Thursday, December 23, 2010

20101223 1828 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3658, changed : +38 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, buyer continue to hold on.
Support : 3650, 3620, 3550 level.
Resistance : 3700, 3720, 3750 level.
Comment :
Rebounding FCPO recorded gain for the 3rd day with improving volume transacted after Indonesia official confirmed CPO export tax to increase to 20% while soy oil and crude oil futures prices continue to lift higher.
Daily chart formed an small body up doji bar candle continue rebounding higher since touched middle Bollinger band support level 5 days ago with still a correction range bound upside biased market reading testing higher resistance level near upper Bollinger band.
When to buy : buy at support and weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101223 1818 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1517, changed : +1 point,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer taking small position.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485 level.
Resistance : 1530, 1550, 1580 level.
Comment :
FKLI managed to closed recorded 2 ticks gain with better volume transacted despite most regional market closed in the red as Korean affairs tension continues and ahead of Christmas holiday in the U.S.
Daily chart formed an small body up doji bar candle with longer upper and lower shadow traded range bound through out the day while the Bollinger band started to turned inwards today suggesting a continue side way range bound little upside biased market development testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101223 1520 Breaking News.

Oil hovers near 2-year high, eyes $91 on rising demand
SINGAPORE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Oil prices climbed near a  two-year high, boosted by an unexpected surge in  global demand that has fueled the biggest drop in U.S. crude  stockpiles in more than a decade.
"Oil has risen as... inventories have fallen more than  expected due to the cold weather in the northern hemisphere,"  said Serene Lim, an oil analyst at ANZ, adding that prices  would need to rise above $110 before impacting economic growth.

China commercial crude stocks fall for 3rd mth in Nov
BEIJING, Dec 23 (Reuters) - China's commercial crude oil inventories fell for a third consecutive month in November, as refiners tapped stockpiles to feed plants operating at capacity to fend off a domestic diesel shortage.
Data from a newsletter run by the official Xinhua News Agency showed that commercial crude stocks at the end of November fell 3.2 percent from a month earlier.

U.S. wheat at 4-1/2 month top, soy, corn firm
SINGAPORE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose 0.4 percent  to a 4-1/2 month high as fears of tight global supplies next  year and talk of Russia's extension on grain exports  underpinned the market.
"The grain markets are in follow-through price mode as Australia is still supportive for wheat, although the market  has factored it in. And there are ongoing rumours that Russia  may extend the export ban," said Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at  Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Strike halts six Argentine soy-crushing plants
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 22 (Reuters) - A strike by soy-processing   workers in Argentina's biggest grains port halted at least six   plants on Wednesday, disrupting crushing in the world's No. 1   soyoil and meal exporter and helping lift U.S. soyoil futures.
Crushing plants in and around the city of Rosario account   for about 80 percent of Argentine soybean oil and meal output   and the one-day-old pay strike is hitting plants owned by major   exporters such as Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Bunge. 

20101223 0924 Local & Global Economics Related News.

Malaysia: CPI up 2% y-o-y in November
Malaysia’s consumer price index, a measure of inflation, rose a lower-than-expected 2% in November from a year ago, with corresponding increases in the non-food as well as food and non-alcoholic beverages indices. The Department of Statistics said the index for non-food items, and food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 1.4% and 3% respectively in November compared with the same period a year ago. (Financial Daily)

Japan: Export growth accelerated to 9.1% in November
Japan’s export growth accelerated for the first time in nine months as a rebound in global demand helped the nation’s economy withstand the yen’s advance to a 15-year high. Overseas shipments rose 9.1% in November from a year earlier, from October’s 7.8% gain, the Finance Ministry. The median estimate of 19 economists surveyed was for a 10.3% increase. (Bloomberg)

UK: BOE splits three ways as inflation concerns increase
Bank of England policy makers split three ways for a third month on the need for economic stimulus as some officials became more concerned that Britain’s bout of inflation may persist. Adam Posen kept up his demand to increase the GBP300bn bond-purchase plan by GBP50bn. Andrew Sentence voted to raise interest rate for a seventh month and the rest ensured no change in policy. (Bloomberg)

US: Sales of existing homes rise less than forecast
Sales of existing homes rose less than forecast in November as the industry that triggered the worst US recession in seven decades struggled to recover after a government tax credit lapsed. Purchases increased 5.6% from the prior month to a 4.6m annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said. Economists projected that sales would rise to a 4.75m pace, according to the median forecast. (Bloomberg)

