Friday, August 26, 2011

20110826 1524 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asian shares edge up, dollar firm
SINGAPORE, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Asian shares edged up marginally  as investors waited for a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke later in the day, while nervousness about the U.S. economic outlook sent the dollar higher.
"The market is lacking upside potential as some doubt there will be another round of quantitative easing from the Fed," said Lee Suk-won, a market strategist at E-Trade Securities.

Global slowdown may not hurt Malaysian commodity exports
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia Aug 25 (Reuters) - Malaysian commodities such as palm oil, tin and rubber play such a central role in the global economy that their prices are likely to hold up even in a global slowdown, the Malaysian commodities minister said on Thursday.
Chinese imports of palm oil are set to rise next month as buyers stock up, Bernard Dompok said.

Wheat dips from 2-month top, corn down ahead of Bernanke speech
SINGAPORE, Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell around half a percent  from a two-month top in the last session amid an improved global crop output, while corn and soybeans eased in cautious trade ahead of a key speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.  
"For wheat, there are a number influences in the market right now which will limit any rally," said Abah Ofon, an analyst with Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.

Iowa corn limited by storms; late planting hurts Minnesota
AUSTIN, Minn., Aug 25 (Reuters) - Corn yield forecasts in Iowa dropped nearly five percent below average after hail and wind storms in the southwest devastated crop potential in that area of the top corn and soybean producing state, according to the findings of an annual crop tour released on Thursday.
In Minnesota, which was surveyed by crop scouts on Thursday, late planting limited production potential and much of the crop could be damaged by an early frost, dropping yield estimates below 2010 and the three-year average.

Brazil sugar output down 11 pct so far on year
BRASILIA, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Sugar and ethanol output remained at a slower pace in the first half of August, as expected, cane industry association Unica said on Thursday, as analysts' forecasts for the crop only grew gloomier.
Sugar production in Brazil's center-south reached 17.4 million tonnes from the start of the season to Aug. 16, down 11 percent from the same date a year earlier, cane industry association Unica said on Thursday.

Argentine farmers to sow more 11/12 corn--exchange
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2011/12 corn area is estimated at 3.5 million hectares, up 9 percent from the previous crop season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday in its first plantings forecast.
The South American country is the world's No. 2 corn exporter after the United States and farmers produced a bumper crop of 21 million tonnes in the current 2010/11 crop year. Farmers have virtually finished the harvest.

Drought, rain curb malting barley crop in west EU
PARIS, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The amount of European barley fit for making malt, an ingredient in beer, will be curbed by weather-affected harvests in France and Germany this year, but a more promising spring crop in Britain may help limit losses.
A spring drought and summer rain hurt French and German barley plants, notably spring-sown varieties that produce most of the crop used for malt, traders and analysts said.

Czech harvest picks up speed as weather improves
PRAGUE, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Czech grain harvest accelerated last week thanks to improving weather following a spell of rain, the Agrarian Chamber said on Thursday.
It said total grain harvest reached 5.96 million tonnes as of Aug 23, or 79 percent of the total area.

Minimal August rains to stress U.S. soybeans
CHICAGO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Minimal rainfall for the rest of August in the U.S. Midwest will add stress to pod-setting soybeans and filling corn, an agricultural meteorologist said
"Overall there won't be much rain for the next 10 days but no exceptional heat," said John Dee, meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring.

Hot, dry weather clips Illinois corn yield 6.5 pct
CORALVILLE, Iowa, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Illinois corn yields  fell more than 6 percent from a year ago as excessive heat and  prolonged dry weather stressed crops throughout the summer and  limited production potential in the second largest U.S. corn  state, scouts on an annual U.S. crop tour said Wednesday.
The stressful weather also undermined the soybean crop,  which scouts found to have nearly 9 percent fewer pods than in  2010, suggesting yields would decline in the country's No. 2  soybean producing state, they said.

Tight coffee supply to embolden Brazil producers
BRASILIA, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Coffee producers in Brazil, the world's top grower, will have the upper hand in trading their stocks in the long inter-harvest from October to May with a smaller 'off year' crop to sell and growing demand.
Global demand for the popular caffeine drink has continued to grow despite the economic storms of the past few years while supply growth lagged, as Brazil's trees take time to respond to improved use of inputs and husbandry.

Optimum Coal eyes more consolidation
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Optimum Coal , South Africa's sixth-largest coal producer, sees "huge opportunities" for consolidation in the country's coal sector and is looking for assets to buy, its chief executive said on Thursday.
Optimum recently bought prospecting rights from other players to boost its portfolio and replace mines when their life-span comes to an end. Chief executive Mike Teke said the company would continue to be "acquisitive".

Brent steady above $110, investors await Bernanke's speech
SINGAPORE, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Brent crude was steady, while U.S. futures edged down as investors worried the Federal Reserve chief may not offer measures strong enough to help the U.S. economy, the world's top oil consumer.
"We saw a little bit more bullish data this week on the crude side which gave some support," said Jeremy Friesen, a commodity strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong, referring to the EIA data that showed a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles.

LME copper slips, Bernanke's speech eyed
SHANGHAI, Aug 26 (Reuters) - LME copper fell, after surging to its highest in almost three weeks in the previous session, as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman later in the day.
"The tempting conclusion is to suggest a sell-off would ensue (if Bernanke does not unveil extra stimulus) particularly from the equity side," said MF Global senior commodity analyst Edward Meir on copper in a note on Thursday.

Vietnam to test run 1st alumina plant in Sept -paper
HANOI, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Vietnam will test-run its first alumina refinery, being built by a Chinese firm, next month and production is set to start in late 2011, well behind schedule, a state-run newspaper reported on Friday.
The $460 million Tan Rai alumina plant, invested in by Vinacomin, Vietnam's top coal mining group, would run at 20 percent of its designed 600,000-tonne output capacity when it begins production, the official Nhan Dan (People) newspaper said.

Japan July aluminium shipments down 4.8 pct yr/yr
TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Japanese shipments of aluminium products fell 4.8 percent in July from a year earlier to 170,916 tonnes, industry data showed on Friday, falling year-on-year for the second month in a row as the impact from the March earthquake was still felt.
The data provided by the Japan Aluminium Association showed that July shipments fell 4.2 percent from 178,452 tonnes in June, falling month-on-month for the first time in three months.

Gold edges lower before Bernanke speech
SINGAPORE, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Spot gold lost 0.4 percent, on course for its first weekly drop after seven straight weeks of gains, as investors awaited a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke later in the day.
"There is not a clear conviction on price direction as everyone is waiting for Jackson Hole," said Chen Xin Yi, an analyst at Barclays Capital, adding that some investors were exiting the market ahead of the central bankers' meeting and upcoming long weekend in London.

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