Tuesday, September 13, 2011

20110913 1001 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish higher as traders worry about shrinking supplies. UDSA cuts its harvest outlook for the second consecutive month, fueling fears another downgrade is likely in October. Traders are skeptical about reduced forecasts for exports and the amount of corn used to make ethanol. Margins for producers of the biofuel remain positive. "For now prices will have to stay high in order to trim consumption," says Darrel Good, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois. CBOT December corn rises 9c to $7.45 1/2 a bushel.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures close lower as federal forecasters make an unexpectedly large increase to their estimate of global inventories. The USDA raised its outlook 3% from August due to increased output estimates for Canada, Europe and the former Soviet Union. But it did cut projections for US exports due to increased competition. CBOT December wheat loses 2 1/2c to $7.27 1/4 a bushel while KCBT December drops 6 1/2c to $8.26 and MGEX December slides 5 3/4c to $9.01 1/2.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures reach their highest price in nearly two years as increased inventory estimates fail to end the market's recent rally. The market has attracted speculative and technical buyers as prices have climbed 30% since the beginning of July. Prices continued to advance even though the USDA raised its forecast for global inventories 0.7% from last month to 98.7M tons, the largest level since 2002-03. CBOT November rice closes up 0.2% at $18.37/hundredweight.

China, India corn demand to lead to record prices
JAKARTA, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Chinese and Indian corn demand will help push benchmark prices to record levels above $8 a bushel before the year-end, a leading U.S. analyst said late on Thursday.
Strong demand from developing Asian countries like China, the world's second largest corn consumer, coupled with the hottest summer in over half a century in top producer the United States, are both bullish for corn prices, John Baize, president at John C. Baize and Associates, told Reuters.

US wheat at 1-mth low, soy rises ahead of report
SINGAPORE, Sept 12 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures slid to a one-month low, falling for a fifth straight session amid broad weakness in global markets triggered by concerns over Europe's ability to tackle its worsening sovereign debt crisis.
"A strong report may see prices rebound, particularly given that drought conditions continue across the U.S. Great Plains, negatively impacting hard red winter wheat planting,"
Commonwealth Bank of Australia strategist Luke Mathews said in a report.

Heatwave to prompt US to cut corn, soy crop size
WASHINGTON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The Agriculture Department is expected to cut its estimate of the U.S. corn and soybean crops on Monday due to a late-summer heatwave and analysts say further reductions are likely, which would bolster high market prices.
In a survey, traders said they expect USDA to forecast a corn crop of 12.519 billion bushels, down 3 percent from August, and soybeans of 3.032 billion bushels, down 1 percent, because of the hottest summer in half a century.

Dryness starting to hurt Argentine wheat -gov't
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Rains are needed in much of Argentina's wheat belt to safeguard 2011/12 crops, especially in parts of the top growing province Buenos Aires, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.
The South American nation, a leading global wheat exporter, has yet to forecast 2011/12 output, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sees production dipping to 13.5 million tonnes from 15 million last season.

Ukraine harvests 272,000 T maize Sept.9 - AgMin
KIEV, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Ukraine, which plans to boost its maize harvest to 18-20 million tonnes this year, threshed 272,000 tonnes of the commodity as of September 9, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry gave no data for the same date in 2010 but said the maize yields rose to 4.76 tonne per hectare this year against 3.81 tonne a year ago.

Benign crop weather seen for US Midwest next week
CHICAGO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Rather uneventful crop weather is expected in the U.S. Midwest over the next week but an expected cold snap by mid-week bears watching, an agricultural meteorologist said on Friday.
"There probably won't be any significant damage to crops unless it turns colder than expected so it's something to be aware of," said Telvent DTN meteorologist Joel Burgio.

Russia harvests 71 mln T grain so far - AgMin
MOSCOW, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Russia harvested 71 million tonnes of grain by bunker weight by Sept. 8, up from 47 million tonnes a year ago and 67.6 million tonnes by the same date in 2009, Agriculture Ministry data showed on Friday.
Grain has been harvested from 29 million hectares, or 65.6 percent of the harvesting area of 44.1 million hectares, the data showed.

USDA Cuts Corn Production Forecast Again (Source: CME)
Federal forecasters cut their outlook for the size of the U.S. corn crop for the second straight month, yet expect surging prices to cool demand and prevent supplies from falling to an all-time low next year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a monthly crop report released, said farmers will produce 12.497 billion bushels of corn, a 3.2% cut from last month's forecast. The harvest is still expected to be the third largest on record, but will fall short of expectations in the spring when farmers planted a huge crop in response to tight supplies and historically high prices. The production cut was expected after hot, dry weather this summer damaged the crop in states such as Illinois and Indiana. Yet the reduction in expected demand was surprising, with some analysts and traders dismissing it as a way to prevent concerns over shortages by next summer.
"It's easy enough to say we're going to have a reduction in consumption, but whether or not we do is a different story," said Sid Love, analyst for Kropf & Love Consulting, an agricultural advisory firm in Kansas. Corn prices closed higher at the Chicago Board of Trade as traders continued to worry the harvest that is getting underway won't keep up with demand for the world's largest corn crop. The USDA had a brighter outlook for the soybean crop. Forecasters surprised traders by raising its prediction for the upcoming crop to 3.085 billion bushels from 3.056 billion in August. The USDA also increased its outlook for domestic wheat supplies, bucking expectations for a slight cut in inventories.

