Tuesday, May 31, 2011

20110531 1819 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3393, changed : -15 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : pullback correction upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : weakening, buyer taking profit.
Support : 3350, 3300, 3270, 3250 level.
Resistance : 3420, 3450, 3470, 3500 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded small loss with better volume participation after both ITS and SGS cargo surveyor reported better but slowing export data while soy oil overnight closed unchanged and currently trading little softer.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle with longer upper shadow closed in between upper and middle Bollinger band level after market opened unchanged, tested higher and fall lower to close near the low of the day.
Chart reading shows that market is having pullback correction within an upside biased market development testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with larger cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110531 1753 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1563 changed : +18.5 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased with possible pullback correction .
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in control.
Support : 1550, 1540, 1530, 1515 level.
Resistance : 1565, 1580, 1590, 1600 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded substantial gains with little higher volume changed hand and Jun 2011 contract closed doing less a point discount compare to cash market that also closed higher while regional(Asia & European) trading mostly higher and overnight U.S. market closed up slightly.
Government power taffic hike announcement lifted heavy weight counter Tenaga to gain as much as 9.05% pushing cash market to closed higher contributed to today's bullish market sentiment.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle with little upper and lower shadow closed above upper Bollinger band level after market opened little higher, took few steps downwards and surge upward all the way tested 4 months higher and retreat slightly to closed off the high of the day.
Chart reading suggesting a upside biased market development testing previous high near 1580 level but having said that market could possibly having pullback correction soon.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with larger cut loss and profit target or buy at breakout with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110531 1527 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Euro at 3-wk high vs dollar, Japan data lifts Nikkei
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - The euro hit a three-week high versus the dollar on Tuesday on a report that Germany could make concessions on efforts to put together a bailout for Greece, while Japanese shares rose on data suggesting industrial activity has begun to recover from the March earthquake.
"The euro zone problems appear to be subsiding for now. Or putting it another way, the market appears to have stopped looking at them as a factor for now," said Teppei Ino, a currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, adding the market could focus on upcoming U.S. data releases. Key numbers including ISM manufacturing and payroll data are due this week.

China's commodities imports to stage comeback
SHANGHAI, May 31 (Reuters) - There are early signs that China's appetite for overseas oil, copper, aluminium, iron ore and coal will recover in the second half of 2011, having been dogged for much of the first half by the government's campaign to put the brakes on growth and inflation.
Higher seasonal demand, shrinking stockpiles and a narrowing arbitrage between domestic and LME prices indicate that China's copper demand may be turning a corner, even if Beijing doesn't relax its tightening stance.

S.Korea should hike power price 15pct in 2011-thinktank
Uiwang, South Korea, May 31 (Reuters) - South Korea, heavily dependent on energy imports, should raise electricity prices at least by 15 percent this year to reflect higher fuel costs and reduce excessive demand, the head of the influential Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI) said.
Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) , the country's monopoly state-run electricity transmission and distribution company has been haemorrhaging cash as it has not hiked tariffs by as much as input price rises and it is likely to implement a rise early June after consultations with the government.

Brent rises above $115 on political chaos, weak dollar
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - Brent rose above $115 a barrel on Tuesday as the dollar weakened on improved prospects of a bailout for debt-laden Greece, but oil remained on track for a fall in May, snapping a record eight-month winning streak.
"The situation in Yemen seems to be deteriorating. The problem with Yemen is that it is next to Saudi Arabia, and it has been a source of terrorist attacks against Saudi Arabia," said Tony Nunan, a Tokyo-based risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp.

Wheat slides as Russia to resume exports
SYDNEY, May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures  slid in Asian trade on Tuesday, after Russia said it was ending its export ban and could ship up to 20 million tonnes of grain from this year's crop.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced at the weekend that the Russia, formerly the world's third-largest wheat exporter, would lift a grain export ban from July 1.

China expects bumper wheat harvest despite drought -ag ministry
BEIJING, May 31 (Reuters) - China, the world's top wheat producer, is likely to reap a bumper wheat harvest in 2011 despite drought earlier this year in most of its wheat-growing areas in the north, the agriculture ministry said.
China's winter wheat, accounting for more than 90 percent of the country's total wheat harvest, may increase for the eighth year, agriculture minister Han Changfu was cited as saying in a report posted on the ministry's web site. Han did not give any figures.

Argentine economy thrives as grain, soy prices soar
ROSARIO, Argentina, May 30 (Reuters) - High grain and soybean prices have driven global food inflation to the point of causing  riots in Africa, but no one is complaining on the banks of the Parana River in Argentina's central farm belt.
In the port city of Rosario, profits from grains exports have funded construction of some of Argentina's tallest skyscrapers over the last year, helping to make Argentina's devastating 2001/02 financial crisis a distant memory.

Ivorian cocoa arrivals hit 1,103,166 T by May 22
ABIDJAN, May 30 (Reuters) - Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast increased by over 14 percent compared with a year ago, but exporters said they were worried about the size and quality of beans coming out of the bush.
Data from Ivorian Coffee and Cocoa Bourse (BCC) seen by Reuters on Monday showed arrivals had reached 1,103,166 tonnes in the season to May 22, up from 966,194 tonnes in the same period a year ago.

Indonesia issues 224,200 T raw sugar import permits to Nov
JAKARTA, May 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia has issued import permits for 224,200 tonnes of raw sugar until November, trade ministry official Deddy Saleh told Reuters on Monday.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest sugar consumer, has previously said it would import 226,000 tonnes of raw sugar from May until the end of 2011 in order to fill idle milling capacity, and the permits were meant to be issued in April.

Russia may export 20 mln t of grain in 2011-12 -lobby
MOSCOW, May 30 (Reuters) - Russia may export up to 20 million tonnes of grain from this year's crop if the harvest reaches 85-90 million tonnes, the head of the Russian Grain Union industry lobby said on Monday.
"The export potential is 15 million. Maybe we can even export 20 million if the harvest reaches 85-90 million tonnes," Arkady Zlochevsky said.

Indonesia to lead thermal coal export growth through 2020
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 31 (Reuters) - Indonesia will lead global growth in thermal coal exports in the next decade with producers Bumi Resources  and Adaro Energy  becoming two of the top three coal exporting companies worldwide by 2015, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian country, already the world's top thermal coal exporter, will make up 39 percent of global increases in coal exports, with Australia coming in a close second, accounting for 36 percent of export growth.

Australian business groups warn strike plans threaten investment
SYDNEY, May 31 (Reuters) - Australia is facing what employers say is its worst period of industrial unrest in decades, with disputes hitting airlines, ports and mines as unions use an unprecedented resources boom and labour shortage to fight for a greater share of profits.
Business leaders say the spate of disputes is threatening investment and exports and rekindling Australia's old reputation as an industrial relations minefield -- a claim unions reject as scaremongering.

China coal imports to double in 2015, India close behind
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 30 (Reuters) - Top coal consumer China should see import demand more than double in the next four years and India will be close behind as both hoover up supplies on international markets to feed rapidly growing power industries, industry executives said on Monday.
China's thermal coal imports could rise to 200 million tonnes in 2015 from around 90 million tonnes in 2011, Neil Dhar, executive vice president of trading house Noble Group , told the Coaltrans Asia conference.

Indonesia sees higher 2011 rice output, no need for imports
JAKARTA, May 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia sees higher unmilled rice paddy output of 70.6 million tonnes this year, leading to a greater surplus that means there is no need for further imports of the staple in 2011, said an agriculture ministry official.
This was up 2.6 percent from the ministry's previous December forecast, and the comments may weigh on regional prices since bumper purchases by the country surprised markets in the first quarter and had led to the possibility of more in 2011.

LME copper steadies amid thin trading, tracking euro
SHANGHAI, May 31 (Reuters) - London copper was steady amid thin trading on Monday, supported by a firmer euro after a report said Germany could make concessions on efforts to put together a bailout for Greece.
"The euro has an influence on copper's movements today. Overall, LME copper is in a stable situation. Trading volumes are low after the long holiday. It opened weaker but there have been some buying since then. So the Shanghai market is stable today as well," a Shanghai-based trader said.

Venezuela iron producer gets $900 mln China loan
CARACAS, May 30 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state-run iron company Ferrominera Orinoco will use a $900 million loan from China to increase output capacity, the firm said on Monday.
The loan is part of a long-term deal under which China has promised to provide OPEC-member Venezuela with $20 billion in financing in return for oil.

Gold steady near 4-week high; Greek crisis on focus
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - Gold rose to its highest in almost four weeks on Tuesday as lingering fears about a Greek debt default overshadowed a rebound in the euro, while silver was heading for its biggest monthly decline since 2008.
"It's crucial for markets to see whether Greece is actually sustainable and whether it can actually obtain the next 12 billion euros that is required for them to meet their funding needs in July," said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

20110531 1250 Global Commodities Related News.

OIL: Crude stays little changed, set for worst month in a year
TOKYO, May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures were little changed on Tuesday, still on course to mark their biggest monthly fall in a year as a rally last month above $110 per barrel intensified caution that high energy costs will hamper economic growth.
A weaker dollar often increases investor demand for dollar-denominated commodities such as oil.
The New York Mercantile Exchange did not issue a settlement price on Monday, when trading on the floor was closed for the Memorial Day holiday, with all trading registered for May 31.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Euro rises versus dollar, Japan data lifts shares
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the dollar on Tuesday, while Japanese stocks gained on news industrial and manufacturing activity was showing signs of rebounding after a devastating earthquake in Japan in March.
The euro rose to a three-week high versus the dollar in early Asian business, touching 1.4354 on technically driven trade and a Wall Street Journal report that Germany was considering ending its push for an early rescheduling of Greek loans.
The Nikkei average was up almost half a percent at 9547.27, boosted by positive industrial and manufacturing activity data in Japan, and MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan was up 0.44 percent.

