Wednesday, January 12, 2011

20110112 1839 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3650, changed : -53 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : falling, seller taking exposure.
Support : 3650, 3620, 3550 level.
Resistance : 3700, 3720, 3750 level.
Comment :
FCPO dive lower recorded loss for the 4th consecutive day with better volume transacted as worry of weak demand accelerate as seller seems continue to take exposure with buyer leaving ahead to tonight U.S. USDA data. On the other hand news came out about planter seeking to waive CPO windfall profit tax could potentially affect today lower CPO price movement.
Daily chart formed a wide range down bar candle with lower shadow as market opened gap up, plunged lower and recovered slightly to closed off the low below middle Bollinger band level with the reading suggesting a side way range bound market development testing support and resistant level.
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.

20110112 1823 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1573 changed : + 8.5 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : weakening, buyer taking profit and reducing exposure.
Support : 1570, 1560, 1550 level.
Resistance : 1580, 1590, 1600 level.
Comment :
FKLI ended recorded gain with decreasing volume transacted with 5.5 points premium over cash market while all regional market closed in positive territory.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle with lower shadow after market opened gap up, tested lower and surged upward to closed near the high off the day. Reading wise still suggesting a correction side way range bound upside biased market possibly testing previous high resistance level.
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.

20110112 1018 Local & Global Economics Related News.

Malaysia: ETP goes into overdrive
The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) switched into overdrive in the new year; with an additional 19 entry-point projects (EPP’s) and developments that are expected to contribute almost RM67bn in investments. The government has also upped the ante in the oil, gas and energy National Key Economic Area (NKEA) with four EPPs contributing in excess of RM20bn in investments from the slew of projects unveiled yesterday. (Bloomberg)

Japan: Japan to buy Euro Bonds, joins china to avert crisis
Japan plans to buy bonds issued by Europe’s financial-aid funds, its finance minister said, joining China in assisting the region as it battles against a debt crisis that prompted bailouts of Ireland and Greece. “There is a plan for the euro zone to jointly issue a large amount of bonds late this month to raise funds to assist Ireland,” Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said at a news conference in Tokyo today. “It’s appropriate for Japan to make a contribution as a leading nation to increase trust in the deal. We want to buy more than 20%.” (Bloomberg)

India: India’s Singh calls meeting to counter price surge
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh convened a meeting with his cabinet colleagues to discuss ways to rein in food prices as opposition parties prepared to launch nationwide protests against inflation. India, where elections have been won or lost on the price of onions, a key ingredient in the nation’s cuisine, is holding polls in nine states in the next 18 months. (Bloomberg)

EU: ECB gains EU parliament support to toughen budget law
The European Central Bank picked up allies in its fight against a French-German push to dilute tougher budget rules meant to avert future euro-area debt crises. European Parliament members proposed more automatic sanctions on high-deficit nations such as Greece, bolstering calls by ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet. European Union governments led by France and Germany said in October that penalties against budget violators should be left in political hands. (Bloomberg)

US: Fed regional bank directors last month saw “modest growth”
Directors at Federal Reserve district banks expected economic growth to remain “modest” even as they saw signs of improvement, according to minutes of Board of Governors’ meetings in November and December. The minutes indicated that most directors at the 12 regional banks agreed with the Fed’s assessment that the economic recovery isn’t strong enough to reach the central bank’s twin goals of full employment and price stability. (Bloomberg)

U.S: Wholesale inventories fell 0.2% MoM in November and followed a revised 1.7% MoM gain in October. Sales rose 1.9% MoM in November. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Job openings fell in November from two-year high. The number of positions waiting to be filled decreased by 80,000 to 3.25 million, the Labor Department said in Washington. The number of people hired, dropped from the prior month and separations climbed. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Retail sales fell last month as snow and the coldest December temperatures in at least a century deterred shoppers, the British Retail Consortium said. Sales at stores open at least 12 months, measured by value, dropped 0.3% YoY, compared with a 0.7% YoY gain in November, the London based BRC said in an emailed statement. (Source: Bloomberg)

