3 Things You Need to Know about South America This Week

August 27, 2016 11:04 AM

Brazil’s impeachment trial for its suspended president is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, Aug. 31. South America will be a tougher competitor for ag exports to China next year, and it already is buying more than 75% of Brazil’s soybeans.

Here are additional details on those three points.

1.With Argentina switching 29% more of its hectares to corn in 2017, USDA is projecting a 30% larger corn crop (36.5 MMT.).  Brazil’s corn crop is also expected to increase 17% (11.5 MMT) in 2017, after losses in the last harvest from a devastating drought. South American soybean production also is projected to rise about 8%, (12MMT) primarily in Brazil and Argentina.

2. The impeachment trial of Brazil’s embattled President Dilma Rouseff was suspended Friday by a Supreme Court justice after a shouting match in the Senate forced a temporary halt to the proceedings, according to  news reports. Rouseff is set to testify on Monday, Aug. 29, and  the final vote by the Senate is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 31. Rouseff is accused of violating budget rules, and members of her cabinet have been accused of  corruption, but so have many of her opponentsm too. Opponents say they have enough votes to impeach Rouseff. Meanwhile,  Rouseff mentor and  former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was scheduled to testify Monday at the trial, has been accused of corruption and money laundering. A conviction would remove Rousseff and allow interim President Michel Temer to serve out the rest of the term through 2018.

3. China, the top destiny for Brazil’s exports, buys 76.5% of the country’s soybean crop. India buys 45.5% of Brazil’s soy oil exports, and half of the country’s pork exports go to Russia, according to a recent report by CEPEA, the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics at the University of Sao Paulo. Brazil’s ethanol exports dropped by more than 32% according to the report, which is based on government figures for 2015.

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