Surge in oil could prompt India to adjust deficit target-source
NEW DELHI, MAY 30 (Reuters) - India has no plans to increase its fiscal deficit target for this fiscal year but that may change if oil prices rise to $130-$140 per barrel, a senior finance ministry official with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.
The official also said high federal bond yields were a concern, but downplayed the idea that New Delhi could  accelerate spending in order to address tight market liquidity.

Moody's: outlook stable for Russian oil & gas
MOSCOW, May 30 (Reuters) - A Moody's Investors Service vice president said on Monday the agency was keeping a stable outlook on Russian oil and gas companies, saying they looked strong relative to international players due to high output and low costs.
Most of Russia's oil and gas producers have posted strong income growth in the first quarter, thanks largely to a 36 percent rise in oil prices, while Rosneft  remained the holder of the world's largest hydrocarbon reserves, at 22.77 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

20110531 1012 Global Economic Related News.

Philippine: Growth slows in 1Q11, may recover on government spending. Gross domestic product increased 4.9% YoY based on 2000 prices, compared with a 6.1% YoY gain in the three months through December. (Source: Bloomberg)          

Thailand: May raise rate for fourth time this year ahead of vote
Thailand’s central bank will probably increase interest rates for the fourth time this year, as rising food and fuel prices become a pivotal issue for the 3 July general election. The Bank of Thailand will boost its benchmark oneday bond repurchase rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3%, according to all 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, adding to increases of the same amount each in January, March and April. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has pledged higher wages and capped food and diesel costs ahead of the poll, as the opposition faults his Democrat party for jumps in the cost of living. The central bank has said inflation risks exceed threats to growth, and predicts the economy will weather disruption from Japan’s earthquake to grow 4.1% this year. (Bloomberg)

New Zealand: Trade surplus widens to record on dairy exports
New Zealand’s trade surplus widened in April to more than twice economists’ forecasts as surging commodity prices and Asian demand boosted dairy exports, strengthening the local currency to a record. Exports exceeded imports by NZD1.11bn (USD910m), the biggest ever, from a revised NZD578m surplus in March, Statistics New Zealand said. Sales to China were up 40%from a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

Greece: EU to decide on aid package by end of June, Juncker says. European Union leaders will decide on a new aid package for Greece by the end of June and have ruled out a "total restructuring" of the country's debt, said Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the group of euro-area finance ministers. Inspectors from the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are set to wrap a review of Greece's progress in meeting the terms of last year's EUR 110b (USD 157b) bailout in the coming days. The EU will then formulate its plan for additional aid to Greece, which remains shut out of financial markets a year after the rescue package. (Source: Bloomberg)

Russia: Central Bank signals rate pause after surprise increase. Bank Rossii, the central bank, raised its overnight deposit rate to 3.5% from 3.25%. It left its refinancing rate and overnight repurchase rates unchanged after a quarter-point increase in April, saying in a statement that borrowing costs may be at the level necessary to tackle inflation and promote growth "for the nearest months". (Source: Bloomberg)

EU: Drop in Spanish inflation rate in May raises hopes for economy
Spain’s May inflation rate was slightly lower than a month earlier, fueling hopes that prices will stabilize and support consumer spending. Consumer prices, based on European Union calculations, rose 3.4% from a year earlier, the National Statistics Institute said. Prices in April gained 3.5%, the most since Oct 2008. Inflation was 3.5% according to the Spanish measure of prices, the institute said. The European Central Bank is “carefully” monitoring inflation risks to avoid commodity prices affecting wage demands and other costs, President Jean- Claude Trichet said on 26 May. (Bloomberg)

Canada: 1Q economy growth quickens to 3.9% on business gains
Canada’s first-quarter economic growth accelerated to the fastest pace in a year, as outlays by businesses increased while consumer and government spending stalled. GDP in the world’s 11th-largest economy expanded at a 3.9% annualized pace from January through March after a previous 3.1% expansion, Statistics Canada said. The Canadian dollar and bond yields fell as the report reinforced investor bets that Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will keep his policy interest rate unchanged at 1%. The central bank predicts growth will slow to a 2% pace in the April-June quarter, and exports are threatened by a strong dollar and auto production curbed by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. (Bloomberg)

20110531 1002 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
pullback correction upside biased.

Gas and Electricity tariff increase
After several rounds of deferment and a long wait, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has finally gotten the green light to implement new electricity tariff rates which will help it mitigate the effects of higher gas prices. “As a result of the gas price increase, TNB’s gas bill will increase by about RM1.5bil per year; due to the gas price increase, TNB will have to increase the electricity tariff to cover for the additional cost”, TNB president and CEO Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohd Nor said at a briefing yesterday. The national power company announced yesterday that the average electricity tariff would be raised by 7.12% from June 1. (StarBiz)

Oldtown updates IPO prospectus In an updated prospectus draft, Oldtown Bhd is pricing its issue/offer price at RM1.25 per share for its initial public offering (IPO) of 96.4 million shares of RM1 each, instead of offering 59.5 million shares as stated in its first draft posted in February. The company, which owns and operates the Oldtown White Coffee chain, aims to list on Bursa Malaysia’s Main Market on July 11. (StarBiz)

Boustead, Prokhas in propellant plant deal
Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC), together with its joint venture partner Prokhas Manager Sdn Bhd, will set up a RM58 million plant to make propellants for the country's armed forces sector as well as the Asean market in future. Propellant is a solid chemical-based material used to propel projectile from guns, firearms, artillery, rockets and others. (BT)

MFM baking a RM200m financial recipe for expansion
Flour miller Malayan Flour Mills Bhd (MFM) is expected to raise RM200 million by undertaking six proposals which includes increasing their authorized capital to 500 million from 200 million shares. The proceeds from the proposals will be utilized for the company’s expansion plans, including construction of factory buildings and purchase of plants and machinery. (Malaysian Reserve)

Telecommunication: To pass service tax to prepaid users. Prepaid mobile phone users may have to pay more for airtime from July as telecommunication companies (telcos) work out a plan to pass down to consumers the 6% service tax imposed by the government. Most telcos are currently absorbing the tax, which had been increased from 5% to 6% from 1 Jan 2011 due to competitive reasons. (Source: The Sun)

Broadband: Measat In broadband deal with Thaicom. Measat Global Berhad has signed a 10-year deal with Thailand's sole private satellite operator, Thiacom Public Company Ltd, to provide bandwidth capacity and related broadband services in Malaysia, to be called Measat 5. This project will allow Measat to expand its support to local telecommunication companies in providing connectivity to all areas of Malaysia. (Source: The Star)

20110531 0955 Global Market Related News.

  DJIA chart reading : pullback correction downside biased.
Hang Seng chart reading : correction range bound little downside biased.

Asian Stocks Rise on Optimism Over Greece Aid Package; Billabong Advances
Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index paring the biggest monthly decline in a year, amid speculation European officials will sanction more assistance for Greece.

China Raises Non-Residential Power Prices in 15 Provinces to Ease Shortage
China will raise electricity prices for non-residential users from June, the first increase in more than a year, to curb demand and boost power generation as the nation battles a shortage that may be the worst on record.

Japanese Stocks Advance for First Time in Three Days on Greece Optimism
Japanese stocks rose for the first time in three days, paced by exporters, amid optimism European officials will sanction additional assistance for Greece, potentially easing the region’s debt crisis. Sony Corp., which gets more than a fifth of its sales from Europe, advanced 1 percent as the region’s currency rose against the yen and the dollar. Elpida Memory Inc., the world’s third- largest maker of computer memory, climbed 0.9 percent. Sharp Corp., which gets almost half its revenue outside of Japan, gained 2.8 percent. Tokyo Electric Power Co. fell 2.8 percent after its credit ratings were lowered to junk status by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Japan Industrial Production Rose 1% in April
Japan’s industrial production rose less than economists forecast in April and unemployment climbed, increasing the likelihood that the economy will contract for a third quarter.

South Korea’s Slower Output Growth Bolsters Case for Keeping Rates on Hold
South Korea’s industrial production expanded at the slowest pace in seven months in April, bolstering the case for the central bank to keep interest rates on hold in a decision due June 10.

Thailand May Raise Rate Ahead of Vote
Thailand’s central bank will probably increase interest rates for the fourth time this year, as rising food and fuel prices become a pivotal issue for the July 3 general election. The Bank of Thailand will boost its benchmark one-day bond repurchase rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3 percent, according to all 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, adding to increases of the same amount each in January, March and April. The decision is due at 2:30 p.m. in Bangkok tomorrow.

Euro Rises to 3-Week High on Speculation Germany to Support New Greek Aid
The euro rose to a three-week high against the dollar on speculation European officials will approve additional assistance for Greece, increasing demand for the region’s assets.

Drop in Spanish Inflation Rate in May Raise Hopes for Nation’s Economy
Spain’s May inflation rate was slightly lower than a month earlier, fueling hopes that prices will stabilize and support consumer spending. Consumer prices, based on European Union calculations, rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier, the National Statistics Institute said today. Prices in April gained 3.5 percent, the most since October 2008. Inflation was 3.5 percent according to the Spanish measure of prices, the institute said.

Russia Lifting Grain-Export Ban May Fail to Alleviate Global Crop Shortage
Russia, once the second-biggest wheat exporter, will let a grain-shipment ban expire on July 1, a move that may fail to ease a global shortage caused by drought and flood damage to European and U.S. crops. Futures climbed 79 percent in the past year in Chicago, the global benchmark, helped by Russia’s export ban in August after the worst drought in at least 50 years. Poor weather from Canada to Europe destroyed harvests and Ukraine imposed shipment quotas. Rising prices drove global food costs tracked by the United Nations to a record in February.

