Here's what U.S. producers need to know about South America this week.
1. Driven by high prices, Brazil’s soybean and corn producers are expected to increase plantings next season, according to the Brazilian consultancy Céleres. Corn producers will plant more corn in the summer crop area, with an estimated production of 100 million tons of corn. Soybean farmers will increase plantings by 2.6%, to 33.8 million hectares next season for an estimated production of 103 million tons, an increase of 5.3% compared to the previous season.
Meanwhile, the number of forest fires continues to grow dramatically in Brazil’s Amazon region, thanks to drought, human activity and other factors, according to the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), a government agency that uses satellite technology to track the fires.
In 2015, the number of forest fires jumped to 235,629, which is an increase of 27.5% compared to 2014. So far this year, in just one state, major crop-producer Mato Grosso, there have been 8,894 forest fires recorded so by INPE this dry season, a 44% increase over the same period last year, reported the Soybean and Corn Advisor newsletter.
2. Brazil's interim government could adjust its regulations on GMO imports to allow entry of more genetically modified corn varieties from the United States. The imported GMO corn would be restricted for use in animal feed, the ministry said, according to a Reuters report and analyst Kevin McNew, who writes the Grain Insights blog. Brazil’s current regulations allow a limited number of GMO crop varieties. The country’s port and poultry industry recently imported large shipments of corn from Argentina and Paraguay to make up for domestic crop shortfalls. But corn shipments from the United States were held back by regulations banning the entry of unauthorized GMOs into the country.
3. Brazil is now the biggest seller of beef to China, where a beef production deficit is growing and imports are heading to record levels, according to a Bloomberg report. Brazil’s ample supplies and low prices helped companies including JBS SA, Minerva SA and Marfrig Global Foods SA to boost exports to China by 65% in the first half of the year.