Thursday, March 3, 2011

20110303 1833 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3600, changed : +10 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller taking profit.
Support : 3550, 3500, 3470, 3450 level.
Resistance : 3620, 3650, 3700 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed edge up slightly with lower volume participation while soy oil and crude oil price traded wild swing after unconfirmed news of Libya condition easing.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle moving toward middle Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, tested higher resistance followed by news of Libya easing condition in the afternoon session triggered panic selling plunge down lower and recovered upward.
The reading remained suggesting a correction range bound downside biased 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.

20110303 1753 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1508 changed : 15.5 points,  volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound little downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, seller leaving.
Support : 1500, 1485, 1480 level.
Resistance : 1515, 1530, 1550 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded gain recovered at yesterday loss with higher volume traded doing about 1.5 point premium to cash market after while regional market closed mostly higher.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle with longer upper shadow after market opened gap up and surge higher tested resistance level and eased lower slightly to close off the high closing little above middle Bollinger band while the bandwidth started to turn inwards.
Technical reading  suggesting a correction range bound little downside biased market development with MACD Histrogram positive divergence forming plus an almost positive MACD cross up.
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.

20110303 1017 Global Economic Related News.

South Korea: Inflation rises to two-year high, breaching target
South Korean inflation rose to a two-year high in February, breaching the central bank’s 4% ceiling for a second month and bolstering the case for an interest rate increase as early as next week. The consumer-price index rose 4.5% from a year earlier, after gaining 4.1% in January, Statistics Korea said. That compares with the median estimate of 4.3% in a Bloomberg News survey of 11 economists. Prices rose 0.8% from the previous month. (Bloomberg)

Australia: Economy expanded by 0.7% last quarter before floods
Australia’s economic growth accelerated in the final three months of last year, the eighth straight quarterly expansion, before floods and cyclones this year ravaged the nation’s northeast. Gross domestic product advanced 0.7% from the third quarter, when it rose a revised 0.1%, the Bureau of Statistics said. That matched the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 25 economists. The report validates Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens’s view that natural disasters in the state of Queensland this quarter will be only a temporary drag on growth. (Bloomberg)

EU: Spanish registered unemployment rises, deepening EU divide
Spain’s registered unemployment advanced for a second month in February, deepening the divide between peripheral economies struggling to recover from the financial crisis and Germany’s booming labor market. The number of people registering for jobless benefits in Spain rose by 68,260, or 1.6%, from January to 4.3 million, the Labor Ministry in Madrid said. Spain’s unemployment rate remains at more than 20%, while the number of Germans out of work dropped to the least since 1992 last month. Spain’s economy emerged from an almost two-year recession in 2010 before contracting again in the third quarter as austerity measures undermined the recovery. (Bloomberg)

EU: Europe producer-price inflation quickens more than forecast
European producer-price inflation accelerated more than economists forecast in January, as soaring energy costs added to the European Central Bank’s concerns that inflationary pressures are building. Factory-gate prices in the euro region jumped 6.1% from a year earlier, after increasing 5.3% in December, the European Union’s statistics office said. That’s the fastest since September 2008 and above the 5.7% gain forecast by economists, according to the median of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. January prices rose 1.5% from December. (Bloomberg)

US: Fed says labor market strengthened on manufacturing, retail
The Federal Reserve said the labor market improved throughout the country early this year, driven by increasing retail sales and “solid growth” in manufacturing. “Labor market conditions continued to strengthen modestly, with all Districts reporting some degree of improvement,” the Fed said. Its last survey, released 12 Jan, said the job market was “firming somewhat.” Overall, the economy “continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace,” the central bank said. (Bloomberg)

US:Manufacturing expands by most since 2004
Manufacturing in the US grew in February at the fastest pace in almost seven years, driven by gains in orders, employment and exports that signal factories will continue to propel the expansion. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index increased to 61.4, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the highest level since May 2004. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. Compared with similar measures released in Europe and Asia, the data put the US at the forefront of the global manufacturing rebound. (Bloomberg)