Greek Aid Package to Be Decided by June
European Union leaders will decide on additional aid for Greece by the end of June and have ruled out a “total restructuring” of the nation’s debt, said Jean-Claude Juncker , head of the euro-area finance ministers’ group.

Australia GDP Likely Shrank for First Time Since 2008
Australia’s economy probably shrank last quarter for the first time since 2008 as floods inundated coal mines and farmland, a contraction the central bank sees as temporary before growth rebounds in the second half of the year.

Dollar struggles near 2-week lows; stocks steady
HONG KONG, May 30 (Reuters) - The dollar hovered near a two-week low against a basket of currencies on Monday and stocks were pinned in tight trading ranges as weak data and the escalating Greek debt crisis kept  market players on the sidelines. 
"In the past these (Southeast Asian) markets were very susceptible to inflationary pressures, but due to better economic management, they are not so much of a hot potato for investors nowadays," said  Khiem Do, chairman of Asia multi-asset team at Barings Asset Management in Hong Kong.

20110531 0951 Global Commodities Related News.

Spring wheat ends at highest since 2008; corn rises
KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 27 (Reuters) - Spring wheat rose for a third day, posting its highest close since 2008 as wet weather delayed seeding of the high-protein crop, while strong demand boosted corn, and the feed grain ended the week flat.
"We're basically still in a weather market," said The Price Futures Group analyst Jack Scoville, who predicted Minneapolis spot July could easily run to $11.00 or $11.25 a bushel.

China's "land of fish and rice" parched by drought
LAKE HONGHU, China, May 30 (Reuters) - The drought gripping stretches of central and eastern China has dried Lake Honghu into an expanse of exposed mud, stranded boats and dying fish farms, threatening the livelihoods of residents in Hubei Province who call this their "land of fish and rice."
Dry spells and floods blight various parts of China nearly every year, and officials are prone to call each the worst in 50 years or longer.

Russia to make announcement on grain export ban-source
MOSCOW, May 27 (Reuters) - Russia will make an announcement on Saturday about its grain export ban, an industry source told Reuters on Friday, but the source did not specify what the decision would be.
"Russia will make an announcement tomorrow," the source said. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, refused to comment.

Drought to cut EU barley yields, malting quality
PARIS, May 27 (Reuters) - Continuing drought is harming the prospects for this year's barley harvest in France and Germany, with spring crops that provide most of the malt used by brewers likely to suffer in both volume and quality, analysts said.
The damage to the overall barley crop in the European Union may be moderated by better conditions in other major producers like Spain and an rise in spring barley area after some growers switched to the crop after losses to winter grains.

Italy 2010 milled wheat products output up 0.4 pct
MILAN, May 27 (Reuters) - Italy's output of milled wheat products, including flour, semolina and bran rose 0.4 percent to 10.3 million tonnes in 2010, industry body Italmopa said on Friday without giving forecasts for this year.
Output value rose 1.2 percent to 2.59 billion euros ($3.68 billion) in 2010, helped also by increased grain prices, but Italian millers struggled to pass on costs to final consumers and saw margins hit last year, Italmopa Chairman Umberto Sacco said in a statement.

Putin says Russia to lift grain export ban from July 1
MOSCOW, May 28 (Reuters) - Russia will lift a grain export ban from July 1, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Saturday, bringing what was formerly the world's third-largest wheat exporter back to world grain markets.
Russia expects the grain harvest to be "quite good" this year and sowing is better than last year, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who oversees government agricultural policy, told Putin.

Argentina wheat area to fall 10 pct-Rosario exchange
BUENOS AIRES, May 27 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2011/2012 wheat area is seen shrinking by more than 10 percent from last season, the Rosario Grains Exchange said in a report released on Friday.
The exchange did not specify the total number of hectares it predicted would be planted with wheat this season.

Philippines says may export more sugar, eyes Asia buyers
MANILA, May 30 (Reuters) - The Philippine Sugar Regulatory Administration said on Monday it was considering exports of sugar on top of quota shipments this year to the United States, although it did not say how much it was looking to sell.
In a brief statement, the industry regulator said it was looking to export locally produced sugar, most likely to Asian countries but was open to discussions with any potential buyer.

German sweets industry cannot buy sufficient sugar
HAMBURG, May 27 (Reuters) - European sugar supplies remain tight and German manufacturers cannot buy enough despite European Union moves to get more of the sweetener on the market, the German chocolate and confectionery industry association BDSI said on Friday.
"Supply tightness on the European market has not been solved despite EU action," the BDSI said in a statement. "On the contrary, confectionery manufacturers are faced with supply gaps and dramatic price rises."

Thailand sees record 2011 sugar exports
BANGKOK, May 27 (Reuters) - Thailand expects to export a record 7 million tonnes of sugar in 2011, a senior official said on Friday, though demand from traditional buyers in the Middle East and new Russian and EU markets could help ease pressure from the global surplus.
The 2010/11 crushing season had almost ended and a total 9.62 million tonnes of sugar was likely to be produced, the highest ever, Prasert Tapaneeyangkul, secretary-general of the Office of Cane and Sugar Board (OCSB), told Reuters.

Ghana cocoa main crop tops 900,000 T - Cocobod
ACCRA, May 29 (Reuters) - The provisional tally for Ghana's 2010-11 cocoa main crop purchases reached a record 904,000 tonnes, some 55 percent above last year's levels, the head of Ghana's Cocoa Board (Cocobod) told Reuters on Sunday.
Chief Executive Tony Fofie, who dismissed reports the tally was padded by large amounts of beans being smuggled into Ghana from Ivory Coast, said the light crop would produce "at least 80,000 tonnes".

German drought threat to biodiesel producers
HAMBURG, May 27 (Reuters) - Drought will sharply cut the rapeseed harvest in Germany, which produces about a quarter of the European Union's crop, and is likely to force biodiesel producers to cut output.
About 75 percent of Germany's rapeseed is used by its  biodiesel industry, the largest in the EU.

Crude falls as OPEC pumps more in May
SINGAPORE, May 30 (Reuters) - Brent crude edged below $115 a barrel on Monday on expectations that OPEC's oil output in May would come in higher than April, with investors also focused on demand from top consumer the United States as the summer driving season begins.
"There are expectations of prices picking up purely because of the drive time in the U.S.," said Jonathan Barratt of Commodity Broking Services managing director in Sydney. "We feel that might actually support crude prices."

Fuel subsidies, SE Asia's "opium" habit, hard to break
SINGAPORE, May 30 (Reuters) - Governments in Southeast Asia have a narrow window of opportunity to pare back politically popular fuel subsidies on their own schedule before budgets or bond holders force their hands.
The wild card, as always, is oil prices. If crude climbs back toward 2008's record highs, as many private economists predict, Indonesia and Malaysia look particularly vulnerable as subsidies consume a bigger share of public spending.

China sees tight fuel supply amid ongoing power shortage
BEIJING, May 30 (Reuters) - China's fuel supplies are expected to remain tight in June due to strong seasonal consumption coupled with additional demand from diesel-fired power generators amid ongoing power shortages, a report by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) showed on Monday.
"Even though falling crude oil prices in May lowered operational costs for refiners ... (We) are not optimistic about domestic fuel supply in the second quarter," the commission said in the report on its website (www.ndrc.gov.cn).

Pricey gasoline took bigger toll March US demand
WASHINGTON, May 27 (Reuters) - U.S. oil demand in March was slightly stronger than previously estimated, up almost 1 percent year-on-year, though high prices curbed gasoline use by more than initially thought, government data showed on Friday.
The latest estimates of domestic consumption, considered more reliable than initial weekly statistics since they take additional data such as exports into account, suggest prices took a bigger toll on gasoline consumption that first realized, while demand for distillate fuel was surprisingly strong.

Shanghai base metals fall; global economy worries weigh
SHANGHAI, May 30 (Reuters) - Shanghai base metals fell on Monday, with copper on track for a nearly 1 percent loss in May under pressure from European debt worries, the expiry of the second U.S. quantitative easing program at the end of June and fears of further monetary tightening in China.
"Investors are hesitant today as the global economic picture hasn't been very encouraging with euro zone debt problems and as the U.S. approaches the end of QE2," said Shanghai CIFCO Futures analyst Zhou Jie.

Japan April rare earths imports from China up 2.6 pct m/m
TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - Japan's imports of rare earths from China inched up 2.6 percent in April from March but some market players say demand may slow in the third quarter, partly because stocks were likely to be unused in the wake of the March earthquake.
Imports of rare earths from China stood at 1,646 tonnes in April, finance ministry data showed, up from 1,603.6 tonnes in March. China accounted for about 73 percent of Japan's rare earths imports in April.

Japan April zinc exports plunge 40 pct yr/yr
TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - Japan's refined zinc exports for April plunged 40 percent from a year earlier to 5,047 tonnes, widening from March's year-on-year decrease of 34.6 percent, Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday.
The wider year-on-year drop in April reflected the impact from a March 11 earthquake which devastated northeast Japan and shut nearly 65 percent of the country's production capacity of  zinc, used in automotive steel sheet and construction materials.

Japan April copper exports plunge 51 pct yr/yr
TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - Japan's refined copper exports plunged 51 percent in April from a year earlier to 23,582 tonnes for a seventh straight month of year-on-year declines, partly reflecting weak demand from China, the world's top consumer of the metal.
The Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday that of total copper exports, 29 percent went to China, down sharply from 48.5 percent in March, while Taiwan was the top importer of refined copper from Japan accounting for 32 percent, up from 21 percent in March.

