The U.S. Export-Import Bank authorized credit insurance to support the export by Air Tractor Inc. of nearly $900,000 worth of American-made crop-spraying aircraft to a biofuel and soybean grower in Brazil.
This bank-supported export sale is the 20th of about 40 similar deals expected to benefit Air Tractor this year. The total body of export sales will support 135 American jobs in Olney, Texas, both in production and in sales management, according to the bank.
Air Tractor employs 270 people to build its aircraft and custom equipment. Since 1972, Air Tractor has sold about 2,800 aircraft to buyers on six continents. Over the past 17 years, Air Tractor has used Ex-Im Bank's medium-term insurance to export an estimated $70 million worth of its aircraft, primarily to small private-sector buyers in Argentina and Brazil. In 2009 and 2011, Air Tractor also obtained bank-guaranteed working capital loans.
"The export finance products of Ex-Im Bank have been invaluable to Air Tractor in supporting our growth in the international market over the last 15 years," said David Ickert, chief financial officer for Air Tractor. "We continue to look to Ex-Im Bank for support as we expand our export sales in the future."
Taua Biodiesel Ltda., based in Nova Mutum, Brazil, bought the midsized Air Tractor equipment for its agricultural operations. The Taua group produces biodiesel fuel, vegetable oil, and soybean meal on 40,000 acres now under cultivation. Taua plans to increase its operation to 100,000 hectares by 2015.
Ex-Im Bank’s overall exposure in Brazil at the end of fiscal year 2011 amounted to $2.7 billion.