Monday, March 21, 2011

20110321 1809 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3440, changed : -8 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller reducing position.
Support : 3420, 3350, 3300, 3270 level.
Resistance : 3450, 3470, 3500, 3550 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded marginal loss with lower and higher volume participation after ITS and SGS reported a lower but improving export data while soy oil and crude oil trading firmer after last Friday higher closed.
Daily chart formed a down bar candle positioned below middle Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, and slide downward slowly tested support level before recover upward slightly closed near the low of the day.
Technical reading still suggesting a correction range bound downside biased market development with the correction may be ending as today candle resuming its downward movement after formed 4 up bar candles.
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.

20110321 1745 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1512 changed : +13.5 points,  volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer testing market.
Support : 1500, 1485, 1470, 1458 level.
Resistance : 1515, 1530, 1540, 1550 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded gains with higher volume participation doing 3 points premium compare to cash market while overnight US and today regional market closed higher due to easing condition in Japan, continue Yen intervention and cease fire on Libya plus coming Sarawak state election.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle managed to closed above middle Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, and edging upward to closed near the high of the day.
Technical reading suggesting a side way range bound little downside biased market development testing support and resistance level with MACD indicator having positive crossed over.
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.

20110321 1053 Global Economic Related News.

Libya: No-fly zone has been put in place over Libya, says US joint Chiefs of Staff chairman
A no fly-zone has now been put in place over Libya, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Jouint Chiefs of Staff, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. Qatar will take part in the action against Libya, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Jasim Al Thani was cited as saying yesterday by the country’s state-run news agency. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Arab participation in talks between the powers on Saturday in Paris ‘extraordinarily important’ and said more can be expected from the Middle East states. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he had been to Libya’s prime minister and foreign minister, but had not had any recent contact with Gaddafi. (Malaysian Reserve)

Japan: BOJ reluctance to finance Japan’s borrowing set to be tested
The Bank of Japan’s reluctance to fund government borrowing is set to be tested by the economy’s need for stimulus in the aftermath of the 11 March earthquake. Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s bill for clearing wreckage and rebuilding roads, housing and utilities is forecast at JPY5trn (USD62bn) or higher by Nomura Holdings Inc., Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital. With debt issuance poised to rise, BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa warned last week the bank must avoid underwriting debt to retain its credibility.(Bloomberg)

Japan: Yen undermined as G-7 combines with deficits after post-war high
The Kobe earthquake in 1995 sparked a 20% yen surge in three months. After the latest disaster, world leaders are uniting to ensure a stronger currency doesn’t derail efforts to rebuild the economy as Japanese officials flood the financial system with cash. While Japan’s currency rose 3.74% against the dollar in the six days after the March 11 temblor, it is poised to drop in 2011 by the most in six years, Bloomberg surveys of economists show. Derivatives traders cut wagers on further gains 18 March after Group of Seven nations followed Japan’s lead and sold yen as it reached a post-World War II high of 76.25 versus the dollar.(Bloomberg)

Japan: Sony, Nissan to Resume Operations at Plants Idled by Quake
Sony Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. said they’re preparing to resume production at some factories as Japanese manufacturers seek to recover from the strongest earthquake on record to jolt the world’s third-largest economy. Sony plans to resume a plant that makes rechargeable batteries in Tochigi prefecture, northern Japan, from 22 March, Hiroshi Okubo, a Tokyo-based spokesman, said today. Nissan, Japan’s second-largest automaker, said in a statement it will begin the resumption of operations at six factories tomorrow and some vehicle assembly from 25 March. (Bloomberg)

UK: Inflation rate climbed to 4.2% in February
UK inflation probably accelerated to the fastest pace since October 2008 in February, which may sharpen the divide among Bank of England policy makers on whether to raise interest rates to tame price pressures. Consumer prices rose 4.2% from a year earlier compared with a 4% increase in January, according to the median forecast of 32 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The Office for National Statistics in London will publish the data at 9:30 a.m. on 22 March.(Bloomberg)

US: Treasuries advance on Japan’s radiation concern, Libyan turmoil
Treasuries gained, with the 10-year note yield touching the lowest level this year, as Japan’s nuclear crisis and Libyan political turmoil encouraged demand for the safety of U.S. government debt. Yields on two-year notes dropped for a fifth week in the longest stretch of decreases since August as a surge in the yen following Japan’s earthquake led Group of Seven nations to intervene in currency markets. The Federal Reserve said the US recovery is gaining strength before a report next week forecast to show the economy expanded faster than earlier estimated.(Bloomberg) 

20110321 1051 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

 KLCI chart reading:
correction range bound upside biased with MACD +cve divergence.