World copper demand growth to slow in '11, cautious on
SHANGHAI, May 29 (Reuters) - Global demand growth for copper is expected to slow to 8.4 percent in 2011-12, slowing substantially from the average growth of 16.4 percent between 2005-2010, the International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) said.
China's demand for the red metal, used extensively in the electrical manufacturing, construction and power sectors, is expected to grow by 7 percent this year, down from a double-digit growth in 2010, the general secretary of the International Wrought Copper Council Mark Loveitt said on Sunday.

Gold steady on Greece debt fear; Shanghai margin weighs
SINGAPORE, May 30 (Reuters) - Gold held steady and silver extended gains from the previous week on Monday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and the ongoing debt crisis in the euro zone, while a hike in margins by the Shanghai Gold Exchange will kept sentiment in check.
"The margin hike in Shanghai Gold Exchange is adding pressure to prices," said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong.

China crude steel output seen at 680 mln T in 2011-planning official
SHANGHAI, May 29 (Reuters) - China, the world's largest steel producer, is expected to produce a record 680 million tonnes of crude steel this year, a senior official at an industry planning institute said, as demand remains strong in the investment-driven economy.
"Steel production will still see high growth, despite that Beijing may make further tightening moves in the second half of this year," Li Xinchuang, head of the China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute, told a conference. 

20110531 0950 Palm Oil Related News.

ITS CPO export up 7.9% to 1,354,516 tonnes for the period of 1~31 May 2011.
SGS CPO export up 2.5% to 1,353,895 tonnes for the period of 1~31 May 2011.

Palm oil at over 2-mth top on demand hopes
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures hit the highest since March 21 on Monday buoyed by expectations that export data due this week will show solid demand, though talk of stronger production capped gains.
"Traders took positions on expectations that exports would show better growth. We're looking at 1.45 million tonnes at least," said a trader in Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

20110526 1819 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3416, changed : 0 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased with possible pullback correction.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in charge.
Support : 3420, 3350, 3300, 3270, 3250 level.
Resistance : 3450, 3470, 3500, 3550 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed unchanged with slower volume changed hand while soy oil overnight closed higher and currently trading firmer.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle closed near upper Bollinger band level after market opened and test little higher, swing downwards touched yesterday closing price area followed by the up swing tested day high near resistance level before sell down lower recording small loss and recovered slightly to closed unchanged.
Chart reading suggesting a upside biased market development with possible pullback correction testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with larger cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110526 1738 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1544 changed : +12.5 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer taking position.
Support : 1540, 1530, 1515, 1500 level.
Resistance : 1550, 1565, 1580, 1590 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded gains for the third day with little lower volume transacted doing 3 points premium compare to cash market that also closed higher while regional(Asia & European) trading mostly higher and overnight U.S. market closed little higher.
sentiment turns positive after few top guns reported higher corporate earnings plus news on government temporary halt on fuel price and power tariff hike.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle closed nearer to upper Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, edge up higher towards the end to closed near the high of the day.
Technical reading turned to suggesting a upside biased market development possibly testing higher resistance level with today price closed break above plotted upper downward line plus MACD indicator having positive cross up.
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.

20110526 1604 Global Commodities Related News.

Land banks buffer Indonesian palm oil from forest ban
JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Reuters) - Palm oil firms in Indonesia can overcome a two-year ban on forest clearing by tapping into land reserves, but they face bigger problems attracting the labour needed to work the soil and boost yields.
The ban, effective from Friday, limits access to sensitive peat and forest regions and removes much of the uncertainty that had hung over the palm industry as Jakarta finalised the details.

Asia stocks, euro rise as investors dive back into risk
SINGAPORE, May 26 (Reuters) - Asian stocks were on course for their biggest gain in a month on Thursday, led by resources and consumer sectors, with recovering commodity prices and the euro's rebound toward $1.42 bringing investors back into the markets in search of bargains.

Wheat up 0.7 pct, corn firm as weather threatens yields
SINGAPORE, May 26 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose 0.7 percent, rising for a second straight session as harsh weather continued to threaten crop yields in the United States and Europe.   Corn gained half a percent, while soybeans firmed in early Asian trade, building on Wednesday's rally amid planting delays in the United States.

Vietnam main rice crop output rises to 12.5 mln T-govt
HANOI, May 26 (Reuters) - Farmers in southern Vietnam harvested a bumper main rice crop in 2010/2011, with paddy output rising 1 percent from the previous year to more than 12.5 million tonnes, the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday.
Output from the southern Mekong Delta alone rose 3.2 percent from the previous winter-spring crop to 10.6 million tonnes of paddy, or unhusked rice, beating industry forecasts the ministry said in its monthly report.

Brazil port to ship more sugar, but queue to recur
BRASILIA, May 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's No. 2 port for sugar exports expects throughput of the sweetener to leap by as much as half and for ships to face shorter waiting times to load in the current harvest, its commercial director told Reuters.
Exports of mostly bulk sugar through the port could climb to 5 million or 6 million tonnes this season, up from 4 million last year, said Lorenzo Fregonese, out of expected total production from the center south cane belt of nearly 36 million tonnes.

Mexico approves sugar import quota of 150,000 tonnes
MEXICO CITY, May 25 (Reuters) - Mexico has approved a sugar import quota of 150,000 tonnes until the end of this year, the Mexican Economy Ministry said on Wednesday.
Mexico has so far produced 4.98 million tonnes of sugar in the 2010/2011 harvest, 11.5 percent more than in the same period last year, the national sugar industry chamber said earlier this month.

Uganda coffee yield to rise on good weather-UCDA
KAMPALA, May 25 (Reuters) - Good weather is expected to lift Uganda's coffee harvest in the last six months of the 2010/2011 (Oct-Sept) season and offset poor yields in the first half, a report by the industry regulator said on Wednesday.
Uganda is Africa's second biggest exporter of the bean and earnings from the crop are key source of its foreign exchange.

Vietnam May coffee exports rise 10.6 pct y/y-govt
HANOI, May 25 (Reuters) - Vietnam's May coffee exports rose an estimated 10.6 percent from the same month in 2010 to 110,000 tonnes, or 1.83 million bags, exceeding market expectations, the government said on Wednesday.
Rising shipments from Vietnam, the world's top robusta producer, could help ease concern about a production shortfall in Indonesia, which is the world's second-largest producer of the variety used for making instant coffee.

Brent crude steady at $115 on weaker dollar, US stocks
SINGAPORE, May 26 (Reuters) - Brent crude held steady around $115 a barrel due to a softer dollar and as an unexpected drop in U.S. distillate stocks overshadowed gains in gasoline and crude inventories.   "The euro/dollar is the main factor driving prices today for oil and other commodities, and will continue to do so until there is some clear direction on where the dollar is headed," said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity derivatives manager at Newedge Brokerage in Tokyo.

Japan imports less oil, more gas after March quake
TOKYO, May 25 (Reuters) - Japan's April monthly crude imports fell 14 percent on the year on lower demand from damaged refineries while LNG imports rose nearly 9 percent to fuel power plants plugging the gap left by shutdown nuclear reactors after the March earthquake.
The country's industry faces a long recovery after the magnitude 9.0 quake and ensuing tsunami on March 11 devastated the northeast coast, damaging roads, ports and other infrastructure and disrupting supply chains.

China raw coal output accelerates in April
BEIJING, May 26 (Reuters) - China's coal production in April accelerated from previous months, a report by an official newspaper showed on Thursday, but China still appeared to be headed for a severe power shortage in summer.
China's raw coal production grew by 11.1 percent in the first four months of 2011 from a year earlier, reaching 1.12 billion tonnes, the official People's Daily reported on Thursday, citing data from the China Coal Industry Association.

Vietnam to raise iron ore export duty in July-govt
HANOI, May 25 (Reuters) - Vietnam will raise the export duty on iron ore to 40 percent in early July from 30 percent now to ensure raw material for its domestic steel industry, the government said on Wednesday.
The new rate will come into effect on July 2 following a Finance Ministry circular, the government said in a statement.

LME copper steadies on report Asian nations to buy euro debt
SINGAPORE, May 26 (Reuters) - LME copper steadied on a firmer euro, which rose after news broke that China and other Asian investors are expected to buy European bailout bonds. "The dollar is falling and the euro is rallying. This should help copper in the short term," said a Sydney-based trader.

Gold ticks up near 3-week high on euro debt jitters
SINGAPORE, May 26 (Reuters) - Gold edged up to near its strongest level in three weeks with the euro under pressure from concern over Europe's sovereign debt problems, while silver reached a two-week top, catching up with bullion's gains. "We still think that concerns about the ability of the EU to manage Greece's sovereign debt problems and potential contagion to other peripheral countries will be supportive for gold," said Natalie Robertson, commodities strategist at ANZ.

Industrial metals find silver lining in China power woes
HONG KONG, May 25 (Reuters) - China's battle with what may be the worst power shortages in seven years could provide a lift for metals prices as Beijing forces energy-intensive smelters and users to curb production, potentially leading to larger imports.
Power cuts for heavy power industrial users in the world's biggest commodity consumer, already hit by higher credit costs as Beijing tightens monetary policy, could force them to draw on stocks, paving the way for restocking later in the year and supporting prices in the longer term, analysts said.

20110526 1121 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Asia stocks, euro rise as investors dive back into risk
SINGAPORE, May 26 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose on Thursday, led by commodity and consumer related sectors, with steadier commodity markets and the euro's rally above $1.41 bringing some investors back into the markets in search of bargains.
The risks surrounding the euro have not eased much, with Greece fighting to avoid a debt restructuring that could have a big ripple effect across other high risk-European countries struggling with gaping fiscal deficits.

