As Brazil’s largest mining company exits the fertilizer industry, Canada’s leading potash exporter is ramping up its operations in South America’s largest agricultural market.
Canpotex Ltd., the Saskatoon-based company that sells potash from 10 Saskatchewan mines to farmers around the world, is expected to announce the opening of its first office in Brazil on Monday.
In an interview, Canpotex chief executive Ken Steitz said expanding its sales effort in Brazil is part of a $1-billion investment to better position the Canadian company as a dominant fertilizer supplier to a country that’s expected to lead the world in food production over the next three decades.
The new Sao Paulo-based sales team is led by Talita Arcaro, hired in October as Canpotex’s managing director in Brazil. Ms. Arcaro previously worked for a major domestic fertilizer distributor and the Brazilian arm of a Morocco-based fertilizer producer. She was born and educated in Brazil.
Brazil is the world’s largest importer of potash and Canpotex is beefing up its presence after Rio de Janeiro-based Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies, disappeared as a competitor.