Greece: Central government budget deficit, contracted by more than a third last year as spending cuts more than offset slower than forecast revenue growth. The gap, which doesn't include outlays by state, owned institutions and companies shrank 36.5% to EUR19.6b (USD25.3b), according to preliminary data released by the Finance Ministry. The decline was more than the 33.5% forecast in the government plan that helped Greece secure a EUR110b bailout from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund. Final data are due on Jan. 20. (Source: Bloomberg)

China: Foreign-exchange reserves climbed by a record last quarter and lending exceeded the government's annual target, increasing pressure on the central bank to tighten policies to rein in liquidity and inflation. The currency holdings, reported by the central bank on its website, rose by USD199b to USD2.85tr, the biggest quarterly gain since Bloomberg data began in 1996. Full year yuan denominated lending of CNY7.95tr (USD1.2tr) compared with a target of CNY7.5tr. (Source: Bloomberg)

Australia: Trade surplus narrowed in November as the value of coal exports dropped, and economists said it may deteriorate further as rising floodwaters in the nation's northeast shutter mines and ruin crops. The excess of exports over imports totaled AUD1.93b (USD1.92b), down from a revised AUD2.56b surplus in October, the Bureau of Statistics said. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110112 1017 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

MRT tenders will be announced by mid-year
The tenders for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) works will be called in April and awarded in May, according to the Land Public Transport Commission. The tenders will be called by Syarikat Prasarana Negara SB but the decision to award lies with the government with input provided parties like LPTC and the main contractor Gamuda-MMC Corp. “The final pathway for the three MRT lines are now being determined in the value management study, so the RM36.6bn project value figure could change as result. “The second and third routes will be announced in March when the urban rail development master plan is released,” said LPTC chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal. (MalaysianReserve)

Sunway awarded land in Singapore
Sunway Holdings together with its two Singaporean joint venture partners have been awarded the tender of a 103-year lease on a parcel of land at Yuan Ching Road for RM314.91m from the Housing and Development Board of Singapore. Sunway Developments Pte Ltd and its two Singapore-based companies Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd and SC Wong Holdings Pte Ltd will form a joint venture to develop the land. Sunway Development will hold a 30% equity stake while Hoi Hup holds the largest shareholding of 60% and SC Wong 10%. The development project is estimated to be completed in 48 months or earlier. (FInancialDaily)

First phase of Dialog's petroleum terminal to be ready by 2014
The first phase of Dialog Group’s RM5bn independent deepwater petroleum terminal in Johor, slated to be among the world's largest, will be completed by 2014, an official said. Dialog is leading a consortium, comprising the Johor state government and Dutch firm Vopak, in developing the terminal in Pengerang, south-east of Johor. Dialog's executive chairman Ngau Boon Keat said work on the project is expected to start this April. "We'll do it in three phases over seven years. The first, which we're targeting to complete by the end of 2013 or early 2014, will have 1.3 million cubic metres of storage capacity," he told reporters in Putrajaya yesterday. (BT)

Low family offers RM305.2m for AP Land
Low Chuan Holdings is offering 45 sen a share for all of AP Land's assets and liabilities in what is likely to be a prelude to the company being taken private. The Low family has offered RM305.2m to take over the business of Asia Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land), a 50-year old property developer, in what is likely to be a prelude to the company being taken private. AP Land is famous for building some of Kuala Lumpur's main landmarks like the Empire Tower and City Square shopping centre, which sits at the junction of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Ampang. The group's major shareholder is Low Chuan Holdings Sdn Bhd (LCH) with a 37% stake. LCH is owned by Low Gee Tat@Gene Low, Low Gee Teong, Low Gee Soon, Sem Siong Industries SB, Selangor Holdings SB and Low Chuan Securities SB. LCH is offering 45 sen a share for all of AP Land's assets and liabilities. The stock closed at 41 sen on Monday as trading was suspended yesterday. (BT)

Affin: Unaware of CIMB bid. Affin Holdings Bhd deputy chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said yesterday he was not aware of rumours that Affin Bank is being eyed for a takeover by CIMB Bank. Sources close to CIMB Group said the rumour completely goes against the group's ambition to become a major regional financial player and they also think that it is not true. (Source: Business Times)