US: GDP grew less than forecast, inflation cooled
The US economy grew less than forecast in the third quarter and inflation unexpectedly cooled, highlighting why the Federal Reserve plans to keep pumping money into financial markets. The revised 2.6% increase in GDP compares with a 2.5% estimate issued last month and was less than the median forecast of a 2.8% in a survey, a Commerce Department report showed. Consumer costs for goods and services, excluding food and fuel, climbed at the slowest pace since records began in 1959. (Bloomberg)

20101223 0923 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Proton: Plans to make two-seater sports car. Proton Holdings Bhd plans to produce a two-seater sports car in two years. The vehicle would not be a hatch-back type like Satria Neo but would look like the legendary Lotus. Meanwhile, Proton is planning to replace Saga's current platform that has been used for eight years with a new platform in five years. (Source: The Star)

MAS: Ties up with KLM. Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Dutch airline KLM are set to explore closer links with each other, including, greater connectivity, better schedules, more choices for customers as well as cost reduction. The MoU with KLM is significant as Malaysia is an ideal transit point for visitors from Australasia and Europe. (Source: The Star)

MMC-Gamuda: Govt negotiating MRT project fees. The Government is in the midst of negotiating with mass rapid transit (MRT) project delivery partner (PDP) MMC-Gamuda JV Sdn Bhd on the fees for managing the project, which would have to be delivered within an agreed timeframe and cost. Industry observers believe that MMC-Gamuda is likely to get the tunneling parcel of the project worth RM13b to RM14b. Approximately 20% of the 65km line would be underground. (Source: The Star)

Infrastructure: Local firms set to pounce on India highway projects. Malaysian construction companies are expected to be involved in the massive development of highways in India as early as the first half of next year under the recently inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two governments. Malaysian construction players are slated to participate in the development of 1,000km of highways in India that could potentially be worth RM17.5b. (Source: The Star)

Banking: M'sia to offer syariah hedging derivatives. Standard Chartered Plc and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd plan to offer syariah-compliant derivatives in Malaysia that will allow investors to hedge against interest rates and commodity prices. Standard Chartered will begin selling contracts in the first quarter that provide protection from fluctuations in the cost of items such as rice and oil. Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia will offer swaps. (Source: The Star)

L&G: To develop upscale housing project in Seremban. Land & General Bhd (L&G) plans to develop an upscale residential development with estimated gross development value of RM555m in Seremban. The properties in Tuanku Jaafar Golf & Country Resort of Seremban would be developed into bungalow lots, double-storey cluster semi-detached houses, link cluster houses and apartments. (Source: The Star)

Olympia: Still in the race for Pan Malaysian Pools. Olympia Industries Bhd expressed that it was still pursuing its bid to acquire Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn Bhd from Tanjong plc. However, Olympia has yet to determine its expected offer price for Pan Malaysian Pools and the expected date of submission for the offer. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

PLUS to buy time
The battle for PLUS Expressways, Southeast Asia's biggest toll highway company, is likely to go down to the wire as the deadline looms at 5pm today. UEM Group and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which have bid RM23bn or RM4.60 a share, is pitted against little-known Jelas Ulung SB’s RM26bn, or RM5.20 apiece offer. PLUS will seek to suspend its shareholder meeting today to evaluate all takeover offers. It will then call for a fresh EGM in early January. (BT)

Possibility of strategic investors for BToto
Berjaya Corp (BCorp) has hired investment bankers to look into the possibility of undertaking a corporate exercise that could see the entry of strategic private investors into the group’s cash cow Berjaya Sports Toto (BToto), said sources. “A foreign investment bank has been appointed to look into the job. The strategic private investors that could emerge in the company include foreign investors. The bankers are exploring a few possible corporate exercises, which include the one Magnum (Corp) underwent a couple of years back that had involved its privatisation,’ said a source. (FinancialDaily)

UEM Land gets shareholders’ nod for RM1.3bn Sunrise buy
UEM Land Holdings has received shareholders’ approval for the proposed acquisition of property developer, Sunrise for RM1.39bn, or RM2.80 per share. “The extraordinary EGM resolution for the takeover has been passed by shareholders along with the special resolution to increase our share capital,” UEM Land chairman, Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali told reporters. (MalaysianReserve)

