There’s a lot of news out of South America this week. The CEO of the world’s largest beef exporter, caught up in a fraud investigation, was ordered to quit his corporate role. Record bumper Brazil corn and soybean crops are forecast, and more rain than expected is good news for Argentina wheat producers.
1. Brazil grain consultancy firms Horizon and Celeres both are predicting record Brazil corn and soybean production for the 2016/17 crops. Soybean production is forecast from 103 million tons to 103.3 million tons, with an average trade estimate of 103.1 million tons. Horizon’s 103.3 –million-ton estimate would be an increase of 7.9 million tons. Celeres is projecting an 2.6 percent increase in soybean hectares to 33.8 million hectares. Horizon estimates corn production of 94.6 million tons for for the 2016/17 crop, currently being planted. If weather conditions are favorable and the forecasts are accurate, both crops would be record-hig
2. Weather has been favorable for Brazil’s wheat crop, according to Water Street Solutions, of Peoria, Ill. Rains are enhancing moisture just as germination begins in the next 10 days. In neighboring Argentina, enough rains have come to Argentina’s eastern wheat belt. However, the country’s western wheat belt is likely to remain unfavorably dry.
3. Brazilian police launched an investigation of fraud at state-run companies' pension funds on Monday, as a judge ordered dozens of senior financiers and executives away from their firms, including the chief executive of the world's biggest beef exporter, according to a Reuters report.
The federal judge overseeing the case has ordered the CEO of meat packer JBS SA, and 39 others under investigation, to suspend their corporate roles, avoid all capital market activity and forfeit their passports in order to avoid jail.