November 26, 2008

Brazil soy farmers face equipment repossessions


Farmers in Brazil's Mato Grosso state are facing farm equipment repossessions due to a lack of credit, said the president of Mato Grosso Soy Growers Association, or Aprosoja, Tuesday (November 25).


More than 100 pieces of farm machinery such as tractors and combine-harvesters have been repossessed by banks mainly related to equipment manufacturers John Deere and Case New Holland in recent days in Mato Grosso, Brazil's No. 1 soy producing state, said Kleber Silva, president of Aprosoja.


Mato Grosso's farmers have been hit recently by falling soy prices and a shortage of credit as trading companies cut back or stopped previous credit lines. At the same time, costs such as fertilizers have been soaring.


Many farmers have already accrued large debts from previous years and therefore have difficulty getting loans from private banks. Aprosoja estimates that Mato Grosso's farmers face some 1.2 billion Brazilian reals (US$518 million) of debts in 2008.


Aprosoja on Monday asked a civil court in Mato Grosso's Cuiaba city to freeze future repossessions of machinery to allow farmers to plant their 2008-09 soy crop. A court decision is expected on Wednesday, said Silva.


Brazil is the world's second-largest producer of soy after the US.

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