Brazil Expects Food Price Swings Due to Coronavirus Outbreak, Says Official
Brazil is likely to face a period of large swings in food prices driven by the coronavirus outbreak and the government is planning support measures for farmers hurt by the crisis, an Agriculture Ministry official told Reuters.
Eduardo Sampaio Marques, the ministry's secretary of farm policy, said that the government plans to defer debt payments and increase lending to producers of fruits, vegetables, milk, flowers and other fresh products that are likely to be most affected.
He said the market for grains is doing well so soybean and corn producers will not be targeted with the measures.
Brazil's government is expected to post a record primary budget deficit this year of 419 billion reais ($80 billion), equivalent to 5.5% of gross domestic product, a senior Economy Ministry official said on Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference, Waldery Rodrigues, special secretary to the ministry, said government measures to cushion the impact of the coronavirus crisis announced so far amount to 224.6 billion reais, or 2.97% of GDP.