Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) increased fertiliser exports to Brazil by 41 per cent in the first nine months of 2013 after India’s move to reduce imports.

Brazil spent $1.6bn on fertiliser from Arab countries over the period, according to the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

Morocco, one of the world’s top producers of phosphate fertilisers was the biggest exporter to Brazil with $933m and a year-on-year growth of 19 per cent.

Qatar, which produces nitrogen-based fertilisers, more than tripled its Brazilian exports to $325m, while Egypt and Tunisia also shifted significant volumes. Smaller amounts were sold by Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait.

“Fertiliser-producing countries are now turning to the Brazil market due to India’s recent move to reduce its fertiliser exports,” says the chamber of commerce.

India, which used to be the world’s leading importer of fertilisers, has removed subsidies to phosphate imports following the depreciation of the rupee.

Saudi Arabia is set to be a major global exporter of phosphate fertilisers after the development of its Waad al-Shamal Phosphate City.