Monday, October 17, 2011

20111017 1614 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Stocks, commodities up on hopes for Europe plan
SINGAPORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Asian shares rose  and the euro held near a one-month high amid hopes that a crucial week for the euro zone crisis will see policymakers finally come up with a plan to resolve the region's debt woes and recapitalise its banks.
"The market is growing more expectant of more aggressive measures from Europe aimed at solving its debt crisis," said Kim Young-june, a market analyst at SK Securities.

After lots of talk, US commodity crack-down nears
WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators this week will finalize their toughest crackdown yet on volatile oil and metal markets, concluding nearly four years of fierce debate over whether limits on speculative trade can tame prices.
As Wall Street bemoans the measure as a sop to politicians who have vilified speculators for driving grain and oil prices to painful peaks since 2008, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will push through a groundbreaking rule to restrict the number of commodity contracts a trader can hold.

US soy falls on seeding estimate; wheat, corn steady
SINGAPORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures slid 0.8 percent  as a forecast of higher acreage in the United States prompted investors to book profit, after last week's gains that were the highest in more than 2 years.
"Soybeans rose sharply last week and there could be some profit taking now as Chinese buyers are absent from the market," said Ker Chung Yang, a commodities analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Brazil 2011/12 soy crop could expand 5 pct
SAO PAULO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - World No. 2 soy producer and exporter Brazil could top this year's record harvest by 5 percent in the 2011/12 crop through higher yields and expanded planting, the head of grain crushing industry association Abiove told Reuters on Friday.
Carlo Lovatelli, president of Abiove, Brazil's Association of Vegetable Oil Industries, said he believed investments in the sector had risen, helped by higher prices for the oilseed and that this would help keep output on an upward trajectory.

Thai floods delay sugar crushing, unlikely to damage rubber
BANGKOK, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Thailand's worst flooding in five decades was expected to delay the 2011/12 cane-crushing season by a few weeks to late November but crop damage is likely to be limited, senior industry officials said on Monday.    
"The crushing season could start slightly late due to the flood. We could start crushing the 2011/12 sugar season by late November when we will be able to say how much cane has been damaged," said Prasert Tapaneeyangkul, secretary-general of the Office of Cane and Sugar Board (OCSB), which oversees the country's sugar sector.

Rains boost Argentine 2011/12 wheat outlook-gov't
BUENOS AIRES, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Heavy rain in Argentina this week helped improve most of the 2011/12 wheat crop, which was badly hurt by dryness last month, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.
The rain, however, came too late to avert yield losses in some wheat areas, the ministry said in its weekly report, adding that new showers in other areas will be needed to guarantee good plant development.

Informa trims U.S. 2012 corn plantings forecast
CHICAGO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Analytical firm Informa Economics lowered its forecast of U.S. 2012 corn plantings to 93.1 million acres (37.7 million hectares) from its previous forecast of 94.3 million, trade sources said on Friday.
However, if realized, the forecast still would represent the most acres planted to corn since 2007 and the second-most since 1944.

Colombia 2012 secondary coffee crop at risk from rains
BOGOTA, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Some of Colombia's coffee provinces soaked up sunnier weather in a key flowering period,  but there are dark clouds on the horizon threatening the 2012 secondary crop with higher-than-normal rains, farmers said this week.
Key regions in the world's biggest producer of high-quality Arabica beans may get 30 percent more rainfall than average in the critical flowering months of October and November, retarding bean development and raising the risk of disease.

Brazil coffee belt in bloom, lingering rain helps
BRASILIA, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Coffee fields in parts of Brazil's southeastern coffee belt are awash with white blossoms, boding well for the 2012 crop with the protection of wet weather to avoid losing flowers at this critical phase.
The 2012 harvest is almost certain to be larger than last year's, occurring in an on-year in the biennial cycle but agronomists do not expect to be able to estimate its the size of the world's largest coffee crop until around December.