Monsanto Expects 5%-10% Increase In Corn Seed Prices For 2012 (Source: CME)
Monsanto Co. expects to increase prices for its key corn seed brand by 5% to 10% in 2012, an executive said. The increase for its Dekalb brand of seeds reflects the growing value of the products, as St. Louis-based Monsanto introduces new technologies, said Brett Begemann, senior vice president and chief commercial officer. The company anticipates farmers will shift to new, higher-yielding seeds, Begemann told investors. Some of the increase is also due to higher production costs, he added. The price increase shows continued momentum with customers and helps the company meet its growth projections, Begemann said. The company declined to say how prices shifted from 2010 to 2011. Monsanto had cut prices for its new, premium SmartStax corn seed for 2011 following a farmer backlash over pricing. Begemann has said the company would look to raise prices again once the seed had demonstrated its value in the field.

India 2011-12 Soybean Output Likely To Top 10 Mln Tons - Ruchi Soya Executive (Source: CME)
India's soybean output in the next marketing year is likely to rise to more than 10 million tons because of good rainfall and higher acreage, an industry executive said Monday. Soybean output in the current marketing year ending Sept. 30 is estimated between 9.0 million and 9.5 million tons, Dinesh Shahra, managing director of edible oil refiner Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd. (500368.BY), told reporters. Soybean accounts for more than 60% of the country's total summer-sown oilseed output. Higher soybean output is likely to reduce edible oil imports by India, the world's largest buyer. Soybean plantings have progressed well, with the central state of Madhya Pradesh and the western state of Maharshtra receiving sufficient monsoon rains. India has received 3% more rainfall than the widely watched 50-year average in the current monsoon season that began June 1.
Separately, Shahra said soymeal exports are likely to rise only marginally in 2011-12 as increasing domestic consumption will prevent a sharp growth in exports, although global demand is strong due to lower Indian prices. Indian soymeal prices are currently $30-$40 per ton below global prices, Shahra said. Overseas demand for soymeal, which is mainly used as a cattle feed, is also high as there is a shortage of corn. India's soymeal exports in 2010-11 are expected at about 4 million tons, up from about 2.8 million tons last year, according to industry executives. The carryover stocks are likely to be lower at about 200,000 tons in 2011-12 due to higher soymeal exports, Shahra said, without specifying last year's carryover stocks. He also said the government needs to raise the import tax on refined edible oils to 15% from 7.5%, as cheaper imports are hurting India's domestic refiners, who have a total refining capacity of about 20 million tons.

Russia Harvests 71.5M Tons Grain To Sept 9 (Source: CME)
Russia harvested 71.5 million metric tons of grain to Sept. 1 on 29.2 million hectares, or 66.2% of the total area to be harvested, the agriculture ministry said. The average yield was 2.45 tons a hectare, compared with 1.97 tons a hectare a year ago. The harvest to date was 24 million tons more than on the same date in 2010 and 2.6 million tons more than on the same date in 2009. The government expects this year's harvest to be 90 million tons. Last year's harvest fell to 60.9 million tons from 97.1 million tons in 2009 due to severe drought.

Wheat, Barley Farmers Back Canadian Wheat Board Monopoly (Source: CME)
A majority of wheat farmers in Canada's western prairies supports continuing a monopoly over their crop, according to results of an nonbinding vote. But Canada's Agriculture Minister said his government intends to ignore the results and proceed with its plan to dismantle the agency in favor of more market-oriented approach. Sixty-two percent of wheat farmers voting backed the Canadian Wheat Board, which for 70 years has been the only seller of wheat and barley grown in the western provinces. Barley farmers also backed the board, but by a smaller margin, with 51% of respondents voting in favor of keeping the monopoly. More than 49,000 votes were cast in the plebiscite. Results of the vote commissioned by the board come as it fights for its future. Canada's Conservative Party captured a parliamentary majority this past spring and plans to pass legislation stripping the board of its monopoly power.
Gerry Ritz, Canada's Agriculture Minister, reiterated this point in a statement released shortly after the vote results were made public. "No expensive survey can trump the individual right of farmers to market their own grain," he said. "Our government is committed to giving western Canadian grain farmers the marketing freedom they want and deserve." Ritz has said he expects legislation eliminating the board's monopoly power to be introduced this fall, with passage possible by the end of the year. The left-leaning New Democratic Party is expected to challenge the legislation, with Pat Martin, a NDP legislator, saying the government has yet to produce any evidence that farmers would be better off without the board. "This is nothing more than an ideological crusade," Martin said.
Those who oppose the board's monopoly say farmers could capture better returns by having the freedom to market their own crops. However, supporters of the board say its control over western Canada's crop gives it considerable power in global commodity markets to ensure farmers there get the best prices. An end to the wheat board's monopoly is likely to ripple through agriculture in North America. Commodity exchanges anticipate that Canadian farmers will turn to futures markets if the wheat board goes away, and they and grain handlers already are jockeying for the expected new business. The change also would affect wheat prices, potentially making them more volatile. The board hired MNP LLP, a Canadian accounting firm, to conduct the vote.