OIL: Oil hits 2-week high on US distillate draw, dollar
NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose 2 percent on Wednesday, climbing to two-week highs as an unexpected drop in U.S. distillate inventories trumped a sharp rise in gasoline stocks and as a softer dollar supported fresh commodities buying.
"The main component in today's rise in crude futures is the supportive drawdown in distillate stocks," said Rich Ilczyszyn, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago.

NATURAL GAS: Natural gas ends up, warmer weather backs gains
NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended slightly higher on Wednesday, driven by recent drilling rig declines and more short covering on the warm Northeast and Midwest outlook for next week despite comfortable supplies.
"The market's been climbing ahead of expiration, probably on short-covering. The (warmer) weather is also lending some support, but I don't see prices getting back above recent highs (in the low-$4.70s)," a West Coast-based trader said.

EURO COAL: Euro Coal-Dips by $1/T, Aug DES trades at $120.25
LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - Front month coal prices fell by around $1.00 a tonne on Wednesday as oil pared earlier gains, the dollar firmed and continued poor spot demand weighed on both the Atlantic and Pacific coal markets.
"Oil's down and coal's followed but currencies aren't always having an impact, it seems," one major European trader said.

COMMODITIES: Oil, Biggest rise in a week fueled by oil, soft dollar
NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) - Commodities on Wednesday posted their largest gains in a week, as oil prices rose on encouraging U.S. inventory data and the dollar slipped, fueling buying in a sector that has slumped this month.
"We've lots of pre-holiday short-covering emerging in livestock and softs as we had managed to press those markets to very, very low levels in recent weeks," Sterling Smith, analyst at Country Hedging in St Paul, Minnesota.

US firm buys "mystery" cargo of Libyan rebel oil
NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) - U.S. refiner Tesoro has bought the first oil cargo sold by rebels who control eastern Libya, a deal that could help them drum up funds to fight Muammar Gaddafi.
San Antonio-based Tesoro  told Reuters on Wednesday it bought the Libyan rebel crude to process in its Hawaii refinery. The deal was first agreed upon in late April, company spokesman Mike Marcy said.

20110526 1113 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Malaysia: Subsidy review may signal vote delay as oil rises
Malaysia has been discussing whether to trim subsidies for gasoline, diesel and electricity, which could result in higher prices. A proposal to change power rates will be re-examined and presented to the government again, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin said after the cabinet meeting yesterday. Officials didn’t decide on fuel prices, the domestic trade minister said separately. (Bloomberg)

Japan: BOJ signals readiness to boost lending to support weak economy
The Bank of Japan indicated its willingness to expand lending programs to support reconstruction efforts after the nation’s record 11 March earthquake crippled factory production and pushed the economy into a recession. “We’re examining whether there’s a way to enhance” a JPY3trn (USD37bn) lending program for industries that can spur economic growth, Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said. Many BOJ board members in April discussed the potential need to expand a JPY1trn loan program designed to help companies in the aftermath of the quake, a record of the meeting showed. (Bloomberg)

Germany: Consumer confidence to fall third month in June, GfK says with concern that Greece may need to default and surging energy prices clouding growth prospects. The GfK Nuremberg-based market research company said that its consumer sentiment index, based on a survey of about 2,000 people, will fall to 5.5 next month from 5.7 in May. (Source: Bloomberg)

Spain: Producer prices climbed for a 17th month in April, adding to evidence of inflation pressure as the European Central Bank signals further interest-rate increases. Prices of goods leaving Spain's factories, mines and refineries rose 7.3% YoY, after climbing 7.8% YoY in March, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said. From the previous month, prices gained 0.6% MoM, after advancing 0.9% MoM in March. (Source: Bloomberg)

UK: Exports boost economy as investment, consumer spending slump
UK exports helped the economy resume growth in the first quarter and outweighed the biggest slump in company investment and consumer spending in almost two years. Exports rose 3.7% in the quarter and net trade added a record 1.7 percentage points to gross-domestic-product growth, the Office for National Statistics said. Consumer spending dropped 0.6% and company investment plunged 4.4%. GDP rose 0.5% on the quarter and 1.8 % from a year earlier, matching initial estimates. (Bloomberg)

EU: Lagarde declares candidacy to replace Strauss-Kahn at IMF
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde declared her candidacy to head the International Monetary Fund, saying she should be judged on the basis of experience rather than nationality. The IMF executive directors representing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa united yesterday to protest publicly the presumption that the fund’s next chief once again be a European. The IMF has been led by Europeans since it was set up after World War II. (Bloomberg)

US: Home prices dropped 5.5% in first quarter
US home prices dropped 5.5% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline in almost two years, as sales of discounted foreclosures undermined real estate values. Prices fell 2.5% from the fourth quarter, a Washington-based Federal Housing Finance Agency said. Economists projected a 1.2% drop from the previous three months, according to the median of five estimates in a Bloomberg survey. (Bloomberg)

US: Durable goods orders decline by most in six months
Orders for US durable goods dropped more than forecast in April, reflecting a slump in aircraft demand and disruptions in supplies of auto parts stemming from the earthquake in Japan. The 3.6% decrease in bookings for goods meant to last at least three years was the biggest since October and followed a 4.4% surge in March that was larger than previously estimated, a Commerce Department report showed. Economists projected a 2.5% April decline, according to the median forecast in a survey. (Bloomberg)

20110526 1104 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
pullback correction little upside biased.

Proton set aside RM1.6bn for capex
National carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd has set aside RM1.6bn for capital expenditure (capx) for its current financial year ending 31 March 2012, up 60% from last year’s expenditure of slightly less than RM1bn, in an effort to restrategise its business. Proton group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said the increase is simply due to the company’s commitment to continue to invest in order to achieve its business transformation plans. (Malaysian Reserve)

Proton back to the black in 4Q
Thanks to the higher revenue from increased sales volume, national carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd has returned to the black in 4QFY11 ended 31 March, with a profit before tax (PBT) of RM81m, from a pre-tax loss of RM51.5m in the preceding quarter. However, for the full FY11, Proton’s PBT fell 18% to RM215m compared with FY10’s RM261m.. (Financial Daily)

Tenaga share price drops on no tariff hike
Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s share price lost all of its earlier gain to close lower by 33 sen or 5% yesterday after expectation of a tariff hike did not materialize. Tenaga shares closed at RM6.16 on tohe back of the deferment of the Casbinet meeting to disucss a hike in the electricity tariff. The share price has, on 24 May 2011, increased by 22 sen as the nation expected a tariff hike. (Malaysian Reserve)

Mah Sing achieves 49% of its RM2bn sales target for 2011
Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd has achieved 49% of its RM2bn sales target for 2011, in line with strong response to all segments of its properties. The company has raked in RM975m in sales as at 31 May 2011, said group managing director cum chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum in a statement yesterday.(Malaysian Reserve) RGB close to USD25m deal RGB International Bhd (formerly known as Dreamgate Corp Bhd) is close to securing a USD25m (RM76.8m) contract to supply 1,000 gaming machines to one of the four casino concessionaires in Bagong Nayong Pilipino- Entertainment City Manila, said group executive director Steven Lim Tow Boon. The contract will be based on a concession model whereby RGB has a share of the revenue from the machines. (Financial Daily)

CIMB Q1 net profit up 9.4%
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd's net profit for first quarter ended 31 March was 9.4% higher year-on-year at RM917mil as credit losses dropped sharply.The net profit was equivalent to net earnings per share of 12.3 sen from 11.86 sen a year ago. This was achieved despite a 1.3% decrease in revenue to RM2.75bn for the quarter under review. The annualised net return on equity (ROE) for the quarter was 15.7%. (StarBiz)

TM Q1 profit down
Telekom Malaysia Bhd's (TM) net profit for its first quarter ended 31 March (Q1FY11) was down 32.8% to RM163.3mil from a year ago mainly due to lower unrealised exchange gains on translation of foreign currency borrowings.But the revenue for the quarter under review recorded a 1.1% growth to RM2.15bil year-on-year (yo- y), mainly attributed to higher revenue from data, Internet and multimedia services, which when combined contributed 57% of the group's total revenue for the quarter. (StarBiz)

SIA to set up own low-cost carrier
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has surprised the aviation industry by announcing plans to set up a wholly-owned lowcost carrier that will ply medium and long-haul routes in a year's time.SIA said it had intentions to set up a new no-frills low-fare airline operating wide-body aircraft which will be operated independently and managed separately from SIA. (StarBiz)

UEM Land profit soars
Property developer UEM Land Holdings Bhd's net profit and revenue for the first quarter ended 31 March soared compared with the same quarter a year ago on realisation of earnings from its own projects in Nusajaya, Johor, and from subsidiary Sunrise Bhd.The company said net profit jumped 460.34% to RM17.60mil on revenue that advanced 372.77% to RM187.68m. (StarBiz)

Maxis: Aircel stake purchase proper. Maxis Communications Bhd (MCB) says it was in full compliance with the applicable laws of India when it bought a stake in India's Aircel in 2007 and denies allegations that have surfaced in a recent news report in India. (Source: The Star)

Consumer: Prices of RON95 petrol, diesel and LPG to remain the same. The government has decided to maintain the prices of RON95 petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas for the time being after an in-depth discussion on subsidy rationalisation at Wednesday's weekly cabinet meeting. (Source: The Star)

Petronas Dagangan: Seeks for stations. Despite the impacts of increasing subsidy cuts by the government and rising fuel prices, Petronas Dagangan Bhd which currently has 950 petrol stations nationwide, has intentions to invest RM250m to RM400m annually to set up between 30 & 50 petrol stations a year till 2016. (Source: The Star)

Prinsiptek: In RM90m Bangkok Project. Prinsiptek Corp Bhd will embark on a mixed development project in Bangkok next month with a gross development value of RM90m. (Source: Business Times)

Premium Nutrients: To sell palm oil downstream business. About 99% of shareholders of Premium Nutrients Bhd approved the sale of its flagship refinery and specialty fats business to Sri Lankan Carson group for RM117.9m. However, the disposal may turn Premium Nutrients into a PN17 company. (Source: Business Times)   

20110526 1018 Renewable Energy Related News.