Taib: Sarawak assembly to be dissolved on Monday
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud announced that the state assembly would be dissolved on Monday (March 21), paving the way for state polls. The country’s longest serving chief minister, who has helmed the state since 1981, also said that he would contest the upcoming state elections but would step down as chief minister mid-term. Taib also said he had called on Yang Dipertua Negri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng on Thursday to get his consent to dissolve the state assembly. The Election Commission (EC) would decide the dates for nomination and polling, he said, ending months of speculation about the state election. (The Star)

Sarawak Hidro aims to seal PPA with SEB by July
Sarawak Hidro SB is confident of sealing the power purchase agreement (PPA) with state utility firm Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) by July this year. Sarawak Hidro managing director, Zulkifle Osman, said negotiations on the sale of power from Bakun Hydroelectric are ongoing. “We meet constantly. Hopefully by July this year we will seal the PPA before Bakun dam could commercially produce the first 300MW of electricity,’ he said when contacted in Kuching by the media. The Bakun Hydroelectric dam, located on Balui River in the upper Rejang River basin and 37km upstream from Belaga, is the world’s second tallest concrete rock-filled dam. (Malaysian Reserve)

Notion eyes RM60m earnings in Nikon ‘contingency plan’
Notion Vtec Bhd, whose major customer includes Nikon Corp which has been severely affected by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, wills see an additional sales contribution of up to RM60m as it supplies parts to Nikon’s Thailand outfit as pat of a contingency plan. Notion, a Malaysian precision parts manufacturer, said in an exchange filing last Friday that it is preparing to expand its production for camera body mounts with immediate effect as Nikon Thailand’s Japan-based in-house parts supplier had been shut until further notice The finished parts would e trucked to Nikon’s plant in Ayuthaya, Thailand, for assembly, it said. (Malaysian Reserve)

Scientex enters solar energy via JV with Japan firm
Industrial packaging manufacturer Scientex Bhd is moving into the solar energy sector via a 50:50 joint venture with Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello Inc (MCTI). The new joint venture company will manufacture and distribute encapsulating sheets for solar cells. The company's facility will be located at the Bukit Rambai Industrial Estate in Malacca. The first phase of production, targeted to begin in August 2012, will be 10,000 tonnes a year. MCTI currently has a 20% share of the world market, producing some 40,000 tonnes a year. It is targeting to achieve 30% market share by 2013, once the Malacca plant is set up. MCTI will provide the technical expertise and raw materials for EVA for the encapsulating sheets, while Scientex will provide the site for the manufacturing plant, labour, marketing and customer synergies. The encapsulating sheets will cater to the South-East Asian markets, particularly Malaysia and Singapore. It will also be exported to Europe. (StarBiz)

Hubline upbeat on PNG shipping venture
Hubline Bhd expects its shipping business in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to grow significantly through a tie-up with PNG Gulf Provincial government and two Hong Kong-based investment firms. An agreement to set up a joint-venture (JV) company between Hubline, Gulf Oil and Gas Corp Ltd (GOGCL), Energy Pro Ltd (EPL) and East Ocean Asia Pacific Investment Ltd (EOAPIL) is scheduled to be signed in three months, according to Hubline chief executive officer Dennis Ling. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up the JV company was sealed in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday. The signatories were Ling, PNG Gulf Province Governor Havila Kavo and GOGCL chief executive Mark Baiai. PNG High Commissioner to Malaysia Veali Vagi witnessed the event. (StarBiz)

New Perodua models soon
Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd's (Perodua)’s new compact model which will feature the latest, more stylish and sporty design, is expected to be launched in July or September this year. Perodua managing director Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said the model to be introduced was also expected to exceed the popularity of the current range of MyVi, Alza and ViVa models. He declined however, to reveal further details of the new model, or if it was a compact sedan with a 1.5-litre engine capacity when asked. “It is an affordable compact car, suitable for all sections of the community, especially the young,” he said. (Bernama) 

20110321 1031 Global Market Related News.

Chart reading : pullback correction range bound downside biased.

Chart reading : pullback correction range bound downside biased.

 Chart reading : pullback correction range bound downside biased.

Chart reading : pullback correction range bound downside biased.

Brent up 1.5pct near $116; Libya action stokes MEast fears
SINGAPORE, March 21 (Reuters) - Brent climbed 1.5 percent on Monday towards $116 after western forces launched a military campaign against Libya, stoking fears that violence will intensify in North Africa and the Middle East, source of more than a third of the world's oil.
"At this stage, it looks like Libya has further to play. Gaddafi still seems very defiant. We'll see further spikes and shocks in the oil market this week," Lewis said. 