O&G: Gas Malaysia eyes Bursa listing this year. Gas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a company that distributes natural gas to households and industries, is said to be eyeing a listing on Bursa Malaysia this year but that idea has not yet received the full backing of all of its shareholders. The company's controlling shareholder is MMC Bhd that owns 41.8% and other shareholders of the company are Petronas Gas Bhd, Shapadu Group and Tokyo Gas-Mitsui & Co. (Source: The Star)

Top Glove: To invest RM160m in Cambodian rubber plantation. Top Glove Corp Bhd is investing RM160m in Cambodia to plant rubber trees to reduce its dependency on latex, which is bought at market prices. The company is targeting to obtain 20% of its latex requirement from the plantation over time. (Source: The Star)   

20110112 0859 Global Market Related News.

Gold firms on euro debt crisis, tight physicals
SINGAPORE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Bullion edged up in thin trade, with sentiment supported by high oil prices, lingering worries about the severity of the Europea debt crisis and a shortage of gold bars in Asia.
"It's more on the upside. I think physical buying actually provides good support," said Beh Hsia Wah, a dealer at United Overseas Bank in Singapore. "I would say the physical support is there and some buying is there." 

Euro gains, but Portugal debt auction looms
SINGAPORE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the  dollar, along with Asian stocks, but caution  towards the currency is likely to set in ahead of key bond  sales by highly indebted euro zone members Portugal and Spain.
"The Portuguese (debt) auction will probably go quite well and that'll likely give the euro a bump up ... temporarily," said Joseph Capurso, a strategist at Commonwealth Bank, late on Tuesday.   

Argentina sees China soyoil exports picking up
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 11 (Reuters) - China will keep on buying Argentine soyoil despite a near halt in shipments in recent months that stirred speculation of renewed trade tensions, an Argentine government official said on Tuesday.
China is the world's top soyoil buyer and Argentina is the leading supplier, but Argentine shipments to the Asian country were halted for six months last year in apparent retaliation for the South American country's anti-dumping measures. 

U.S. soy up 1 pct, corn steady ahead of key report
SINGAPORE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Chicago soy futures rose more than 1 percent, recovering from a two-week low, while corn was little changed  as investors took  positions ahead of a key U.S. government report expected to forecast tighter grain and oilseed supplies.
"We are not bullish on soybeans in the longer term but that doesn't mean it will not go higher in the short period," said Ole Houe, a senior manager at FCStone Australia. 

Oil steadies above $91, support from supply cuts
SINGAPORE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices steadied  above $91following a sharp rally the previous  session, supported by the shutdown of two North Sea oil fields  and the continued outage of a key Alaskan pipeline.
U.S. gasoline inventories surged by a more-than-expected  7 million barrels last week and crude stocks rose  unexpectedly, the American Petroleum Institute said on  Tuesday.  

Alyeska receives govt permission to restart pipeline
ANCHORAGE, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Alyeska has received government permission to restart the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which carries 12 percent of U.S. crude, a company spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
"We got the approval we need to restart the pipeline for interim operations," Katie Pesznecker said.

OIL: Oil steadies above $91, support from supply cuts
SINGAPORE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices steadied  above $91 on Wednesday following a sharp rally the previous  session, supported by the shutdown of two North Sea oil fields  and the continued outage of a key Alaskan pipeline.
The disruptions came amid efforts to restart the Trans Alaska Pipeline System's main oil pipeline, which was closed on Saturday by a leak, forcing the shutdown of over 600,000 bpd of output -- nearly 12 percent of U.S. domestic oil production. The pipeline was expected to restart this week.

COMMODITIES: Oil, copper jump; biggest CRB rise in near 2 weeks
NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Commodities gained their most in nearly two weeks on Tuesday, with copper and oil rising 2 percent each on higher demand outlook, a strong start to the U.S. earnings season and crude oil supply disruptions.
"There are enough question marks out there in the copper market to provide the case that we are going to remain fairly rangebound in the short term," said Nicholas Snowdon, research analyst for base metals at Barclays Capital in New York.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Euro rebounds, oil gains and lifts Wall St
NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The euro rose on Tuesday on speculation that euro-zone officials could raise the effective lending capacity of the bloc's rescue fund while a surge in oil prices pushed U.S. energy stocks higher.
"There's a big feeling we're going to have $100 barrel oil pretty quickly," said Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Advisors in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Alaska plans temporary restart of oil pipeline
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Operators sought  on Tuesday to temporarily restart Alaska's main oil pipeline to prevent it from freezing and aim to resume normal flows later this week with a bypass of a leak that forced the shutdown of 12 percent of U.S. crude output.
The Trans Alaska Pipeline System, the 800-mile (1,280 kilometer) pipe that usually carries 630,000 barrels of oil per day has been closed since Saturday following a small leak at an oil pumping station.

