Brazilian farmers are in the midst of collecting their biggest corn harvest ever, and American supplies are also plentiful -- setting the stage for a stiff battle to win world buyers in the second half of the year.
The United States economy added a solid 209,000 jobs in July, exceeding economists’ estimates as the labor market shows few signs of slowing down. The unemployment rate last month fell to 4.3% from 4.4%, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
The United Nations Security Council approved tough new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday including a ban on coal and other exports totaling more than US$1 billion — a huge bite in its total exports, valued at US$3 billion last year. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley praised the new sanctions, telling council members after the vote that it is the single largest economic package ever leveled against the North Korean regime.
Mercosur foreign ministers meeting on Saturday in Brazil suspended Venezuela indefinitely for failing to uphold democratic norms amid an intensifying crackdown on dissent in the country. The bloc previously suspended Venezuela in December for failing to uphold commitments it made when it joined the group in 2012.
The newly installed constitutional assembly ousted Venezuela's defiant chief prosecutor on Saturday, a sign that President Nicolas Maduro's embattled government intends to move swiftly against critics and consolidate power amid a fast-moving political crisis.