TOKYO, May 25 (Reuters) - Softbank Corp , Japan's third-largest mobile phone operator, said on Wednesday that it would participate in a project to build about a dozen large solar power facilities across the country.
The company's billionaire president, Masayoshi Son, has committed himself to helping boost renewable energy sources in the wake of the crisis at a nuclear power plant in northeast Japan.

NAIROBI, May 24 (Reuters) - A 310 megawatt (MW) Kenyan wind power project has received approval to earn carbon emissions credits under the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.
Construction on the 617 million euro ($873.7 million) Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project is expected to start by December and will be the fourth project in Kenya to get approval under the CDM.

May 24 (Reuters) - Google Inc  and Citigroup Inc  will each invest $55 million in Terra-Gen Power's 102 megawatt Alta IV project in California, the companies said.
Renewable energy developer Terra-Gen Power is constructing the 1,550 MW Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) project in several phases, five of which have been completed.

PARIS, May 24 (Reuters) - Utility EDF  said it would invest in gas and renewable energies while forging ahead with its core nuclear power business, as the former French monopoly vies to be the world's biggest provider of electricity by 2020.
Electricity de France SA said atomic power production would remain its core business, stressing this was not called into question by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, but moved to address two questions raised by investors on its strategy.

SARAJEVO, May 24 (Reuters) - Serbia's power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and RWE Innogy, a subsidiary of German utility RWE , on Tuesday signed a 352 million euros ($495 million) deal to build hydro-power plants in Serbia.
Under the deal the utilities agreed to set up a joint venture, named Moravske Hidroelektrane (Morava Hydro-Power Plants), an independent power producer which will operate at least five future hydro power plants on Velika Morava river.

NEW DELHI, May 24 (Reuters) - Solar power in India could cost the same as conventional electricity by 2019-20, a report said on Tuesday, which could boost the use of an energy source regarded as key to curbing emissions in the world's third-worst carbon polluter.
A KPMG report said more aggressive policy could see solar power prices decline at a rate of 5-7 percent annually over the next decade, ensuring "grid parity", or the point when solar power costs the same as conventional power, as early as 2017-18.

Tokyo, May 24 (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp  said it may not reach its target of 39 orders for nuclear reactors until 2-3 years later than expected, and that it would increase focus on renewables and smart grids as the crisis rumbles on at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Despite the setback to its nuclear business, Toshiba said it aims to more than double its operating profit to 500 billion yen by the year to March 2014.

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 23 (Reuters) - Brazil's MPX will open the country's first solar power plant linked to the national grid in June and hopes the project will spur government incentives for the sector.
MPX , controlled by billionaire industrial magnate Eike Batista, will start the Taua plant in the northeastern state of Ceara with a capacity of only 1 megawatt, enough to power 1,500 homes, but expects that to increase to 50 megawatts within 10 years.

NEW DELHI, May 23 (Reuters) - From a lack of data and trained manpower to dealing with inexperienced investors, India's ambitious dream to boost solar power faces a host of problems that could slow plans to zoom production from near zero to 20 gigawatts by 2022.
Under its Solar Mission plan issued in 2009, India is to produce 1,300 megawatts (MW) of power by 2013, an additional supply of up to 10 gigawatts (GW) by 2017 and the rest by 2022 at an overall investment of about $70 billion.

LOS ANGELES, May 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Energy offered SolarReserve LLC a conditional $737 million loan guarantee on Thursday to support the development of a Nevada solar power plant.
The Santa Monica, California company was among a large group of companies competing for the coveted loan guarantees, which are awarded to projects deploying innovative energy technologies on a far larger scale than ever before.

MADRID, May 19 (Reuters) - Spain's energy watchdog suspended subsidies to 143 solar plants on Thursday for failing to show they were up and running before a generous state support for the fledgling industry was slashed in 2008.
That added to 808 plants which have been provisionally suspended as part of a review of more than 9,000 plants under way since last year in one of the world's major solar producers, the National Energy Commission (CNE) said in a statement.

20110526 1017 Biofuels Related News.

SAO PAULO, May 24 (Reuters) - Brazil's government will offer a line of subsidized credit for the replanting of cane crops, as part of a larger push to stimulate production of ethanol, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.
The new line of credit, directed at improving sugar cane yields through replanting of less productive fields, will be part of a low-carbon program with interest rates of 5.5 percent annually, below the 6.75 percent offer in other rural credit programs.

WASHINGTON, May 24 (Reuters) - Republican presidential contender Tim Pawlenty, who earned some influential praise for his stand against ethanol subsidies at his Iowa campaign kickoff, said on Tuesday there should be no "sacred cows" in cutting federal spending.
During an Internet town hall on Facebook, Pawlenty renewed his call for phasing out federal subsidies for the corn-based fuel, saying it was "not just about ethanol" but should be part a broader reform to eliminate subsidies across the board.

SAO PAULO, May 23 (Reuters) - Copersucar, Brazil's largest sugar and ethanol trader, and its shareholders plan to sell stock in an initial public offering to boost investments in logistics and marketing, according to the country's securities regulator.
The company did not disclose the number of shares that could be put up for sale, the size of the offering or the terms of the transaction.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 18 (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol production rose 4.4 percent in the latest week, the government said on Wednesday, reversing a downward trend.
Ethanol output totaled 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the week ended May 13, up 38,000 bpd from the prior week, the Energy Information Administration said.

SAO PAULO, May 17 (Reuters) - The number of ships loading, waiting or arriving to export sugar from Brazil's two main ports is growing and should let up in the coming days, shipping agencies said.
The lineup of vessels reached 58 on Tuesday, slightly up from 55 a week ago. Although backlogs to haul sugar from the world's largest producer of the sweetener are not uncommon, these numbers are not normal for this early in the season.

SAO PAULO, May 24 (Reuters) - Sugar and ethanol group Tereos Internacional  posted a three-fold surge in quarterly pre-tax net income as rising prices and increased volumes helped offset higher costs.
The company posted pre-tax profit of 139 million reais ($85 million) in its fiscal fourth quarter, ended March 31, compared with 41 million reais a year earlier, according to a securities filing.

20110526 1005 Global Market Related News.

 DJIA chart reading : pullback correction downside biased.

Hang Seng chart reading : pullback correction downside biased.

Asian Stocks Rise; Commodity Producers Gain(Source: Bloomberg)
Asia stocks rose, driving the regional benchmark index to its best performance in a week, as raw material producers increased after oil and copper prices rallied. Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), the Japanese trading company that gets about 40 percent of sales from commodities, gained 0.9 percent in Tokyo. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-biggest mining company by sales, climbed 1.8 percent. Bigger rival BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) advanced 1.8 percent after Deutsche Bank AG upgraded basic resources to “overweight” and named BHP among its top picks. Canon Inc. (7751), the world’s largest camera maker, jumped 5.1 percent on its plan to buy back shares.

OECD sees growth firm, but risks abounding
PARIS, May 25 (Reuters) - Global economic recovery is on track, helped by a stronger United States, but threats ranging from high oil prices to European sovereign debt crises could yet combine to create a bout of stagflation, the OECD said on Wednesday.
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said the U.S. and euro area economies were growing faster than expected in forecasts six months ago, although Japan's economy was set to contract after the March earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

Container Leasing Surge Shows Global Economy Accelerating: Freight Markets(Source: Bloomberg)
The global trade rebound is pushing shipping lines to rely more on leasing companies such as CAI International Inc. and TAL International Group Inc. for the containers used to transport everything from bananas to blouses. “We’re seeing perfect conditions,” Brian Sondey, president and chief executive officer of Purchase, New York- based TAL, said in an interview. “Relatively strong growth in trade creates a good level of need for containers, supply is very tight and shipping lines aren’t purchasing as many containers as in the past.”

Durable-Goods Orders in U.S. Dropped 3.6% in April, the Most in Six Months(Source: Bloomberg)
Orders for U.S. durable goods dropped more than forecast in April, reflecting a slump in aircraft demand and disruptions in supplies of auto parts stemming from the earthquake in Japan.

Home Prices in U.S. Fell 5.5% in First Quarter, Biggest Drop in Two Years(Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. home prices dropped 5.5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline in almost two years, as sales of discounted foreclosures undermined real estate values. Prices fell 2.5 percent from the fourth quarter, the Washington-based Federal Housing Finance Agency said today in a report. Economists projected a 1.2 percent drop from the previous three months, according to the median of five estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

US new home sales rise, but signal no recovery yet
WASHINGTON, May 24 (Reuters) - Sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes rose for a second straight month in April and supply was the lowest in a year, but an overhang of previously owned houses on the market could hobble recovery.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday sales increased 7.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 unit annual rate, the highest since December, also giving prices a lift.

Deficit May Snap 12-Year Tax Winning Streak for Top-Earning Americans(Source: Bloomberg)
The year 2013 may snap a 12-year winning streak for wealthy Americans on taxes due on income, capital gains, dividends and giving money to their heirs. The U.S. deficit, forecast by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to reach a two-year cumulative total of $2.5 trillion in 2012, has prompted calls by some in President Barack Obama’s administration, Congress and a bipartisan commission to limit tax breaks for home mortgage interest, charitable contributions, municipal bonds and retirement contributions.

Food Inflation Accelerating as Nestle, McDonald’s React to Commodity Surge(Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. food-price inflation may top the government’s forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies including Nestle SA, McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) and Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) to boost prices. Retail-food prices will jump more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimate of 3 percent to 4 percent this year, said Chad E. Hart, an economist at Iowa State University in Ames. Companies will pass along more of their higher costs through year-end, said Bill Lapp, a former ConAgra Foods Inc. chief economist.

