shortfall due to a lack of supply from from Ukraine.

Mendes said companies are resorting to expensive alternatives to obtain the documents needed to receive payments. “The scenario looks much worse,” he said.

(Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by David Holmes)

((ana.mano@thomsonreuters.com; tel: +55-11-5644-7704; mobile: +55-119-4470-4529))

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