Tuesday, September 20, 2011

20110920 1538 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asia stocks, euro fall after Italy downgrade
SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Asian stocks and the euro fell after ratings agency S&P downgraded Italy and as Greece held talks with creditors to avoid running out of cash within weeks, amid worries that Europe's debt woes will pitch the global financial system into a full-blown banking crisis.
"It only adds to the contagion risk over Greece and has encouraged the flight to safety in markets here," said Stephen Roberts, a senior economist at Nomura in Sydney, pointing to a sharp fall in the Australian dollar  on the news.

Asian Stocks Drop as Italy’s Credit-Rating Cut Boosts Debt-Crisis Concerns (Bloomberg)
Asian stocks fell, extending a two- week decline on the region’s benchmark stock index, after Italy’s sovereign-credit ratings were cut, intensifying concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening and may sour the earnings outlook for exporters, banks and commodity producers. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s biggest mining company, dropped 2.1 percent in Sydney as crude and metal prices tumbled. Rio Tinto Group, the second-largest miner by sales, fell 1.9 percent, extending losses yesterday. Sony Corp. (6758) slumped 4.1 percent, leading exporters’ shares lower after Japanese markets resumed trading following yesterday’s public holiday. China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., the nation’s No. 2 mobile phone carrier, rose 3.6 percent in Hong Kong after boosting subscribers.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 1 percent to 117.28 as of 4:18 p.m. in Tokyo, with about twice as many stocks declining as advancing on the index. The gauge has fallen for the past two weeks on concern Europe’s crisis is spreading and on signs of slowing U.S. economic growth.

Indonesia to be top SE Asian corn importer in 2011
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Indonesia will become Southeast Asia's top corn importer this year, ending Malaysia's 15-year run, due to rising poultry demand and a poor domestic crop, the U.S.
Grains Council said on Monday.    
Southeast Asia's largest economy is likely to import 3.2 million tonnes of corn, versus about 1.6 million last year, Adel Yusupov, Southeast Asia regional director at the council, told Reuters.
India to begin soybean imports from 2015
NUSA DUA, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Domestic demand for soybeans in India, fueled by a growing population and economic wealth in the world's fifth-largest producer, will result in the country becoming a net importer by 2015, the United Soybean Board said on Monday.
India is the world's fifth-biggest soybean producer after the United States, Brazil, Argentina and China, and it contributes about 5 percent to global output.

China soybean imports seen up 5 pct in 2012
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Chinese soybean imports will rise at least 5 percent next year, boosted by growing demand from pig and poultry farmers coupled with an emphasis on corn self-sufficiency, the American Soybean Association said on Monday.
China, the world's top soybean importer, is expected to buy about 57 million tonnes for the year ending August 31, 2012, versus 53-54 million tonnes the year before, Danny Murphy, treasurer at the American Soybean Association, told Reuters.

U.S. grains rise 1 pct; strong dollar weighs
SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat and soy futures gained around 1 percent as bargain hunters resurfaced after prices dropped in the previous session on concerns about the global economy, but a strong U.S. dollar was likely to cap gains.  
"There's probably not a lot of bullish U.S.-centric grain news out there. So, there's probably not a lot of fundamental news to push these markets higher," said Brett Cooper, a senior manager of markets at FCStone Australia.  

Indonesia Bulog sees 1.5 mln T rice stocks at year end-official
SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Indonesia's Bulog expects to have 1.5 million tonnes of rice stocks at the end of 2011, an official at the state procurement agency said on Tuesday.
"The weather has not been favourable and there has been some pest and disease spreading, so the quality of 2011 rice is not very good. The government asked us to have 1.5 million tonnes of ending stocks in 2011," Muhammad Ismet, agriculture economist at Bulog, said.    

Western Canada harvest 78 pct done
Sept 19 (Reuters) - Western Canada's overall harvest moved to 78 percent complete, the Canadian Wheat Board said on Monday, ahead of the normal pace of 71 percent at this time of year.
The western Prairies got their first widespread frost last week, ending the growing season in most areas, except for western Alberta, the board said in a statement.

Bunge to expand Canada canola plant
Sept 19 (Reuters) - Bunge Ltd  said on Monday that it will boost capacity at a canola-processing plant in western Canada, adding to an expansion across the industry.
Bunge said it would more than double the current capacity of its 850-tonnes-per-day plant at Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta by 2014, pending necessary approvals.

Paraguay detects foot-and-mouth, halts beef exports
ASUNCION, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Paraguay halted beef exports until December and ordered the slaughter of hundreds of cattle on Monday after officials detected an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the beef-exporting nation.
The outbreak is a tough blow for the fast-growing beef industry in the South American country, a top 10 global exporter that had been expected to post record exports this year due to solid demand from key markets Russia and Chile.

