• By Lynda Kiernan

Impeachment Proceeding Against Rousseff Affecting Grain Trade

The ongoing impeachment proceedings against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff have caused a near halt to the country’s grain trade as producers, processors, and traders await the outcome and the effect it will have on the country’s currency, reports Reuters.

If President Rousseff is indeed impeached and leaves office, the country’s agricultural industry is preparing for a strengthening of the real, which would eliminate the global price advantage Brazilian grain has been enjoying, and which would likely cut foreign sales.

"Sellers and buyers are basically just waiting to see what is going to happen," Fabio Meneghin, senior analyst at Agroconsult told Reuters. "Except for spot deals, there is not much going on."

Currently the real stands at 3.54 to the dollar, however, a change in administration led by the more business-forward Vice-president, Michel Temer would bring the real to 3.10 to the dollar according to a new report issued by INTL FCStone. But, if the impeachment is rejected, the real could fall to 4.10 to the dollar, creating an even greater market advantage, under which Brazil could export up to 56 million tons of grain.

Rousseff has lost a key vote in the country’s lower Congress which voted to send the motion for impeachment to the Senate which must vote to accept the impeachment within ten sessions. If a simple majority vote in favor, Rousseff will be suspended for 180 days during which time the charges against her will be investigated. If however, the Senate votes in favor with a two-thirds majority vote, then Rousseff will be removed from office, reports the Guardian.

Nine minister of Rousseff’ 31-member cabinet have resigned leaving Brazil’s government barely functional, as she herself is traveling to New York to attend a United Nations event where she will attempt to garner support against what she is calling a “coup d’état without weapons”.

Much of Brazil’s surplus exportable commodities have been sold and hedged with futures and contracts, but the industry still stands to lose an advantage if Rousseff is successfully impeached. Despite this, many within the sector are supporting the action, as an extended Rousseff administration is being seen as posing a long term threat to the economy.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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