U.S. sees stronger 2012 world oil demand growth
WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Global oil demand growth will accelerate next year, while non-OPEC production will remain flat, driving oil prices to an average $99 a barrel, the U.S. government said on Tuesday in its first energy forecast for 2012.
The Department of Energy also said U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production would shrink by 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year after a 220,000-bpd loss this year, illustrating the challenge of delivering new supply on the same day that a White House commission recommended dramatically stepping up offshore drilling regulations.

Oil Climbs to 1-Week High as U.S. Panel Calls for Drilling Industry Reform (Source : Bloomberg)
Oil traded near a one-week high in New York after a pipeline closure in Alaska threatened supplies and as Japan pledged to buy euro-area bonds, alleviating the region’s debt crisis.

Asia: Feared viral outbreak roils Korean farms (Source: CME)
South Korean farmers and agriculture officials are struggling to contain an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that has forced them to kill about 12% of the nation's swine and a sizable number of cattle. The outbreak, the fourth in South Korea in the past decade and by far the worst, started about six weeks ago and has spread to most regions of the country. On Tuesday, officials estimated more than $1 billion worth of livestock has been lost to the highly contagious viral disease and efforts to stop its rapid spread. "The outbreak is the most serious in Korea's history," said Kim Jae-hong, a veterinary science professor at Seoul National University. "It is hard to predict when we can contain the spread of the disease, but the most important thing right now is to control movement in and out of the farmhouses that are affected, and thoroughly disinfect the cars around the area," he added. South Korean officials are also monitoring the spread of avian flu among chicken farms.
An outbreak of the H5N1 influenza virus was reported in chickens at two farms two weeks ago, likely coming from migratory birds. About 200,000 of the nation's more than 10 million chickens have been culled as a result. Avian flu can spread to humans, but foot-and-mouth disease poses no such risk. With more than 100 confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth disease in South Korea since late November, veterinarians, students and agriculture officials have been mobilized to participate in the biggest animal culls the country has ever seen. The campaign has killed more than 1.2 million of the nation's 10 million swine and 107,000 of its approximately three million cattle. Vaccinations against the disease are available but, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, must be matched to the specific type and subtype of virus causing the outbreak. In South Korea, officials are scrambling to vaccinate unaffected animals to prevent the further spread of the disease.
Veterinarians and agriculture officials in some areas are also overwhelmed by the scale of the culls. Local media reported incidents of swine being buried alive to speed up the killing, and an agriculture ministry official confirmed some incidents but said they have been few. In Paju, a city northwest of Seoul near the North Korean border, approximately 70% of farms have been forced to cull livestock, a local official said. He said a cold snap, in which temperatures have been below freezing for the past two weeks, contributed to difficulties combating the spread because hoses and pumps for spraying disinfectant have frozen. In South Korea's grocery stores, meat prices and supplies haven't been significantly affected, though economists say they are watching for an impact on meat supplies and shopping during next month's Lunar New Year holiday, when gifts of meat are popular. The disease has damaged the livelihoods of hundreds of farmers.
The government compensates farmers for livestock killed as a result of efforts to contain the disease, but farmers argue the pay isn't enough. Kim Hee-dong, a farmer in Pocheon, a small city northeast of Seoul, said authorities culled his 465 head of cattle on Dec. 30 and 31, then dug four large holes in his field to bury them. "I just couldn't watch it. But I was asked to go out briefly to check out the holes, whether they were all right, and had to witness about 100 head of my cattle lying dead," he said. "I fainted at that moment."