Rains ease Argentina farmland dryness, but more needed
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Weekend rains brought much-needed moisture to farming areas in Argentina, but growers in the corn belt urgently need more rainfall in order to press on with plantings, a weather forecaster said on Monday.
If severe dryness persists, many farmers could shelve plans to seed corn and sow soy instead when the planting season for the oilseed starts in October.

Brent crude steady above $109, euro zone woes weigh
SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Brent crude futures steadied above $109, after two days of heavy losses on worries that a looming default by Greece will destabilise the global financial system, threaten global growth and pare oil consumption.
"Investors are very worried about Europe, and this is not just impacting oil but it is across the board to stocks and other markets," said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity derivatives manager at Japan's Newedge brokerage.

Australia lifts iron ore projections, coal lags
SYDNEY, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Australia lifted its projections for iron ore output and exports on Tuesday, defying concerns over the global economy as Asian demand roars along, though it cut its forecast for coal output on a slow recovery from natural disasters.
Exports of iron ore, a key steelmaking ingredient, are seen at 449 million tonnes -- 40 percent of global trade -- in fiscal 2012, a 3 percent increase from an earlier projection and a 10 percent rise on the previous year, as Japanese and Chinese steel output expands rapidly.

China's steel demand growth seen to weaken -CISA
SHANGHAI, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Growth in steel demand in China is expected to slow in near future and prices will fluctuate in response to the gloomy global economy, the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) said on Tuesday in its monthly report.
"Steel oversupply will hardly improve as steel output remains high amid slowing growth of steel-consuming sectors and growing difficulties in steel exports," CISA said.

Brazil's CSA sees steel output up 67 pct by 2012
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - ThyssenKrupp's  $6.5 billion Rio de Janeiro slab mill will raise output by 67 percent to 5 million tonnes per year by 2012, a company official said on Monday.
CSA ThyssenKrupp, a joint venture with Brazilian mining giant Vale, is ramping up production despite a slowdown in the United States and Europe and turmoil in global capital markets, Financial Vice President Rodrigo Tostes said in an interview.

Copper steady at 9-mth low; Shanghai copper falls 1 pct
SHANGHAI, Sept 20 (Reuters) - London copper slipped 0.1 percent after dropping to more than nine-month lows in the previous session on concerns the global economic slowdown will crimp demand for the metal.
"Copper is tracking the weakness in equities today, which have fallen on bad news from the euro zone. But losses are limited by arbitrage trading and trade financing deals in China," said Du Xiao Hua, a futures analyst at brokerage Dongzheng Futures.

China-N.Korea JV starts production at copper mine
HONG KONG, Sept 20 (Reuters) - A new copper mine in North Korea, majority owned by China's Wanxiang Resources, started production on Monday and is expected to supply up to 70,000 tonnes of copper concentrate per year to China.
The copper mine, in Hyesan in North Korea's Ryanggang province, was operated by Hyesan-China Joint Venture Mineral Co, China's Xinhua News Agency reported late on Monday, adding that the joint venture was set up on Nov. 1, 2007, between Wanxiang and North Korea's Ministry of Mining Industries.

Gold steady after Italy downgrade; Fed ahead
SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Gold held steady, after Standard and Poor's downgrade of Italy's credit rating heightened worries about the euro zone debt crisis ahead of a key U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting.
"We are seeing small buying interest," said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong. "Most people are waiting for the Fed meeting which is expected to show a clear direction."

Venezuela to halt gold exports with nationalization
CARACAS, Sept 19 (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez's government formalized the nationalization of Venezuela's gold industry on Monday with a decree that prohibits exports of the metal and gives the state 55 percent of joint ventures.
The new law, published in the Official Gazette "with the aim of overturning the serious impact of the capitalist mining model," also fixes the royalty rate for gold mine projects at 13 percent in general.

Newmont CEO: Unload dollars, buy gold
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept 19 (Reuters) - If you're holding a lot of U.S. dollars in your investment portfolio, the chief executive of Newmont Mining Corp  says you should dump them all in favor of gold.
The frank, if not unbiased, advice from the head of one of the world's largest gold miners comes as gold prices  flirt this month with all-time highs due in part to debt crises in Europe and the United States.

Chinese gold demand may rise 10 pct this year-WGC
MONTREAL, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Chinese gold demand could rise 10 percent, or around 70 tonnes, this year as consumers choose the metal as a form of wealth protection, the World Gold Council said on Monday.
China's gold demand stood at around 706 tonnes last year, according to the WGC, but burgeoning demand for the precious metal has the scope to lift that significantly.

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