‘Major Tornado Outbreak’ Seen for Midwest(Source: Bloomberg)
A “major tornado outbreak” brewing across nine states in the central U.S. is adding to insured losses that may already have reached $6.5 billion this season, according to an industry group. Tornadoes and thunderstorms have caused at least $3 billion in insured losses and perhaps more than double that, said Robert Hartwig, president and economist at the Insurance Information Institute in New York.

U.S. Stocks Snap Three-Day Drop as Commodity Producers Advance(Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks advanced, with benchmark indexes snapping a three-day decline, as commodity shares rallied on expectations for higher raw material prices. Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) and Halliburton Co. (HAL) gained at least 1.6 percent as oil climbed following a report showing that U.S. distillate fuel supplies dropped to a two-year low. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) advanced 2.4 percent as copper rose after Deutsche Bank AG said prices are likely to rebound. Fifth Third Bancorp and BB&T Corp. (BBT) increased more than 1 percent after Fitch Ratings said it probably won’t downgrade German banks because of their holdings of Greek debt.

China power crunch to worsen as drought slashes hydro output
BEIJING, May 25 (Reuters) - The worst drought to hit central China for half a century has brought water levels in some of the country's biggest hydropower producing regions to critical levels and could exacerbate electricity shortages over the summer.
The official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday that the water level at the world's biggest hydropower plant at the Three Gorges Dam has fallen to 152.7 metres, well below the 156-m mark required to run its 26 700-megawatt turbines effectively.

BOJ Signals Readiness to Boost Lending as Exports Tumble Most Since 2009(Source: Bloomberg)
The Bank of Japan indicated its willingness to expand lending programs to support reconstruction efforts after the nation’s record March 11 earthquake crippled factory production and pushed the economy into a recession.

Japan’s Nikkei Index Rises Most in Three Weeks on Commodities(Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks rose, sending the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to its biggest gain in more than three weeks, after oil and copper prices increased and as the yen weakened.

U.K. Economy Expanded 0.5% in First Quarter as Export Growth Accelerated(Source: Bloomberg)
U.K. exports helped the economy resume growth in the first quarter and outweighed the biggest slump in company investment and consumer spending in almost two years. Exports rose 3.7 percent in the quarter and net trade added a record 1.7 percentage points to gross-domestic-product growth, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. Consumer spending dropped 0.6 percent and company investment plunged 4.4 percent. GDP rose 0.5 percent on the quarter and 1.8 percent from a year earlier, matching initial estimates.

Australian Dollar Rebounds From Six-Week Low Versus Greenback Before Capex(Source: Bloomberg)
Australia’s dollar rebounded from the weakest level in six weeks versus the greenback before a report economists said will show the nation’s business investment increased to a record in the first quarter.

Euro Gains Versus Dollar, Yen on Interest Rates Outlook, as Stocks Climb(Source: Bloomberg)
The euro gained versus the dollar and the yen on prospects the European Central Bank will be quicker than its counterparts to raise interest rates and as stocks advanced.

FOREX-Debt concerns pound euro to record low vs CHF
LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - The euro suffered broadly on Wednesday, plumbing a record low versus the Swiss franc as Greece's struggle for political consensus to salvage its finances underlined the possibility that the euro zone debt crisis will knock the single currency lower. Finland's approval of an EU/IMF bailout for Portugal helped the euro to pare some losses versus the dollar, but did little to stop the euro from falling to 1.2298 francs, the weakest since the single currency was launched in 1999.
Demand from hedge funds also prompted a short squeeze in the single currency versus the dollar, but analysts say the euro is tainted by ongoing uncertainty surrounding the euro zone debt crisis, and that a fall below $1.40 is imminent.

20110526 1003 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish firmer as persistent planting delays raise concerns that farmers won't plant as many acres as intended. Rains in Ohio and the Dakotas are keeping progress slow after weeks of delays due to cool, wet weather. Fertilizer producer CF says it looks increasingly likely plantings will fall below 92M acres; the USDA in March predicted farmers would plant 92.2M. CBOT July corn jumps 9c to $7.42 1/4 a bushel.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures close higher, with MGEX leading the rally on concerns about wet weather preventing planting. Rains continue to keep farmers out of fields in North Dakota, the top producer of spring wheat traded at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. "There are some really serious planting delays that are going to continue," says Mike Krueger, president of The Money Farm. Poor global weather adds support as Western Europe is dry too. CBOT July wheat rises 16 3/4c to $7.96 1/2 a bushel, KCBT July gains 16 3/4c to $9.28 3/4 and MGEX July soars 31 1/4c to $10.20.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures advance with prices for other grains. A sharp rally in wheat helped lift rice, as both grains are global food staples, an analyst says. Traders continue to worry floods affected crop land near the Mississippi River, including thousands of acres of rice, as rice plantings were already down significantly from last year. CBOT July rice rises 4 1/2c to $15.17 1/2 per hundredweight.

Commodities fundamentals strong despite recent rout-Glencore
HONG KONG, May 25 (Reuters) - The recent slump in commodity prices has taken the speculative froth out of the market, but fundamentals are still strong given   tight supplies and buoyant demand from emerging markets, Glencore International said on Wednesday.
Asian demand should underpin growth in commodities as global producers keep pace with the booming appetite from economies in the region, Glencore said.

Traders: End To Russia Grain Ban Imminent; Export Controls Expected (Source: CME)
Russian grain traders are increasingly hopeful the government will lift its ban on grain exports in July, industry sources said, although opinions differ on how the shipments will be managed. Speculation that the Kremlin will allow grain to leave the country has been mounting as prospects have improved for the country's harvest as a period of warm dry weather has helped farmers catch up on their spring sowings. Moscow-based analysts SovEcon this week raised its estimate for Russia's grain harvest to 85 million metric tons from previous expectations of 78-83 million tons. It pegged exports for the 2011-12 crop year at 15 million tons, towards the top end of industry estimates. Managing director Andrey Sizov Jr. said "it's too early to say whether Russia will resume exports by July 1, but it is indeed looking increasingly likely."
The promise of a better crop comes as officials are due to discuss whether to lift the embargo on grain exports imposed last August after devastating drought cut the harvest by around a third to an estimated 61 million tons. Any exports could potentially take the pressure off international markets, which have rallied almost 30% from March lows due to concerns the 2011-12 crop will not be large enough to meet world demand. Dealers and lobby groups have been pushing for the ban to be dropped when it expires at the end of June and some say they expect a decision from the government as early as this week. Key for the government is the need to balance curbing domestic food-price inflation--the public's top gripe in polls ahead of next year's election--and ensuring prices are high enough to encourage good plantings next season.
Domestic grain prices have begun to stabilize after a recent slump as traders have begun to buy in readiness for exports, but are still trading at a discount of $100-150 a ton compared to international markets. "The crops look better in Russia, but the world prices are strong," said a senior trader with operations in Russia. "The government will have to choose between allowing free exports and managing inflation targets." Traders said they expect any exports to be carefully managed. Some said the government may follow the example of neighboring Ukraine by imposing an export tax. Others said the government may allow free exports until September and then reconsider when the next harvest is finished. "The idea seems to be to let the ban run out and to allow exports for three months until end of September without quotas," said the first trader. "Then the overall supply situation would be reconsidered depending on the final crop outcome."
Either way, market commentators still see Russia's exports as a major supply risk for the 2011-12 crop year. All major forecasting agencies have predicted an expansion in world plantings this year but severe dryness in Europe and parts of the U.S. have caused concerns that production will be stunted again next year. Macquarie analyst Kona Haque said if producers manage the 20-30% expansion in wheat production she forecasts, it looks likely the Kremlin will lift the embargo in 2011 but the "fact that there is an export ban still in place is a huge supply-side risk right now."

India Won't Allow Wheat, Rice Exports From Govt Stocks-Minister (Source: CME)
India will not allow any wheat or rice exports from government stocks, despite ample supplies as the country is gearing up to soon introduce a food security law that guarantees cheap grains to 70% of the population, food minister said. "Our draft (food security) bill is ready. We should have enough stocks. Any decision on exports will need to be taken on that basis," K.V. Thomas said. However, the minister added that he was open to allowing limited exports to private trade. Exports from India, the world's second-largest wheat and rice producer, would help to ease tight global supplies, but the minister said the government would tread cautiously and a decision is unlikely for at least a month. India has maintained a ban on the export of wheat and common grades of rice for the past three years, but overflowing stocks have nudged the government to examine whether to allow some exports. The minister said a panel is expected to discuss the draft (food security) law at its next meeting, without specifying a date.
Once the approval comes through, the government will place it in parliament after a cabinet clearance. India is expecting a record foodgrain output of 235.9 million tons in 2010-11, while its stocks are more than double the requirement for government's welfare programs. The annual foodgrain requirement for welfare programs will jump to around 82 million tons from 61 million tons once the new law is implemented. "It is like a war. Foodgrain production will have to go up and so will procurement and supply, once the new law is in place," the minister said. The government was also exploring the possibility of overseas cultivation of food crops particularly in Africa to meet higher demand in coming years, adding that he recently held talks on possible collaboration with Uganda.
Separately, Thomas also said that he was examining together with the farm ministry whether to impose a tax on imports of crude edible oil and raise the 7.5% duty level on refined oils to encourage domestic cultivation that has jumped in 2010-11. The edible oil industry has demanded a 10% import tax on crude edible oil and a 17.5% import tax on refined oils to offset the impact of local taxes on domestic producers. India's oilseeds output this crop year through June is estimated to jump to 30.25 million tons from 24.88 million tons last year. Thomas also ruled out the possibility of allowing more sugar exports under the open general license this marketing year through September beyond the 500,000 tons that has been allowed. "Why should we think of more exports now when only half the quantity permitted has been shipped so far," he said. Indian mills are struggling to export as global prices have fallen from record levels three months ago and fresh supplies from Brazil are expected to bring down prices further.