India sugar mills want quick export clearance
MUMBAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - India's expected sugar surplus in the 2011/12 season could make room for exports of 4 million tonnes and the government should allow exports quickly so millers can take advantage of supply delays from flood-hit Thailand, a senior industry official said.
India competes with Thailand in shipping white sugar to Middle East and Asian countries.

Ukraine sows 85% winter grain despite poor weather
KIEV, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Ukrainian farms have sown 6.9 million hectares of winter grains for the 2012 harvest, or 85 percent of the expected area, even while cold weather has followed severe drought, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry said in a report farms had sown 5.9 million hectares for winter wheat, or 90 percent of the total targeted area of 6.6 million hectares.

Nigeria cocoa grinder eyes Asia, Latam markets
LAGOS, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Nigerian cocoa grinder, FTN Cocoa Processors , has doubled its capacity to 20,000 tonnes ahead of its plans to explore Asian and Latin American markets after a slump in demand from Europe, its executive director said on Friday.
Akin Laoye told Reuters the expansion was initially planned to take advantage of growing demand from Western markets, but the economic slowdown prompted the company to look elsewhere.

Brent steady above $112 on Europe debt plan hopes
SINGAPORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Brent crude futures held steady above $112 , extending the previous session's sharp gains on hopes European policymakers would reach an agreement to tackle the euro zone's debt crisis and help stem a slowdown in oil demand growth.
"Oil markets have hit a bottom and sentiment is turning around to positive as the demand outlook improves," said Tetsu Emori, a fund manager at Astmax Co Ltd in Tokyo.

Copper edges down 0.2 pct; euro zone moves eyed
SHANGHAI, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Copper prices edged down on Monday, tracking Shanghai equities which also pared gains, while investor sentiment remained fragile over the euro zone debt crisis.
"Copper prices are moving sideways and are likely to do so for a while, as they are near their resistance levels of 56,000 yuan in Shanghai and $7,600 in London. In the absence of very positive news, prices are lacking in upward momentum," Jinrui Futures analyst Zhao Kai.

Rio Tinto retreats from aluminium, $8 bln of assets on block
MELBOURNE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto  signalled a major retreat from its aluminium business on Monday, putting an estimated $8 billion worth of assets up for sale across six countries, only four years after buying aluminium giant Alcan for $38 billion.
Rio Tinto  said it planned to sell 13 assets, including smelters and alumina refineries, in a move immediately interpreted as a way of diverting yet more resources to iron ore, which now accounts for nearly 80 percent of group earnings.

Aluminium short-sellers? Not the villains this time
LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Short-selling, a popular target in volatile and rumour-riddled markets, has been blamed by aluminium producer Alcoa's  chief executive for a big fall in the price of the metal and with it the company's share price.
"They are betting against aluminum as a proxy for betting against the global economy," Klaus Kleinfeld said this week, warning of "very offensive short-selling going on by speculators".

S.Korea seeks 5,000 T aluminium ingot for Dec
SEOUL, Oct 17 (Reuters) - South Korea is seeking 5,000 tonnes of high-grade primary aluminium ingot registered with the London Metal Exchange (LME) via tenders closing at 2 p.m. (0500 GMT) on October 20, the state-run Public Procurement Service said.
The government procurement agency said on its web site ( that it would buy the metal of western origin with 99.7 percent purity.

Freeport Indonesia says pipe transporting copper concentrate cut
JAKARTA, Oct 17 (Reuters) - PT Freeport Indonesia, a unit of U.S. miner Freeport McMoRan , said on Monday a pipe transporting copper concentrate at its copper and gold mine in Papua island has been cut.The company's spokesman did not elaborate.
Freeport is facing a prolonged strike at its giant Grasberg mine, and three men were killed last week though it was not clear if the shooting was linked to that dispute or to a simmering independence movement in the remote region.

