Brazil grain exports not affected by coronavirus turmoil -industry association

SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Global market turmoil caused by the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will not affect Brazilian grain exports, grain exporters association Anec told Reuters in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Anec Director Sérgio Mendes said the association is holding steady its projection that Brazil will export between 73 million tonnes and 74 million tonnes of soybeans this year and between 34 million tonnes and 35 million tonnes of corn.

“Sometimes we are criticized for mainly exporting primary goods. Thank God we export food,” Mendes said.

So far, grain flows have not been hit by any logistical disruptions at ports in Brazil or abroad caused by the health crisis, he said.

Mendes said Anec has been consulting with the Agriculture Ministry and that there are enough professionals still working to process grain shipments, including health auditors and marine pilots.

Anec has received no reports of people arriving or leaving from Brazilian ports on grain vessels and having tested positive for the coronavirus, he said.

The COVID-19 virus began in China, a top food importer, and rapidly spread to other nations including Brazil and the United States, two of the world’s largest food exporters.

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