NV Multi moves into steel sector
NV Multi Corp, previously a bereavement-care company, is venturing into the steel business. It has entered into a restructuring agreement whereby AYS Ventures SB (Newco), a special-purpose-vehicle that will assume its listing status, would acquire Ann Yak Siong Hardware SB (AYSH) and its subsidiaries for RM172m. The AYSH group comprises hardware stockists that trade in steel and nonferrous products serving the engineering, fabrication, construction and building industries. It is also involved in the production and sale of light steel sectional products and sectional storage tanks. (Starbiz)

Boustead signs pact
Boustead Holdings has signed a memorandum of understanding with DRIR Equities SB and Tulus Sejagat SB with the intention to buy a 51% stake in MHS Aviation and a 51% stake in a special purpose vehicle that will purchase all the aircraft and helicopters owned by DRIR Equities. The entire acquisition is not expected to exceed RM100m. (BT)   

20101223 0919 Renewables Energy Related News.

BEIJING, Dec 22 (Reuters) - China will invest 5.3 trillion yuan ($796 billion) in the power sector in the next five years, up 68 percent from 2006-2010, the Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday, citing an official research study.
Of the investments, around 2.75 trillion yuan or 52 percent will be spent on power generation and 2.55 trillion yuan will be spent on grid networks, the paper said, citing a study by the China Electricity Council.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - After winning global praise for protecting its Amazon forests, Brazil now faces another tricky obstacle to cutting its carbon emissions -- the gases produced by its booming economy.
International pressure for reductions to slash-and-burn deforestation led Brazil to cut illegal Amazon logging by 34 percent from 2004 to 2009, making it one of the few nations at climate talks in Cancun to show progress against global warming.

LOS ANGELES, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A unit of Spanish conglomerate Abengoa SA  said it got the final sign-off on the U.S. Department of Energy's largest renewable-energy loan to date, a $1.45 billion loan guarantee for a 250-megawatt solar thermal power plant in Gila Bend, Arizona.
The loan guarantee helps advance the nation's broad goals of building up renewable energy resources and lessening its dependence on fossil fuels.

NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Interior has approved solar power developer Solar Reserve’s proposed 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes solar thermal power plant capable of storing energy in Nevada.
SolarReserve plans to start construction in the middle of 2011, the Santa Monica, California company said in a statement.

NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Atlantic Wind Connection filed with federal energy regulators for permission to build a giant power transmission project in the Atlantic Ocean along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast to enable the region's offshore wind potential, a spokesman for the project said Tuesday.
Announced in October, the project will stretch from New Jersey to Virginia and enable up to 6,000 megawatts of wind power that could be built out of sight from land, enough to serve about 1.9 million homes with carbon-free power.

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17 (Reuters) - The renewable energy industry cheered the passage of the U.S. tax bill, which included a provision to extend a generous grant program for projects in the fast-growing sector.
The grant program allows qualifying renewable energy projects such as solar and geothermal power plants to apply for a Treasury Department grant that covers up to 30 percent of costs. Until U.S. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Friday, the program was slated to expire on Dec. 31, 2010.

MILAN, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Italy's total installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity is seen rising to nearly 3,000 megawatt (MW) at the end of 2010, state energy services agency GSE said in a statement on Monday.
In 2010 alone, new installed photovoltaic capacity is estimated at above 1,500 MW, more than doubling compared with 720 MW installed in 2009, GSE said.

PARIS, Dec 20 (Reuters) - France's solar industry could suffer a big blow by government moves to deflate a speculative bubble fed by a boom in connection demands and a backlog of solar power projects in the pipeline.
The French government said this month it wanted to cut the number of solar power projects and above-market purchase tariffs for the renewable electricity for the third time this year.

TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Itochu Corp  said on Monday it and Spain's Abengoa Solar  will build and own two 50-megawatt solar thermal plants in southern Spain in a project costing more than 500 million euros ($660 million).
Itochu will take a 30 percent stake in the project, while Spain's solar mirror power plant builder Abengoa will hold the rest. The plants will start operating in 2012.
NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday approved the Midwest ISO's plan to allocate the cost of building power lines that connect renewable energy projects needed to meet the public interest goals of many states.
MISO said these so-called Multi Value Projects that have a regional impact and are part of a regional plan will now have a 100 percent regional allocation of costs, ensuring the cost to upgrade the transmission system is distributed fairly to all involved.

COPENHAGEN, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas  has won an order for 48 turbines with total capacity of 144 megawatts for a wind power development in Scotland, the customer said on Friday.
The order was placed by EDF Energy Renewables, a joint venture of EDF Energy and EDF Energies Nouvelles , North British Windpower -- the project company -- said in a statement.