U.S: ADP estimates companies' added 217,000 jobs in February after a revised 189,000 gain in January. The median estimate in the Bloomberg News survey called for a 180,000 gain last month. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Bernanke signaled he's in no rush to tighten credit after the Fed finishes an expansion of record monetary stimulus, seeing little inflation risk and still-slow job growth. A surge in the prices of oil and other commodities probably won't generate a lasting rise in inflation, Bernanke told lawmakers in semiannual testimony on monetary policy. A "sustained period of stronger job creation" is needed to ensure a solid recovery, and the Fed's benchmark rate will stay low for an "extended period," he said. (Source: Bloomberg)

E.U: The debt ratings of Portugal and Greece remain at risk of being cut due to concern about how a European Union rescue fund may affect holders of the two nations' sovereign bonds, Standard & Poor's said. The ratings company kept Portugal's A-long-term, A2 short-term and Greece's BB+ long-term ratings on credit watch negative, according to statements released. It cited Portugal's "high external financing need and limited funding sources". (Source: Bloomberg)

S. Korea: Factory output rises 13.7% YoY in January from a revised 10.6% YoY expansion in December. Production gained 4.6% MoM from December. (Source: Bloomberg)

Crude Oil: Mideast unrest could push prices over USD 140/bbl, Roubini says. Nouriel Roubini, an economist who predicted the credit-market collapse, said an expansion of troubles in the Mideast could push oil prices as high as USD 140/bbl to USD 150/bbl, triggering a double-dip recession in parts of Europe. "If troubles spread to other countries such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, this could push oil which in turn could trigger a double-dip recession in the periphery of Europe and the U.K.," Roubini said at a conference in Paris. (Source: Bloomberg)  

20110303 1015 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Celcom: Investing RM1b to upgrade network. Celcom Axiata Bhd will invest about RM1b this year in capex to upgrade its network to be long-term evolution (LTE) ready. 60% of the RM1b would be used to enhance its data network while 40% would be used to maintain its current network. (Source: The Star)

Sime Darby: No deal signed on Cameroon. Sime Darby Berhad clarified that it has not entered into any agreement to invest in oil palm plantation in Cameroon. However, Sime Darby does explore investment opportunities relating to its core businesses as part of the continuous expansion plan of the Group. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

MMC, Gamuda: In shareholders deal. MMC Corp Bhd and Gamuda Bhd have entered into a shareholders' agreement to regulate their rights and liabilities as shareholders of a company that will act as the project delivery partner for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project. The company that would undertake the MRT project would be equally owned by MMC and Gamuda. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

O&G: Petronas to invest RM250b in next 5 yrs. Petroliam Nasional Bhd plans to invest RM250b in the next five years in exploration and asset replacement to maintain the exploration levels. The capital expenditure would be internally funded. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Aviation: IATA cuts airline industry 2011 earnings outlook. Global airline earnings will halve this year as rising costs, especially oil prices, offset increasing demand, according to industry body International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA, whose 230 members include Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines lowered its earnings forecast for 2011 to USD8.6b this year from USD9.1b forecasted in December. The new forecast represents a 46% decline in net profit from 2010 net profit of USD16b. (Source: The Star) 

Petronas capex may hit RM275bn
Petroliam Nasional (Petronas) expects to spend up to a whopping RM275bn as its capital expenditure (capex) for the next five years, its chief says. The average capex of RM50bn to RM55bn a year is higher than what Petronas traditionally spent, which was around RM30bn to RM40bn a year. Petronas, which announced its thirdquarter results in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, said it expects net profit for the year ending March 2011 to breach RM90bn. The higher capex is essential to cope with rising costs, upgrade asset integrity, enhance yield of existing or legacy assets, drive growth and venture into more challenging and green field plays such as enhanced oil recovery, deep-water and unconventional hydrocarbons. (BT)

Transmile appeals against delisting
Transmile Group has submitted an application to Bursa Malaysia to appeal against the latter's decision to delist the company, and to seek an extension of time to submit its regularisation plan. Transmile was supposed to submit the plan to the Securities Commission or Bursa Malaysia for approval by 22 Feb. On 23 Feb, the company told Bursa that it had until 2 March to submit an appeal to the latter. Meanwhile, the trading of Transmile shares will be suspended effective from March 2011 but the removal of the securities from the official list of Bursa Securities on 7 March will be deferred, pending the decision on the appeal. (StarBiz)