Australian Floods Damage Crops; More Rains Forecast (Source: CME)
Heavy rainfall and flooding that prompted widespread production downgrades and caused considerable damage to crops in Australia's eastern states look set to continue, with the government's Bureau of Meteorology Tuesday posting severe weather warnings for many areas. Premier Anna Bligh declared the entire northeast state of Queensland a disaster zone after massive rains and flash floods to the west of Brisbane city killed nine people Monday. Bligh said the death toll could double, with scores still missing. Heavy rain and local thunderstorms are expected to continue tonight through southern areas of Queensland state, which will lead to more localised flash floods and worsen existing river flooding, the Bureau said late Tuesday. Weeks of rains have already taken a heavy economic toll on Queensland and its booming coal mining industry, with government leaders forecasting roughly A$10 billion (US$9.88 billion) in clean-up costs and lost revenue.
The state's farm sector has also suffered, particularly cotton, other summer crops and sugar. Earlier in the day, Bligh spoke of "enormous disruption" in southern Queensland, including in Brisbane city, where evacuations are already underway in riverside suburbs and in the west end of the central business district near the swollen Brisbane river, which is expected to rise to flood levels later in the week. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from flooded towns in Brisbane's hinterlands. Northern areas in New South Wales are also seeing heavy rains and flash flooding, while severe weather warnings are active for central and western areas of southern Victoria state. Widespread flooding of "biblical proportions" in Queensland has destroyed summer crops across a number of regions since Christmas, Rabobank Australia said Tuesday.
A strong La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific Basin has been responsible for the heavy rainfall in spring and summer in New South Wales and Queensland, resulting in significant delays and downgrades to production of summer and winter crops. With the weather pattern expected to continue, northern Australia will likely experience above-average rainfall for at least another week or two, potentially compounding already severe flooding in Queensland, the Bureau said. "The Queensland floods are caused by what is one of the strongest La Nina events since our records began in the late 19th century," said Professor Neville Nicholls, a senior academic at Monash University and President of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. Rabobank Australia downgraded its production forecast for Australian cotton, sugar and sorghum crops in 2011, and said there are further downside risks, potentially reducing availability for exports.
"Crop downgrades are now widespread throughout Queensland, with floods leaving very few coastal regions untouched," Rabobank said in a report. Cotton and sorghum are the most affected at this stage, it said.

Japan to buy euro debt, Portugal resists bailout
TOKYO/LISBON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Japan promised on Tuesday to buy euro zone bonds this month in a show of support for Europe's struggle with a seething debt crisis.
Portugal, the latest euro zone member in the market's firing line, continued to fend off pressure to seek a bailout. Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said Portugal was doing everything it could to avoid a humiliating EU-IMF financial rescue, already granted to Greece and Ireland.

China overshoots loan target, more tightening seen
BEIJING, Jan 11 (Reuters) - China overshot its bank loan and money growth targets last year, but finished 2010 in battle mode against inflation, putting it on track for tighter financial conditions this year.
At the same time, a $199 billion surge in foreign exchange reserves in the fourth quarter, pushing China's stockpile, already the world's biggest, to $2.85 trillion, showed that money streaming in from abroad will complicate efforts to tighten policy at home.

PRECIOUS-Euro zone debt crisis, China demand boost gold
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Gold rose for a second day on Tuesday, driven by deepening worries about the spread and severity of the European debt crisis, and a pickup in demand from number two consumer China also provided support.
The decline in the gold price to around one-month lows last week has encouraged an improvement in consumer demand in China ahead of the Lunar New Year in early February, pushing premiums for gold bars to their highest in two years.Spot gold  rose 0.70 percent to $1,384.00 an ounce by 1200 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for February delivery were up 0.8 percent at $1,384.50. The spot price is about 4 percent off December's record high of $1,430.95 an ounce.

FOREX-Euro gets reprieve as Japan to buy euro bonds
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The euro steadied above a four-month trough on Tuesday, after Japan said it may buy about a fifth of the bonds a European rescue fund plans to sell later this month to finance a bailout scheme for Ireland.
But Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda suggested Japan would use its euro cash holdings to buy the bonds, dampening some of the initial excitement from traders who thought the move might involve fresh buying of the European currency.Japan does not disclose the currency breakdown of its $1 trillion reserves but analysts think only a very small portion is in the euro and the impact of the news may not last long.