20101223 0918 Biofuels Related News.

WASHINGTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected a challenge from U.S. oil companies and refiners against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for retroactively imposing ethanol blending levels and volume requirements for gasoline sales.
Federal law requires the EPA to set by Nov. 30 each year the amount of ethanol that must make up U.S. gasoline sales for the following year. For 2010, biofuels have to account for 8.25 percent of gasoline sales.

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol makers face a battle over reforming subsidies next year after current incentives are rolled over in the tax package signed into law by President Barack Obama on Friday.
The new law extends the 45-cents-per-gallon blenders' credit worth up to $6 billion a year and the 54-cents-per-gallon tariff on imports through 2011. It also revives through 2011 an incentive of $1.00 per gallon for the smaller biodiesel industry which expired at the end of 2009.

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - U.S. auto and engine makers sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday for allowing higher blends of ethanol for newer cars, saying it could confuse consumers at fuel pumps and lead to engine damage in older vehicles.
The suit, the second major legal challenge to the EPA on higher ethanol blends in as many months, asks the federal appeals court in Washington to send the decision back to the EPA and to review whether the decision violates the Clean Air Act.

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted in favor of a one-year extension of the ethanol tax credit and the ethanol import tariff at existing rates, despite complaints the subsidies were wasteful.
The bill will be welcomed by the struggling ethanol industry and by American farmers who supply the corn to produce the fuel that is blended into automotive gasoline. 

20101223 0916 Global Market Related News.

OIL: Oil up towards $91 on tighter U.S. crude stocks, cold snap
SINGAPORE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures edged up towards $91 a barrel on Thursday on tightening U.S. crude stocks and frigid temperatures in Europe and the U.S. Northeast.
U.S. crude oil inventories fell 5.33 million barrels last week, a third straight weekly decline, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

COMMODITY MARKETS: Oil pierces $90, grains rally; volumes thin
NEW YORK, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Oil broke $90 a barrel, grains hit multi-month highs and metals retreated slightly as supply woes and other positive fundamentals kept investor sentiment in commodities intact on Wednesday despite thin trading volumes.
"Call it the Santa Claus rally, the end of the year rally or whatever you want, but you're definitely seeing markets being bid higher, though on very light volume," said Adam Sarhan at New York-based financial advisory Sarhan Capital.

GLOBAL MARETS: Stocks rise on optimism; EU debt hurts euro
NEW YORK, Dec 22 (Reuters) - World stocks climbed on Wednesday to two-year highs on growing optimism about U.S. economic growth while the euro slumped to lifetime lows versus the Swiss franc after a new round of credit rating warnings reminded traders euro-zone debt problems can still flare. "The more recent data suggests we're seeing reasonably healthy retail sales growth, pretty healthy investment spending, and some growth in employment. So maybe the core growth or final sales growth is starting to accelerate in the fourth quarter," said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.

Global Farm Commodity Outlook In 2011 Mostly Upbeat - Rabobank (Source: CME)
Precariously balanced global fundamentals for agricultural commodities will set the stage for higher prices going into 2011, but bearish macro headwinds will spur further price uncertainty and volatility, Rabobank, a major agricultural lender, forecast.  Global inventory levels for a number of agricultural commodities are at or nearing record-lw levels, and with robust demand growth from emerging economies, particularly China, farm product prices will remain sensitive to any further weather or policy-induced supply shocks, as seen in 2010, the bank's commodity markets research unit said in an outlook statement. With one of the strongest La Nina weather patterns in the past 50 years in the Pacific Basin and increasing concern over supply shortages in some regions, the risks of tightening world inventories and higher prices remain skewed to the upside in the year ahead, it reported.
Converging pressures in multiple agricultural markets will likely cause friction and strain available resources--including for lan d, farm inputs and credit--and prevent commodities from an optimal supply response to higher prices, it said. Rabobank identified seven key themes that will drive and shape farm commodity markets in 2011, including tightening inventories, supply limitations and commodity demand growth remaining strongest in developing economies. It also identified China as "commodity short" in 2011, a year when political risk will be heightened amid tightening food supplies. Yet, market fundamentals will only be part of the story. With agriculture and agricultural futures increasingly viewed as an attractive asset class by investors, the role of outside market macro drivers, including currencies, energy correlations and speculative money, are becoming more important in shaping agricultural price movements, it reported.
All of these factors will contribute to sustained volatility next year, the bank said. Rabobank's initial price forecasts for 2011 suggest further price gains are expected in several markets, despite many of the commodities entering the year at already elevated price levels.