Carmaker may export Malaysia-assembled Mazda3
Mazda Motor Corp, which is upbeat on sales growth in Malaysia, is considering exporting locally-assembled Mazda3 to the region in the future. Managing executive officer and general manager (overseas sales division) Yuji Nakamine said the sales and production expansion in Malaysia and other Asean markets is part of Mazda's mid-term initiatives to achieve 1.7m unit sales in five years' time. He said currently, the assembly of Mazda3 CKD (completely knocked down) units in Malaysia is for the local market. "But, in the future, if we have good operations here, increase in localisation, reduction in cost and improvement in quality, we may have an opportunity to export from Malaysia (BT)

RM105m for Naza-Peugeot Asean project
Naza Group, together with French partner automotive giant Peugeot, will soon commit more than RM100m to their programme in Asean. Code-named the "Asean Project", it aims to introduce at least one new Peugeot model a year until 2015. It is learnt that Naza, through its Peugeot franchise holder Nasim SB and Naza Automotive Manufacturing SB (NAM), will spearhead the project. A source close to the project revealed that the programme will involve the manufacture and assembly of several new models that may include a sports utility vehicle for the Asean market to complete the Peugeot vehicle line-up from 2013 onwards. "The move is in line with Naza's five-year continuity plan with Peugeot and is estimated to involve about RM105m of investment over the period. "This new direction will see at least 60,000 units of cars, including the C-segment T73 sedan, being rolled out of NAM's plant in Gurun, Kedah, for the next five years beginning next year," the source told Business Times. (BT)

SP Setia buys Cyberjaya land for RM420m
Property developer SP Setia Bhd has bought 108.5ha of prime freehold land in Cyberjaya's flagship zone for RM420.4m from Setia Haruman SB. The land will be developed as Setia Eco Glades project by Setia Eco Villa, a joint-venture company between SP Setia which holds 70%, and Setia Haruman, 30%. SP Setia president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said the project would be a mixed residential and commercial development. “It is expected to have a gross development value of RM3bn,” he told a press conference after a signing ceremony between SP Setia and Setia Haruman. (BT)

Uzma secures RM200m Petronas contract
Uzma’s subsidiary, Uzma Engineering SB, has been awarded a contract estimated at RM200m with Petronas. Its unit now has secured a long term service agreement to provide a low pressure system (LPS) for Petronas’ domestic upstream operations. (Financial Daily)

20110303 1011 Renewables Energy Related News.

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - A UK government review of incentives for installations generating over 50 kilowatts of renewable energy could harm the economy and stunt a fledgling market, Sharp Corp's  UK solar divison told Reuters.
The government announced a review last month of the so-called Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme, which pays per unit of electricity produced from small-scale, low-carbon energy.

ROME, March 1 (Reuters) - Italian government incentives for renewable energy production are set to be renewed by the government at a meeting on Thursday, Italy's environment minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said on Tuesday.
"The incentives can only be confirmed," environment minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said at a news conference.

March 1 (Reuters) - Chinese solar cells and power products maker JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd  said it will supply Germany-based Solar-Fabrik AG  with more than 110 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic products this year.
JA Solar supplied over 70 MW of products to Solar-Fabrik in 2010, it said in a statement.

JOHANNESBURG, March 1 (Reuters) - South Africa's new energy resource plan, which will determine the country's electricity mix over the next 20 years, will be passed into law by the start of April, a government official said on Tuesday.
The draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2) has called for nuclear and renewable energy to play a bigger role in plugging South Africa's power deficit as it seeks to halve its reliance on coal, which supplies some 95 percent of the country's power.

LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - TEP Solar, a unit of  British clean-energy projects developer Trading Emissions Plc , said it would buy two solar photovoltaic plants developed by BP Solar  in Italy.
The deal comes after Trading Emissions, which is trying to sell itself, said earlier on Monday it had received an "encouraging" level of interest from buyers. [

LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The global renewable energy market is still suffering from the effects of the financial crisis which started in 2008, according to a report published by Ernst & Young on Monday.
"The toxic legacy of the global financial crisis continues to cast a shadow over the global renewable energy market," the report, which ranks 30 countries according to their attractiveness for renewables investment, says.

FRANKFURT, Feb 25 (Reuters) - German power plant availability reported by producers and transmission firms to energy exchange EEX is set to rise 2.2 percent to 64,346 megawatts (MW) in the seven days to March 4, data from the bourse showed on Friday.
The EEX on its website issues transparency data from German generators, grid operators and small plants below 100 MW, as well as live production forecasts on an aggregated basis.

TOKYO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Mitsubishi Corp , Japan's largest trading company, said on Friday it would spend 45.8 million euros ($62.8 million) on a 15 percent stake in a solar thermal energy plant owned by Spain's Acciona SA .
Acciona, a leading global renewable energy firm, has begun commercial operations at three concentrated solar power (CSP) generation plants, with the fourth due to start operating later this year.

LOS ANGELES, Feb 24 (Reuters) - A SunPower Corp  project slated for Central California received county-level approval on Tuesday, overcoming a key hurdle on the road to building what could one day be one of the world's largest power plants that create energy from the sun's light.
The Planning Commission of San Luis Obispo county approved the project after a string of hearings during which the five-member commission weighed the project's economic and environmental benefits against its impact on native species, local residents and the region's rural landscape.

OTTAWA, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Ontario, fast becoming a clean energy powerhouse, said on Thursday it has approved 40 new large-scale renewable power projects that will create 7,000 jobs and attract C$3 billion ($3.06 billion) in private sector investment.
This second round of projects will generate 872 megawatts of electricity from the sun, wind and water, enough power for more than 200,000 homes. It follows the April announcement of 180 projects that will generate 2,400 MW of clean energy.

MILAN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Italy, one of the most rapidly growing solar markets in the world, is expected to install 5,000 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity in 2011, industry body GIFI said on Thursday.
Italy's total installed photovoltaic capacity, which turns sunlight into power, is seen rising to 15,000 MW by 2015 from about 3,000 MW at the end of 2010, GIFI said in a statement.

TOKYO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Chubu Electric Power Co  plans to build and run a nuclear power plant with a 3,000 to 4,000 megawatt total capacity by 2030, as it looks comply with government guidelines.
Japan, the world's fifth-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has drawn a roadmap for a low-carbon economy, including a goal to boost the ratio of zero-emissions power from nuclear and renewable sources to 70 percent of output by 2030 from 34 percent now.

COPENHAGEN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Denmark's DONG Energy will build a 320-megawatt offshore wind farm in the German part of the North Sea at a cost of about 1.25 billion euros ($1.72 billion), the company said on Thursday.
The Borkum Riffgrund 1 wind development will consist of up to 89 turbines with capacity of 3.6 MW from Siemens , state-owned DONG Energy said in a statement.

20110303 1010 Biofuels Related News.

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 1 (Reuters) - A Brazilian ethanol pipeline system will lower transport costs by 20 percent for producers when it begins operations in 2012, the firm leading the project said on Tuesday.
The newly formed logistics company, Logum, expects the 1,300 kilometer (808 mile) pipeline system to bring savings by reducing higher-cost transport by truck which is now the predominant form of delivering fuel to consumers from production centers.

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 1 (Reuters) - Brazilian state oil company Petrobras  said on Tuesday its imports of refined petroleum products jumped 97 percent in 2010 from the year before, a sign the South American nation may become increasingly reliant on global fuel markets.
Fuel imports rose to 299,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2010 from 152,000 bpd in 2009, the company said during an earnings presentation, while crude imports dropped 20 percent to 316,000 bpd during the same period.

HAMBURG, Feb 28 (Reuters) - German motorists are avoiding filling up their cars with gasoline with a higher biofuel blend due to concerns it could cause engine damage, German oil industry association MWV said.
The German government has from Jan. 1, 2011, permitted a rise in the maximum level of bioethanol allowed in blended gasoline to 10 percent from 5 percent previously as part of German's programme to protect the environment.

