CFTC orders Kraft, Mondelez to pay up; UPS moves on self-driving trucks; China increases soybean imports from Brazil

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) ruled that Kraft Heinz Co. and Mondelez International Inc. will have to pay a $16 million penalty in an old wheat manipulation case. Both companies had bought $90 million of December 2011 wheat futures, even though they never intended to take possession of it, said the CFTC. The move had sent out a misleading signal in the market that the companies had demand for wheat, creating an artificial price fluctuation that had earned them over $5 million in profit.

ICYMI: Latest Spend Matters coverage

Check out Andrew Karpie's takeaways from the VMSA West conference on the California coast, where contingent workforce ideas and strategies commingled with the fresh ocean air at the venue perched on the bluffs of the Pacific.

And don't miss Jason Busch's take on the scuttlebutt surrounding an investor's takeover bid of the UK's Proactis — more specifically, analyzing "the current situation and opportunities for the firm and potential acquirers" (Spend Matters PRO).

Trump administration to go ahead with fighter jet sale to Taiwan

Despite stringent objections by China, the Trump administration will go ahead with an $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. A report in the Washington Post quoted a U.S. official and others familiar with the deal as saying the State Department submitted the package late Thursday for informal review.

UPS picks up stake in self-driving truck startup

TechCrunch reports that UPS picked up a minority stake in TuSimple, a self-driving truck startup. This comes barely a few months after the two companies began testing the use of autonomous trucks in Arizona. The size of minority investment, made by the company’s venture arm UPS Ventures, was not disclosed.

Paying for priority shipping? Study shows parcel could be delayed

A report released by logistics solutions provider LateShipment.com has said over 6% of 507,873 FedEx and UPS packages tracked between January and March this year were delayed, a majority of them by at least a day.

What's worse is that the study found in cases of priority, rush or next-day shipping services, for packages with the two carriers, the faster the guaranteed shipping time, the greater the chance a package would be delayed.

China steps up soybean imports from Brazil in snub to U.S.

Bloomberg reports that Chinese state and private buyers had purchased between 1.5 million and 2 million tons of soybeans from Brazil, ramping up import orders from Latin America, and obviously snubbing the U.S. China is staring down a supply shortage in the fourth quarter.

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