U.S. wheat up 1 pct, corn firm after selloff
NEW DELHI, May 25 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat rose around 1 percent on Wednesday as poor crop weather across top producing regions of the world supported the market, while corn firmed on forecasts of more rains in the U.S. crop belt.
"The weather conditions are difficult. Please remember that the corn belt is very wet," said Garry Booth, a trader with MF Global Australia.

Farmers gain, forests at risk from Brazil land bill
BRASILIA, May 24 (Reuters) - Lawmakers passed an overhaul of Brazil's forest code on Tuesday that relieves farmers of part of $304 billion in potential costs in one of the world's breadbaskets but that environmentalists say will cause deforestation to surge.
The new law governing land use would reduce the amount of forest that farmers must preserve, relax the conservation of hilltops, and give partial amnesties for massive fines for past deforestation in Latin America's largest country.

Argentina allows 200,000 tonnes more in wheat sales
BUENOS AIRES, May 24 (Reuters) - Argentina authorized the exportation of an additional 200,000 tonnes of 2010/11 wheat, a limited amount because some farmers have not declared the full size of their crops, an official said on Tuesday.
Argentina is a major wheat exporter but the government restricts international shipments to ensure domestic supply as it grapples with inflation, estimated by private economists at 25 percent per year. Corn shipments are also controlled.

Rains urgently needed for much West European wheat
LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - Wheat crops in much of western Europe remain in urgent need of more rain with time beginning to run out for some, particularly those on lighter soils, analysts and industry sources said on Tuesday.
"With every day that passes, the potential for recovery is dwindling," Jack Watts, senior economist with the Home-Grown Cereals Authority, said referring to the UK crop.

More severe storms, big rains head to US Corn Belt
CHICAGO, May 24 (Reuters) - More severe storms head to the U.S. Midwest this week, bringing heavy rains to soaked lands in the eastern belt where farmers are already struggling to finish corn planting by month's end, a forecaster said on Tuesday.
"With the rains coming, they are not going to see a whole lot of progress this week. It dries out later -- but by then it will be early June," said Joel Burgio, Telvent DTN forecaster.

Russia govt urged to lift grain ban July-Sept
MOSCOW, May 24 (Reuters) - Russia's government is considering a proposal from leading Russian grain traders and industry analysts to lift its ban on grain exports from July to the end of September, a top Russian analyst said on Tuesday.
"We have made this proposal, but officials may have other opinions," SovEcon President and CEO Andrei Sizov told Reuters.

Iraq sees higher wheat harvest, to suspend imports
BAGHDAD, May 24 (Reuters) - Iraq expects its wheat harvest to increase to between 2 million and 2.5 million tonnes this year, the agriculture minister said on Tuesday, up from 1.866 million tonnes in the 2009/2010 season when rains were good.
"We expect wheat to be above two million tonnes," Izzedine al-Dawla told reporters.

S.Africa raises 2010/11 maize output f'cast
JOHANNESBURG, May 24 (Reuters) - South Africa raised its May 2010-April 2011 maize output forecast on Tuesday, beating market expectations, after an increase in white maize yields in some parts of the country.
The government Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said the country is now expected to harvest 10.99 million tonnes of maize, compared with 10.883 million tonnes in its previous forecast.

ICE sugar edges up but remains rangebound
LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - ICE sugar rose in early trade on Wednesday, boosted by port congestion in top producer Brazil, while coffee also edged up but cocoa registered marginal losses.
ICE raw sugar edged higher in early trade but remain well within its recent trading range.

Brazil coffee farm will irrigate to boost output
BRASILIA, May 24 (Reuters) - Brazil's biggest coffee farm, Ipanema Coffees, hopes to boost yields by as much as a third through use of irrigation, part of an investment trend among producers eager to cash in on a sharp rise in prices.
Washington Rodrigues, CEO at Ipanema Coffees in the southeastern coffee belt in Minas Gerais state, said factors such as land prices in the dense farming region and surging labor costs made yields the most viable way to raise output.

Honduras 11/12 coffee output seen at 3.9 mln bags-attache
WASHINGTON, May 24 (Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Honduras:
"Honduras ranks first in Central America, third in Latin America, and seventh globally in coffee exports by volume. Honduran coffee production in 2011/2012 is forecast at 3.9 million 60 kilograms (kg) bags.

Government to finance Brazil cane replanting-paper
SAO PAULO, May 24 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government plans to offer a line of subsidized credit to sugar and ethanol mills for the replanting of cane crops, as part of a larger push to stimulate production of the biofuel, agriculture minister Wagner Rossi told a local newspaper.
Rossi said in Tuesday's Valor Economico paper that the new line of credit would be in the annual farm budget and directed at improving sugar cane yields through replanting of less productive fields.

Alien weed hits cotton, wheat in Syria, Iraq -FAO
MILAN, May 24 (Reuters) - An invasive alien weed, silverleaf nightshade, is theatening cotton and wheat crops in Syria and Iraq and could spread to Lebanon and Jordan, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Tuesday.
More than 60 percent of the farmland in Syria, growing mainly cotton and wheat, has been infested with the weed, originally from the American tropics, which sucks nutrients from the soil and starves crops of water, the FAO said in a statement.

Ivorian cocoa arrivals 13 pct up from last season
ABIDJAN, May 24 (Reuters) - Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast were 13 percent higher than last season, data from the official marketing body obtained by Reuters on Tuesday showed, despite massive smuggling to Ghana.
Arrivals reached 1,068,918 tonnes by May 15, up from 946,644 tonnes in the same period a year ago, the data from the Coffee and Cocoa Bourse (BCC) showed.

Oil Trades Near a Two-Week High as U.S. Distillate Fuel Supplies Decline(Source: Bloomberg)
Oil traded near a two-week high in New York on signs of increased U.S. demand after a government report showed inventories of diesel and heating oil fell in the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation. Futures were little changed after climbing 1.7 percent yesterday as the Energy Department said distillate stockpiles declined 2.04 million barrels to 141.1 million last week, the lowest since April 2009. Demand for the fuel advanced 10 percent to 3.98 million barrels a day, the report showed. Gasoline stockpiles rose 3.79 million barrels to 209.7 million, the biggest addition since February.

China plans to increase scrap metals output by 60 pct by 2015-Assn
SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - China plans to expand output of secondary nonferrous metals by 60 percent from 2010 to 1.2 million tonnes by 2015 by tapping into scrap, a senior official at the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association Recycling Metal Branch said on Tuesday.
China plans six to eight new scrap copper plants each with an annual capacity of 200,000 tonnes, eight to 10 scrap aluminium plants with 200,000 tonnes of capacity and 10 lead recycling projects with 50,000 tonnes of capacity, said Hongchang Ma, deputy secretary general of the association.

Japan April aluminium shipments down 7.6 pct yr/yr
TOKYO, May 25 (Reuters) - Japanese shipments of aluminium products fell 7.6 percent in April from a year earlier to 163,805 tonnes, industry data showed on Wednesday, reflecting weak demand as production was hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Shipments were down 4.1 percent from 170,878 tonnes in March and it was the second month in a row of year-on-year declines, data provided by the Japan Aluminium Association showed.

Japan April rolled copper output rises mth/mth
TOKYO, May 25  (Reuters) - Japan's output of rolled copper product rose 3.1 percent in April from March, with manufacturers ramping up production ahead of power shortages slated for the summer, an industry body said on Wednesday.
The Japan Copper and Brass Association said rolled copper output totalled 70,669 tonnes on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, nearly flat from a year earlier.

Japan April rolled copper output rises mth/mth
TOKYO, May 25  (Reuters) - Japan's output of rolled copper product rose 3.1 percent in April from March, with manufacturers ramping up production ahead of power shortages slated for the summer, an industry body said on Wednesday.
The Japan Copper and Brass Association said rolled copper output totalled 70,669 tonnes on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, nearly flat from a year earlier.

METALS-Copper rallies as tight supply view back in focus
LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - Copper rallied on Wednesday as a fall in production at the world's top copper mine put its longer-term supply fundamentals squarely back in focus and as worries over sovereign debt in the euro zone eased. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded at $9,005 per tonne at 0957 GMT, versus a close of $8,860 a tonne on Tuesday.
The metal used in power and construction fell to a five-month trough of $8,504.50 on May 12 and has since struggled to regain momentum.

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 3-wk high on euro zone debt jitters
LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - Gold hit a three-week high on Wednesday, boosted by fears about the debt crisis in euro zone countries such as Greece while the resulting stronger dollar against the euro undermined sentiment. Spot gold  hit $1,528.40 a troy ounce, its highest since May 4. It was bid at $1,526.79 an ounce at 1120 GMT from $1,525.75 an ounce late in New York on Tuesday.
Euro-priced gold  hit a record 1,087.84 euros an ounce, according to Reuters data. Gold priced in sterling  was at 942.60 pounds per ounce, near a lifetime high of 944.87 struck on Tuesday.

Gold Rises on Concern Over Europe Debt(Source: Bloomberg)
Gold rose for a fourth straight session, the longest rally in three weeks, as Europe’s debt crisis increased investor demand for the precious metal as a protection of wealth. Christian Noyer, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, yesterday ruled out a restructuring of Greece’s debt, calling it a “horror story” that would leave the nation shut out of financing for years. Gold priced in euros and British pounds climbed to records today as policy makers disagreed over how to solve Greece’s fiscal woes.