SAO PAULO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Strong domestic ethanol prices have attracted some cargoes of U.S. anhydrous ethanol into Brazil's northeast, traders and analysts said on Friday, adding that purchases could grow in the coming months to ease tight local supplies.
The difference between U.S. ethanol prices and prices in Brazil, which was surpassed by the United States as the world's largest producer of the fuel a few years ago, made the deals feasible, despite specification differences between the two products, they said.

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The United States "can do it all" -- turn more corn into ethanol without running short of food, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday, as oil prices soared and the government raised its forecast of food price increases this year.
"There is no reason for us to take the foot off the gas," said Vilsack, referring to biofuels at a two-day Agriculture Department conference on the outlook for this year's crops. "We can do it all."

20110303 1009 Global Market Related News.

Oil : Oil on the rise as Middle East, North Africa tensions hot up
SINGAPORE, March 3 (Reuters) - Oil rose on Thursday as investors eyed growing instability in key Middle East oil producing countries, which could signal another threat to global supplies, after Libya's Muammar Gaddafi ordered airstrikes near Libyan oil facilities.
"The stability of the region has gone through a major shock and the ripples are going to be felt for a while," said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks and Opinions based in Houston.

COMMODITIES: Oil jumps to 2008 highs on supply threat; lifts gold
NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) - Brent and U.S. crude oil settled Wednesday at highs unseen since 2008, when an airstrike near Libya's oil terminal stoked fears of prolonged threats to oil supplies and pushed gold to record levels for a second day.
"It's hard to say if the Libyan government is trying to target oil infrastructure in the east or whether they're just targeting rebel-held areas, but the market's reacting to this threat either way," said Andy Lebow, trader at MF Global in New York.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Oil, gold jump on Libyan fighting, stocks retreat
NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil shot above $117 a barrel on Wednesday on news of an airstrike in Libya near an oil terminal, while gold hit a record high as investors rushed into a safe-haven trade.
"If it continues to spread, Middle East tensions may reach a point where a war could start and that could ignite an incredible rally" in oil prices, said Ryoma Furumi, a commodities sales manager at Newedge Japan.

Libya says $130 oil possible
TRIPOLI, March 2 (Reuters) - Further disruptions of Libyan oil supplies to world markets could push crude prices above $130 a barrel in the next month, the country's top oil official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Brent crude rose back close to two-and-a-half year highs on Wednesday as Libya issued its warning and its government forces fought rebels in the oil-rich east. 

US manufacturing strongest in nearly 7 years
NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing grew in February at its fastest rate in nearly seven years as companies' willingness to hire improved at the strongest pace in decades.
Prices paid, a gauge of inflation, also rose, though slightly less than expected, according to an industry report released on Tuesday. The manufacturing data echoed reports around the world as factory input costs rose, while euro zone and British manufacturing grew strongly.

US Feb auto sales jump 27 pct, top expectations
DETROIT, March 1 (Reuters) - U.S. auto sales surged by 27 percent in February, exceeding the most bullish analyst forecasts as the lure of discounts from automakers led by General Motors Co  outweighed concerns about higher oil prices for car shoppers.
The February sales tally, which represents one of the first snapshots of U.S. consumer demand, was the strongest since August 2009 when the government's "cash for clunkers" credits spurred a short-lived boom at dealerships.

China aims to settle nationwide trade in yuan by 2011
BEIJING, March 2 (Reuters) - China hopes to allow all exporters and importers to settle their cross-border trades in the yuan by this year, the central bank said on Wednesday, as part of plans to grow the currency's international role.
In a statement on its website, the central bank said it would respond to overseas demand for the yuan to be used as a reserve currency. It added it would also allow the yuan to flow back into China more easily.

Euro zone PPI sees record monthly rise in Jan
BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) - Euro zone producer prices rose in January at the highest rate in the history of the single currency, data showed on Wednesday, further testing the inflation-fighting credentials of the European Central Bank.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said prices at factory gates in the 17 countries using the euro rose 1.5 percent month-on-month in January for a 6.1 percent year-on-year rise. The latter figure was the highest since September 2008.