U.S. corn, soy extend gains; Argentine weather supports
SINGAPORE, Jan 11 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean  futures edged higher , extending gains as concerns  over dry weather hurting crops in Argentina continued to  support the market.
"It is follow through strength in the corn and soybean  market after yesterday's gains as investors are talking about  dry weather in Argentina which could hit crop production,"  said Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Earnings hopes lift stocks, euro steadies
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - World stocks firmed  on hopes for a solid earnings season, while the euro hugged recent lows as the markets awaited the next day's debt auction in struggling Portugal.
"The focus is switching to companies' results this week, with earnings due from big U.S. names such as JPMorgan , but the euro zone debt fears will remain in the backdrop and could continue to weigh on banking stocks," said Geraud Missonnier, trader at Saxo Banque in Paris.

South Korea joins global action to boost food supply
SEOUL, Jan 11 (Reuters) - South Korea unveiled steps on Tuesday to combat the threat of rising food prices, joining a flurry of activity as policymakers grow increasingly worried that inflation could derail a global recovery.
Central bankers meeting under the auspices of the Bank for International Settlements warned on Monday that rising prices in fast-growing economies were an increasing menace and it was important to anchor inflation expectations.

20110112 0857 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soy product future backpedaled with soybeans, as traders reduced risk exposure ahead of Wednesday's crop reports. The threat of crop improving rains emerging in Argentina added to the declines, analysts said. Argentina is the world's leading exporter of soy products, and weather that may improve soybean availability for crushing in Argentina could reduce demand for U.S. supplies, analysts said. CBOT March soyoil ended 0.52c or 0.9% lower at 56.61 cents per pound, and March soymeal traded $7.70 or 2.1% lower at $362.90 a short ton.  (Source: CME)

Buyers Start To Switch To Certified Palm Oil; Sales Up In 2010 (Source: CME)
Sales of certified sustainable palm oil more than tripled last year, signaling growing consumer preference for environmentally friendly oil, recent data from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil showed. Sales of certified palm oil--meeting environmental sustainability standards in production processes--rose to around 1.62 million metric tons in 2010 from less than 500,000 tons in 2009. Production under the standards has reached 3.8 million tons annually, up 65% from a year earlier, as more planters in Southeast Asia comply with rules set by the industry group. Certified palm oil may account from more than half of all palm oil sales by 2015, as more companies are pledging to use only environmentally friendly palm oil, a Europe-based executive at a food company said. Last year, the Netherlands--Europe's major hub for the import and distribution of palm oil--said it would only buy certified palm oil by 2015.
Global palm oil consumption has reached close to 50 million tons a year. The oil is used widely in a wide range of consumer products ranging from processed foods like margarine and biscuits to lipsticks and soap. It is also used as a feedstock to produce biofuels. While palm oil is a highly efficient crop--yielding up to ten times more oil per hectare than oilseed crops including soybeans, rapeseed and sunflower--environmental groups have alleged that companies have been clearing irreplaceable rainforest and peat lands to plant palm oil trees and increase production. The RSPO was formed in response to these concerns as a multi-stakeholder group of planters.

Palm oil eases ahead of key USDA report
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil  eased , ahead of a key U.S. Department of  Agriculture report that will likely trim the agency's forecast  for South American soy output due to a lingering dry spell.
"Palm oil is retracing a little but it could start  rallying in line with soyoil if the USDA shows a significant  drawdown in soy stocks and a weaker soy crop in Argentina,"  said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage.Indonesia sees 2011 palm oil output at 22 mln T-industry

Indonesia sees 2011 palm oil output at 22 mln T-industry
JAKARTA, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Indonesia expects crude palm  oil output to increase by a marginal 1 million tonnes to 22  million this year, an official at the Indonesian Palm Oil  Association said on Tuesday.
An unusually long rainy season has wreaked havoc on most  of the country's plantation crops, tightening supply to global  markets and driving up palm oil prices to near three-year highs.

Brazil soy crop heads for near repeat of record
SAO PAULO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Crop forecasters see a bumper soybean crop for Brazil again this year, with two of the latest independent estimates zeroing in on a harvest that is just shy of last year's record.
Despite dry weather that worried local producers early in the planting season, rains have since normalized and favored the new crop.