Brazil's Lula expects to reach trade agreement with EU in six months if elected

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FILE PHOTO: Former Brazilian President and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva holds a rally during the presidential campaign in Curitiba

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Wednesday he should reach an agreement on a trade deal between South America's Mercosur trade bloc and the European Union within six months, if he wins October's presidential election.

The former president and front-running candidate told Canal Rural, a farming-focused local broadcaster, that Brazil needed the deal and must export as much as possible, especially in the agricultural sector.

Last month, sources told Reuters that EU representatives had approached Brazil's government seeking to rekindle talks with Mercosur bloc, made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

According to a Brazilian official, the contact had come amid rapid changes in global supply chains in the wake of the pandemic and the Ukraine war, which have increased Brazil's influence as an agricultural powerhouse.

Negotiations for a deal had been completed in 2019, but environmental concerns stalled the deal before it was approved by the legislatures of the EU member states.

A recent poll showed Lula widening his lead over incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro ahead of a first-round vote on Oct. 2.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast.)