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near record as Mideast simmers
LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices held just below the previous session's record high in Europe on Wednesday, as the threat that violence in the Middle East and North Africa will spread supported interest in the metal as a haven from risk.
While the precious metal's rally lost momentum as some investors cashed in the previous session's gains, fresh unrest in the region is likely to reignite its run higher, analysts said.

FOREX-Euro up; faltering risk appetite supports dollar
LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - The euro inched up on Wednesday, driven by expectations of higher official rates, although subdued risk appetite is likely to put a lid on gains and keep the dollar off a 3-1/2 month low versus a basket of currencies.
European Central Bank policymakers meet on Thursday, and with euro zone inflation well above its target, markets see the central bank sharpening its anti-inflation rhetoric.

Wheat falls for 2nd day on crop weather, soy firm
SINGAPORE, March 2 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures lost more ground falling around half a percent as rains in China's wheat belt and forecasts for much-needed moisture in the U.S. Plains continued to weigh on the market. "But there is still some concern around hard red winter wheat, which is in need of rains. They have had lower-than-average rains so far this year and conditions aren't looking good."

Stocks fall, oil rises on Middle East fears
LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - World stocks fell while the safe-haven Swiss franc and government bonds rose as concerns grew that a rise in oil prices due to unrest in the Middle East would weigh on the global economic recovery. "If crude prices are going to go up to $125 to $130 a barrel then I think that more and more of the consumption expenditure in the U.S. is going to have to be spent on gasoline and can't be spent on other durable goods," said Koen de Leus, strategist at KBC Securities Bolero in Brussels.

20110303 1007 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Reuters : Malaysia CPO price up over 1 % on higher crude oil + news of China cutting taxes on imported goods.

US soy product futures rally in unison with soybean futures. Soyoil futures led the advances in the products, with strong gains in crude oil futures, and bullish outlooks for global vegoil demand amid talk of China lifting price controls for vegoil markets supported prices, analysts say. CBOT May soyoil ends up 2.1% at 58.80c per pound, and May soymeal gains 0.3% to $364.40 a short ton. (Source: CME)

US Food Exports To Morocco Hit Record High In 2010 - USDA (Source: CME)
U.S. food exports to Morocco have quadrupled since 2005 to a record $766 million in 2010, up 51% on the year before, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Helped by a free-trade agreement between the two countries, the U.S. now accounts for 19% of Morocco's agricultural and food imports, compared with 8% in 2005, the report from the USDA's Morocco office said. The largest imports were of soybean oil, at 197,901 metric tons, and soybean meal at 164,921 tons. Morocco also imported 101,440 tons of wheat out of a total of 766,079 tons for the whole year. "With the elimination or gradual phase-out of import duties, several U.S. export commodities became more price competitive, including dairy products, soybean meal, soybean oil and tree nuts," said the report.
Like many North-African and Middle Eastern countries, Morocco has been hit by food inflation in the past year as international grain prices have risen. The USDA also noted U.S. imports of Moroccan goods such as olive oil, fruits and vegetables also reached a record high of $168 million in 2010, compared with $90 million in 2005.

Palm oil prices climb 1 pct to track crude higher
JAKARTA, March 2 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose about 1 percent as traders eyed growing demand for biodiesel, as tensions in the Middle East boosted crude oil.  "The palm oil market is firming," said one trader. "It is tracking crude oil ... The Malaysian palm oil is tracking external markets."

Oil World ups Argentine 2011 soybean crop forecast
HAMBURG, March 1 (Reuters) - Oilseeds analysis firm Oil World said on Tuesday it had raised its forecast for Argentina's 2011 soybean crop by 0.5 million tonnes from its previous estimate in February after parched crops received rain.
Argentina's 2011 soybean crop is likely to reach 48.50 million tonnes against 54.4 million tonnes in 2010, it estimated. On Jan. 18 had Oil World warned the Argentine crop could fall to or below 46 million tonnes.