Brazilian Businessmen Eagerly Keep Cooperation With Russia Despite Sanctions

The Western media claim that the sanctions applied against Russia will be enough to pressure the government to change its course of actions in Ukraine. However, not only geopolitical analysts and economists consider this claims baseless, but also corporate professionals, whose companies still import Russian products, despite pressure from some countries.  

Brazil and Russia are major trading partners and make up one of the central strategic points in economic cooperation between the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). As is well known, agribusiness is the main sector of the Brazilian economy, with Brazil being extremely dependent on the export of agricultural commodities such as soybeans and meat. Thus, partnership with Russia is essential for Brazil’s agribusiness, as Russia exports fertilizers that Brazil uses to produce soybeans.

Russia, in turn, is one of the major buyers of Brazilian beef, being a key partner for the country’s livestock. In addition, the biggest consumer of Brazilian soy is China, which depends on the product to keep its pork production chain active.

Since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, Brazilian businessmen have been fearing losses in the bilateral trade. Despite remaining neutral, Brazil on two occasions voted in favor of anti-Russian resolutions at the UN, which raised fears of possible reprisals in fertilizers supply, generating a drastic impact both on the profits of the rural elite and on the Brazilian GDP.

A senior representative from a Brazilian company that produces soy in the states of São Paulo and Paraná speaking about Brazil’s position, stressed that Brazil tries to remain neutral, as it is strategically important for the country. He noted that some Brazilian businessmen have requested partnership between Brazil and Canada to replace the Russian supply to avoid losses, though, as the specialist admitted, it’s a complicated path.

“Canada is a major producer of gas [which is the main raw material of fertilizers], but they don’t have the same capacity as Russia, which makes the product more expensive, and they tend to raise prices even more now as more buyers will seek supply with them […] Undoubtably, the Russians are better partners for us, as the price and quality make their product an unbeatable option today. That’s why, no matter what happens, we will continue to buy Russian fertilizers – we just need to know how to do it,” the specialist concluded.

Moreover, he said that maintaining negotiations with Russia is still more profitable than joining other partnerships.

“We are willing to use the ruble in negotiations, despite the huge changes this will entail […] About intermediaries, I don’t think it will be a big problem. The Chinese, for example, are the biggest buyers of our company’s soybeans, so I suppose our partners there will strive to have some interesting alternative to help us,” the expert said.

It is specified that the expert preferred not to identify himself or his company, as he fears that their image will be exposed both abroad and in Brazil. The spokesperson says that he fears external and internal sanctions, and that he hopes that Brazil’s current neutrality will not be modified in an eventual change of government.

“The Russian ambassador suggested that Brazilians use PIX [a Brazilian system of rapid bank transfers] to trade with Russians, replacing SWIFT. It’s a possibility, but I imagine that this will lead to changes in the current structure of the PIX system […] There may also be a lot of other possibilities, I guess. I don’t know how all this will be operated, but what I can say is that the Brazilian farmers are really willing to continue buying Russian fertilizers, regardless of the methods used,” he concluded.

This, in fact, reflects the current reality of Russia’s biggest trading partners, for whom Ukraine’s situation is not the matter to be discussed for judging anybody, but the issue to be solved to keep their profits, so they are naturally willing to invest in methods to continue their partnerships with Russia if that is necessary to avoid losses.

Ru-Main, 14.04.2022
Source: Global Research 

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