China State Grain Firms Buy Less For State Reserves (Source: CME)
Official grain purchases for stockpiles by Chinese state-owned enterprises in the January-November period fell 66% from a year earlier due to sharply higher grain prices, even as state-owned grain enterprises' profit and revenue grew, a senior government grain official said. The remarks by State Administration of Grain Deputy Director Ren Zhengxiao underscore a dilemma for the government as an agricultural price rally threatens the country's food reserves even as it boosts the corporate bottom line. The government has sought to roll back sharply higher agricultural commodity prices as market pressures contributed to the highest inflation levels in 28 months, risking mounting public concern ahead of the consumption-heavy Lunar New Year in February. State-owned grain enterprises earned a combined profit of CNY4 billion ($600 million) in the first 11 months of this year, Ren said, according to a transcript of a speech published Tuesday on the agency's website.
Of these companies, state grain trading firms made a  combined profit of CNY3.6 billion. "We can see this year's operating situation for state-owned grain enterprises is more stable," he said. "Due to the domestic economy's recovery, a good grain harvest and the government's grain floor price and other policies, there won't be large changes in the grain-trading situation." Still, inflationary pressure and unfavorable weather have impacted grain trading, he said. As grain prices rose, state-owned grain enterprises made far fewer market-supportive policy purchases for official stockpiles, Ren said. Policy purchases accounted for less than a third of total purchases from January to November, he said.

Japan auto lobby sees 2011 US market at 13 mln cars
TOKYO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. auto market will likely recover further to around 13 million vehicles next year from less than 12 million units in 2010, the head of Japan's auto lobby said on Wednesday.
Toshiyuki Shiga, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, noted that the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for light vehicles in the United States had been growing at a pace of about 1 million units in recent months, indicating a steady recovery in demand.

U.S. regulators eye pay limits, but will they work?
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - U.S. financial regulators are looking at forcing big banks and other large financial firms to defer some of their executives' compensation as part of an effort to limit risk taking but some analysts are raising questions about the effectiveness of this approach.
Regulators are considering a rule that would require large financial institutions to pay some percentage of executives' total compensation in the form of deferred stock or other forms that they collect over multiple years, according to two sources briefed in the matter. They were not authorized to speak on the record on the matter.

China aims to improve trade balance in 2011
BEIJING, Dec 22 (Reuters) - China will try to  import more in 2011 while keeping exports steady, Commerce  Minister Chen Deming said on Wednesday, in a sign that the  world's second-largest economy is keen to pull more weight as  a consumer.
In a statement on the ministry's website, Chen said China wants to better balance its  trade account, and will step up purchases of high-tech goods  and commodities such as grains and cotton next year.

S&P 500 earnings look rosy on 2011 overseas sales
NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy may sleepwalk its way to recovery next year, but corporate earnings are set for a record 2011 thanks to strengthening overseas demand.
Overseas sales, particularly in emerging markets, will be key for profits for many U.S. companies in 2011, and sectors that have outperformed this year are expected to remain top bets, based on strong demand from emerging economies.

PRECIOUS-Gold firms as dollar retreats, debt fears simmer
LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Gold firmed in Europe on Wednesday, building on three straight sessions of gains, as the dollar retreated and as warnings from credit rating agencies on some euro zone economies boosted haven demand for the metal.
Prices took further support from the International Monetary Fund's announcement of the completion of the massive gold reserve sale it began a year ago, which analysts say removes a significant overhang to the market.

FOREX-Euro helped by report China will buy Portugal's debt
LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The euro gained against the dollar and recovered from all-time lows against the Swiss franc on Wednesday, boosted by a news report that China was ready to buy significant amounts of Portuguese sovereign debt.
The Jornal de Negocios daily reported China is looking to buy between 4 billion euros ($5.26 billion) and 5 billion euros of Portuguese sovereign debt to help the country ward off pressure in debt markets, though it gave no details of its sources.

U.S. corn ticks up, soy steady on Argentine weather
SINGAPORE, Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures ticked  higher rising for sixth straight session, while  soybeans were little changed at 5-1/2 week top as hot weather  and lack of rains in Argentina continued to raise supply  concerns."There have been some concerns over the past few sessions  on Argentine dryness. That is not a new concern and it is  certainly on our watch list," said Luke Matthews, a commodity  strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

China says will import to refill agricultural stocks
BEIJING, Dec 22 (Reuters) - China's Commerce Ministry said the country will increase imports of key agricultural commodities which are in tight supply in 2011 to replenish central government reserves.
Minister Chen Deming told an internal meeting of the ministry that the government will increase reserves of sugar and meat among other daily-needed products, a statement on the ministry website said, without giving details.