Fortescue quarterly iron ore shipments rise to 12.36 mln/t
SYDNEY, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Australia's Fortescue Metals Group  said it increased total iron ore shipments in the September quarter to 12.36 million tonnes, versus 10.26 million tonnes in the same period a year ago.
Fortescue, Australia's no. 3 iron ore miner after Rio Tinto   and BHP Billiton  , also said it expects to maintain an annualised production run rate of 55 million tonnes and produce between 13.5 million and 14 million tonnes in the current quarter.

Fortescue says European woes behind softer iron ore prices
SYDNEY, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The economic crisis in Europe has weakened global iron ore prices, though strong demand growth in China should help prop up market fundamentals, Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group  said on Monday.
"We're not deterred by some of the short-term softening in the market," Fortescue Chief Executive Nev Power told reporters.

Tokyo Steel cuts prices, sees further fall in Asia
TOKYO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co  on Monday said it would cut its steel prices by a bigger-than-expected 5.7 to 8.4 percent, citing a deterioration in Asia's steel market and a decline in raw materials costs.
Japan's biggest construction steel maker said it would slash its prices for November shipments by 5,000 yen ($64.63) per tonne across-the-board compared with October prices. It cut the price of H-beams to 74,000 yen, the same level as in September.

Base metal miners seen at bargain prices
TORONTO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Tumbling metal prices and the specter of a fresh economic crisis have peeled layers of value off base metal producers, creating an opportunity to buy some of North America's top miners at bargain prices.
With the traditionally strong first quarter just a few weeks ahead, shares of Teck Resources , Freeport McMoRan  and other miners are already clawing back from lows touched last week, and analysts say now may be the time to jump back on the gravy train.

Chinese copper buyers see small Codelco premium cut for 2012
HONG KONG/LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Codelco is likely to reduce its 2012 physical copper premiums for Chinese buyers by at most 5 percent, a smaller cut than it gave European clients as demand in the world's biggest consumer of the metal is expected to remain strong, traders said on Friday.
Earlier this month, trading sources said Codelco, the world's top copper producer, had offered yearly premiums of $90 a tonne over the cash London Metal Exchange copper prices  to European buyers for 2012, a 9 percent cut from this year, as the spectre of recession looms over the region's economy.

Romania gold mine says finishing line in sight
BUCHAREST, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Europe's biggest project for an open-cast mine may be approaching the finish line, after more than a decade of opposition and delays, and could enter its final stage late next year, a mining company executive told Reuters.
The 14-year-old project in the Carpathian town of Rosia Montana entails plans to use cyanide to mine 314 tonnes of gold and 1,500 tonnes of silver and is fighting strident opposition from civic rights groups, ecologists and neighbouring Hungary.

Gold steady as investors await Europe deal
SINGAPORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Gold was steady , after posting its biggest weekly gain since early September, as investors await concrete steps to tackle the euro zone debt crisis that could come out of a European Union summit this weekend.
"Gold has not been showing its safe haven property in the past few weeks," said Ong Yi Ling, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

METALS-Copper edges down 0.2 pct; euro zone moves eyed
SHANGHAI, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Copper prices edged down on Monday, tracking Shanghai equities which also pared gains, while investor sentiment remained fragile over the euro zone debt crisis.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange  fell 0.2 percent to $7,533 a tonne by 0335 GMT, after rising 3.2 percent in the previous session.

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as investors await Europe deal
SINGAPORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Gold was steady on Monday, after posting its biggest weekly gain since early September, as investors await concrete steps to tackle the euro zone debt crisis that could come out of a European Union summit this weekend.
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 major economies said they expected the Oct. 23 summit to "decisively address the current challenges through a comprehensive plan".

FOREX-Euro rally takes a breather, more short-covering eyed
TOKYO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The euro hovered near a one-month high on Monday after a G20 summit boosted hopes that the EU would decisively address the region's debt woes this week, with traders saying additional short-covering may allow the currency to eke out further gains.
The euro, down 0.2 percent at $1.3853  on light profit-taking, rallied 3.5 percent last week after the leaders of Germany and France pledged to unveil a new package for solving the two-year crisis when the EU summit convenes on Oct. 23, including an agreement on how to recapitalise banks.

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