Thailand Bets Big on Rice (Source: CME)
Thailand, the world's biggest rice exporter by volume, is placing a hefty bet that prices for the grain will spiral higher as demand increases. During an election campaign this year, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pledged to use government funds to buy unmilled rice from farmers at 15,000 baht, or about $500, a ton at the coming harvest -- nearly twice the market rate before Ms. Yingluck's landslide July 2 election win. Ms. Yingluck pitched the promise as a way to generate more income for Thai farmers and help push international prices higher in the process. Thailand provides about one-third of the rice that is traded internationally. Already, prices for Thailand's milled benchmark grade B white rice have risen more than a third since April to $640 a ton, a level not seen in 18 months. Some analysts expect prices to top $800 a ton if the Thai price-support program is put into full effect.
"Prices are rising in anticipation of the Thai policy kicking in, and there's already hoarding taking place," said Samarendu Mohanty, an economist with the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, the Philippines. Some analysts doubt prices will go much higher. Ammar Siamwalla at the Thailand Development Research Institute said Thailand may be overplaying its hand. He warns that it risks falling into a vicious cycle in which it forks out large amounts of cash to farmers to produce more and more rice, whose prices may not be sustained at their current levels.

Wheat in Chicago Gains 0.5% to $7.31, Climbing First Day in Six; Soy Rises (Source: Bloomberg)
Wheat for December delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade gained 0.5 percent to $7.31 a bushel, rising for the first day in six. December corn climbed 0.2 percent to $7.4725 a bushel and November-delivery soybeans advanced 0.3 percent to $13.9975 a bushel.

Thailand Willing to Give Up Role as Biggest Rice Exporter, Kittiratt Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Thailand is willing to relinquish its role as the world’s biggest rice exporter as the government prepares to buy grain directly from farmers to boost prices and rural incomes, Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said. “We will not back off,” Kittiratt said in an interview yesterday. “If we cannot help our farmers, what is the point of being the government in this country? I’m not proud of being the largest exporter. I’m proud that Thai farmers can grow and sell their products at reasonable prices and they can smile.” Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra aims to insulate the country of 66 million people from a global slowdown by lifting incomes of poorer Thais who propelled her party to victory in a July election. The plan to guarantee rice prices may boost export rates by almost 20 percent and erode the nation’s share of the global market, said Sarunyu Jeamsinkul, deputy managing director at Asia Golden Rice Ltd., Thailand’s largest shipper.

ICE sugar, coffee dip on economic slowdown
LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - ICE sugar and coffee futures fell as worries over the global economic slowdown and the worsening euro zone debt crisis weighed on the commodities
complex.  ICE raw sugar futures edged lower, unable to escape the growing concerns over future economic growth that weighed on global markets.

Pakistan monsoon rains destroy up to 2 mln cotton bales
ISLAMABAD, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Pakistan may have lost up to two million cotton bales, or about 13 percent of its estimated crop, due to heavy monsoon rains during harvesting in major producing region Sindh, government and industry officials said on Friday.
Officials now estimate between 13 and 13.5 million bales of 170 kg (378.8 lb) each in the 2011/12 financial year against an expected bumper harvest of 15 million bales for the world's fourth largest cotton producer.

China 2011/12 cotton output seen at 7.4 mln T-survey
BEIJING, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Chinese analysts expect the country's cotton output in 2011/12 crop year to be 7.4 million tonnes, 17.8 percent higher than their estimate for 2010/11, according to a survey of six analysts contacted by Reuters on Friday.
The median forecast is an increase of 1.12 million tonnes from the 2010/11 median estimate of 6.28 million tonnes by the same analysts, and higher than the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's August forecast of 7.19 million tonnes.

Standard Bank sees sugar output growth in Africa
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 9 (Reuters) - South Africa's Standard Bank  expects sugar production in Africa to grow, supported by increased demand and firmer prices, its head of investment banking said.
Africa's top bank by assets said it was experiencing an increased appetite for investment in sugar production and processing.