Euro hit by ratings warnings; stocks buoyant
LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The euro hit an all-time low against the Swiss franc following credit ratings warnings on Portugal and Greece, while European shares traded near 27-month highs on hopes for global economic growth next year. "There's been no clarity on what European Union leaders will do to deal with the debt crisis," said Investec economist Philip Shaw.

20101223 0916 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soy product futures ended higher, with soyoil futures rallying to their highest levels since August 2008. Soyoil futures are buoyed by a bullish global oilseed picture, with falling palm oil production outlooks in Malaysia and Indonesia putting soyoil in a good demand position, said AgResource's Dan Basse. Soymeal lost value to soyoil in the crush spread amid greater demand for soyoil. CBOT Jan soyoil ended 0.41c or 0.7% higher at 55.97 cents per pound, and Jan soymeal traded $0.10 or 0.02% higher at $352.70 a short ton. (Source: CME)

Brazil's Rio Grande Do Sul Soy May Face March Drought - Somar (Source: CME)
The soy crop in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's third-largest producer of the oilseed, may face drought in March because of the La Nina weather phenomenon, according to private weather service Somar. The state, Brazil's southernmost, may have from 50 millimeters to 60 millimeters of rainfall in March, Celso Oliveira, a meteorologist at private weather service Somar told Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday. "This is about half the normal rainfall for the month" in the state. Farmers in Rio Grande do Sul who planted their beans earlier may suffer less from drought in the state in March, according to Oliveria. The La Nina weather phenomenon, which typically brings weather that is drier than usual, affects each Brazilian state differently, Oliveira said. "We do not see a lot of risk for other areas in Brazil," he said, noting that other areas may suffer excessive rains.
"At the moment we are doing very well, though we had very dry weather in November," said David Brew, a broker at Basoja Corretora de Cereais in Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil, the world's second-largest soy producer after the United States, recently has finished planting the 2010-11 soy crop that will be harvested between January and May of next year. Brazil's 2010-11 soy crop is forecast to reach 68.6 million tons, the country's Ministry of Agriculture Conab unit announced earlier this month. Celeres, a Brazilian agricultural consultancy, forecast early this month that the 2010-11 Brazilian soy crop would reach 68.1 million tons.

Weather, inflation concerns lift palm oil to 1-week high
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil  futures hit a one-week high as traders priced in  heavy rains cutting into this month's output.  "The palm oil market is getting stronger on weather and  inflation concerns, demand has been rather resilient in  December," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage.

China rapeseed acreage in 4 top areas down 20 pct -report
BEIJING, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Chinese farmers may have planted 20 percent less rapeseed in the country's top four growing provinces because of a lower return compared with wheat, according to a survey by several futures companies.
Acreage of the oilseed in certain areas in Hubei, the top producing area, could fall by more than 30 percent, said the report in the Futures Daily.

U.S. analyst cuts Argentine soy production forecast
CHICAGO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Private U.S. crop analyst Michael Cordonnier said Tuesday he cut his forecast for 2010/11 Argentine soybean production due to hot and dry weather in key production areas of the No. 3 soybean exporter.
Cordonnier pegged the Argentine soy crop at 49 million tonnes, down from his previous estimate of 50 million.

Argentine soy-crushing workers start pay strike
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Workers at Argentine soy-crushing plants in the area around the main grains port of Rosario started an indefinite strike on Tuesday to press demands for a year-end bonus, a union leader said.
"The strike is due to the lack of answers we've got from the companies," Pablo Reguera, secretary general of the San Lorenzo soy crushing workers' union, told Reuters. Argentina is the world's top supplier of soyoil and soymeal.

Brazil soy planting now all but finished - Celeres
BRASILIA, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Planting of Brazil's 2010/11 (Sept/Aug) soybean crop is now complete in the top two soy states, but dry weather that slowed sowing this year could delay some of the harvest, grain analysts Celeres said.
In the past week, the total area planted rose to 97 percent. Though the largest soy grower, Mato Grosso, and No. 2 Parana were finished planting, Rio Grande do Sul lagged behind with 91 percent of the crop planted.