Economy

Halfway around the world from Ukraine, war's impact hits Brazil environment

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

(Michael Molinski is a senior economist at Trendline Economics. He’s worked for Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo, and previously as a foreign correspondent and editor for Bloomberg News and MarketWatch.)

SÃO PAULO (Callaway Climate Insights) — Brazil is enmeshed in a war on trade, fertilizers and the environment due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, half a world away.

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, is stuck. On one hand, he defends Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and he remains neutral on trade, not wanting to enact trade sanctions on Russia as many Latin American countries have done.

On the other hand, Brazil imports 95% of its fertilizers, and Russia is its major supplier, accounting for one-fourth of its fertilizers last year. Since the war broke out, fertilizer exports from Russia have come to a virtual standstill.

“With the Russia/Ukraine war we now face the risk of a lack of potassium or that its price rises,” Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter. . . .

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