Embraer sees record agriculture plane deliveries this year

By Gabriel Araujo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian planemaker Embraer expects its agricultural aircraft Ipanema to hit record deliveries this year after a positive 2023 driven by the strength of the country’s farm sector, it told Reuters on Monday.

Used in crop-dusting activities, the plane is popular among farmers in Brazil, a top global producer of soybeans, corn, sugarcane and coffee, where more than 300 million metric tons of grains are forecast to be harvested in 2023/24.

Deliveries of the Ipanema aircraft are projected to reach 70 units in 2024, Embraer said in a statement, up from 65 last year and eclipsing the record of 67 delivered in 2011.

That level would keep the plane’s strong market momentum after continuous growth in both sales and deliveries since 2020, when the company launched the current EMB-203 version of the aircraft, which runs on ethanol.

Each Ipanema plane is sold for a list price of 3.6 million reais ($741,412), according to Embraer.

Deliveries are seen hitting an all-time high in 2024 after a record sales year for the aircraft, the planemaker said, noting that orders in 2023 totaled 70 units, up from 66 in the previous year.

“Agribusiness has a significant impact on Brazil’s gross domestic product and we are very pleased to see how the Ipanema has contributed to its high productivity,” said Sany Onofre, who manages the Brazilian planemaker’s Ipanema program.

Agribusiness accounts for roughly a quarter of Brazil’s GDP and helped it overshoot market forecasts in 2023 to grow some 3%, according to central bank estimates. The country’s economy is forecast to expand 1.7% this year.

Deliveries and sales of the Ipanema aircraft, which can dust up to 200 hectares (494 acres) per hour, are not included on Embraer’s sales and order backlog report for commercial and business jets, which the planemaker has yet to divulge for 2023.

The Ipanema was launched in the 1970s, and in December Embraer delivered its 1,600th unit. Around 1,100 of them are still operating.

($1 = 4.8556 reais)

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Leslie Adler)