Indonesian miner ABM Investama plans $300 mln Oct IPO-regulator
JAKARTA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Indonesian coal miner ABM Investama will sell 20 percent of its enlarged capital in an October initial public offering, a regulator said on Monday, seen raising up to $300 million in the fourth planned offering by a miner in Jakarta this year.
The Hamami family, which controls the miner, will not include its crown jewel Trakindo Utama, the sole authorised Indonesian dealer for heavy equipment maker Caterpillar , in the offering, cutting its appeal to investors, sources said.

U.S. coal use off 11 percent from previous week-Genscape
HOUSTON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - U.S. coal consumption was down 11 percent in the past week, Genscape said, as tropical weather knocked out power and lowered temperatures.
Use of coal for the week ended Thursday fell 5 percent from the same week in 2010, the power industry data monitor said.

Euro Coal-Prompt prices fall $3/T as buying halts
LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - European prompt physical coal prices fell by around $3.00 a tonne on Friday as the limited utility and trade buying, which had been holding prices steady, vanished.
The European market remains oversupplied with most utilities holding more coal than they need for the next few months and the market's one, regular utility buyer was sidelined on Friday.

Oil Rises a Second Day on Forecast Supply Drop; Brent-WTI Spread Narrows (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil rose for a second day amid speculation crude stockpiles shrank last week in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity. Brent’s premium to New York futures narrowed to the lowest in three weeks. Prices advanced as much as 1.1 percent before an Energy Department report tomorrow that may show oil supplies fell for a second week. London-traded Brent’s premium closed at the lowest since Aug. 23 yesterday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Libya will be able to restore most its oil output in six months. Crude for October delivery climbed as much as $1.02 to $89.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $89.02 at 9:22 a.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday increased 95 cents to $88.19. Prices are 15 percent higher the past year.

Kazakhstan sees oil output at 102 mln T in 2016
ASTANA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest economy and oil producer, plans to boost oil output to 102 million tonnes in 2016 from this year's 81 million tonnes, the Economy Ministry said in its forecast published on Monday.
The country's Oil and Gas Ministry had earlier forecast output at 83 million tonnes in 2012-13, 85 million tonnes in 2014 and 95 million tonnes in 2015.

Saudis to supply full Oct crude to Asia
TOKYO/SINGAPORE, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil in October to at least three major Asian term buyers, steady from September, industry sources said on Monday.
Demand for Middle East crude from buyers in northeast Asia has been robust over the past month as refiners stock up ahead of the northern hemisphere winter, keeping margins at profitable levels.

Oil production restarts in Libya - interim PM
TRIPOLI, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Libya has started producing oil again, the country's interim prime minister said on Sunday, promising that more of it would come online in the "near future".    
"We started producing oil yesterday," Mahmoud Jibril told a news conference in Tripoli. He declined to say where or how much. Libya holds Africa's largest crude oil reserves and sold about 85 percent of its exports to Europe before the uprising which toppled Muammar Gaddafi.

Gold Rebounds as Two-Day Slump Lures Investors Amid Economic Uncertainty (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold rebounded as a two-day slump made the precious metal attractive to investors looking to safeguard their wealth against financial turmoil and economic uncertainty. Gold for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.3 percent to $1,820.35 an ounce, and traded at $1,819.07 an ounce by 6:54 a.m. in Singapore. The metal, which reached a record $1,921.15 on Sept. 6, tumbled 2.9 percent in the past two days as investors sold the metal to cover losses in other markets. “While gold is exposed to a near-term consolidation after making fresh record highs recently, we recommend buying gold on dips as the ongoing debt/deficit crisis is likely to result in an extended period of super lax monetary conditions in the U.S. and Europe,” Societe Generale SA analysts led by Michael Haigh wrote in a report. “Gold is likely to make fresh all-time record highs before year-end.”

Australia enjoys another solid trade surplus in July
SYDNEY, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Australia boasted another solid trade surplus in July as a jump in gold exports offset supply bottlenecks for coal, while strength in imports of cars and heavy machinery pointed to resilient domestic demand.
The resource-rich country reported a surplus on goods and services of A$1.83 billion ($1.9 billion) in July, a shade above June's total. That brought the running 12-month total to a healthy A$21 billion, mostly thanks to sky high prices for key exports like coal and iron ore.

Baltic index firmer, capesizes at 9-month high
LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index or BDI, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, rose its highest in nearly nine months on Friday helped by firm coal and iron ore bookings with overall earnings seen staying volatile.    
The overall index rose 3.14 percent or 56 points to 1,838 points in a second day of gains after turning negative on Wednesday and was at its highest since Dec. 21. Prior to the drop, it had risen for five previous sessions. Last month the index had hit a near seven-month high.

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