Nigeria sees oil price easing in coming months
ABUJA, March 20 (Reuters) - Nigeria's oil minister said on Sunday global oil prices were expected to ease slightly in the coming months and that OPEC members did not consider their current level damaging to the world economy.
Oil prices surged above $110 a barrel last month after political unrest in Libya more than halved the North African producer's oil output. Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has promised to meet any supply gap but prices have remained close to the two-and-a-half-year high hit last month.

U.S. corn, wheat extend gains on higher oil, fund buying
BEIJING, March 21 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and wheat futures extended a rally during Asian trading early on Monday as investors picked up positions in grains following at least a temporary easing of the crisis in Japan and talk of China buying U.S. corn.
U.S. corn  traded up 1.9 percent as oil prices leapt on supply concerns after Western powers pressed ahead on Sunday with a campaign of air attacks in Libya.

Argentine rain helps soy crops, slow corn harvest
BUENOS AIRES, March 18 (Reuters) - Rains over the past week in Argentina have boosted the condition of 2010/11 soybeans, but they arrived late for some crops and yields will reflect the renewed dryness, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.
Argentina, the world's third-biggest soybean supplier, had dry weather earlier this season, limiting production forecasts. Heavy rains from mid-January brightened the outlook, but parched conditions have caused problems again in recent weeks.

Informa raises US 2011 corn area f'cast, cuts soy
CHICAGO, March 18 (Reuters) - Analytical firm Informa Economics projected that U.S. farmers will plant 75.269 million acres (30.46 million hectares) of soybeans this spring, a drop from its January estimate of 76.654 million, trade sources said Friday.
The firm raised its estimate of 2011 U.S. corn plantings to 91.758 million acres (37.13 million hectares), which was up from 90.9 million in January -- but below the U.S. Department of Agriculture's preliminary forecast of 92 million.

Gold rises on growing Middle East tensions, weak dollar
SINGAPORE, March 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday on the escalating tension in the Middle East and North Africa after western forces launched air attacks in Libya, as a weaker dollar also lent support.
"Obviously the tensions in the Middle East, coupled with the significantly weak dollar against the euro, help give gold the current boost," said Darren Heathcote, head of trading at Investec Australia.

Stocks rise as selloff seen overdone, oil jumps
HONG KONG, March 21 (Reuters) - Asian shares advanced on Monday as market players scooped up beaten-down stocks after heavy losses last week, while oil  prices jumped more than $2 as Western forces struck targets in Libya.
"From a technical perspective, Asia-ex Japan is very  oversold. Much of the bad news is in the price of Asian equities and monetary policy is not hugely restrictive," said Rosgen, who predicts the MSCI ex Japan at 675 points by the end of the year, a gain of nearly 50 percent from current levels. 

Oil : Oil rises more than $2 on military action against Libya
SINGAPORE, March 21 (Reuters) - Oil jumped by more than $2 on Monday, sending Brent to $116 after western forces launched a military campaign against Libya, raising the stakes in a civil war that has nearly paralysed crude exports from the north African nation.
"I can see uncertainty and fear driving the price of oil higher in the short term," said Matthew Lewis, an analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

COMMODITIES: Oil slips on Libyan ceasefire, grains surge
NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Oil prices slipped on Friday after Libya said it would halt all military action, while grains surged as a rise in investors' risk appetite lifted corn to its biggest two-day gain in eight months.
Global uncertainty still played into trading, as safe-haven gold held most of its gains and investors pared U.S. crude's losses late as U.S. President Barack Obama warned of military action if Libya does not comply with the international community's demands.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Libya ceasefire prompts stock rally, G7 caps yen
NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Global stocks rose on Friday as traders took on riskier investments following a Libya ceasefire that reduced tension in the region, and after several central banks intervened to stabilize the yen.
Trading capped a week of extreme volatility marked by Wall Street's gauge of anxiety, the VIX, which on Thursday soared to its highest level since July. Stock market volumes surged on down days and fell on up days.

OPEC credibility at risk if members act alone-Iran
DUBAI, March 20 (Reuters)- OPEC's credibility is at risk and oil prices may collapse if members of the group unilaterally decide to increase output, Iran's OPEC governor warned.
"Given the market situation, if every OPEC member decides to act of their own this would damage the credibility of OPEC and their own interest," Mohammad Ali Khatibi said in a telephone interview on Sunday.

Oil Rises After U.S., U.K., France Begin Military Strikes Against Qaddafi (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil climbed in New York after the U.S., U.K. and France launched cruise missiles and airstrikes at targets in Libya and as continuing unrest in the region renewed concerns the turmoil may spread and disrupt supplies.

Bank of England’s Dale Says U.K.’s Economic Recovery is ‘Set to Continue’ (Source: Bloomberg)
Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale said the U.K. recovery is likely to be sustained and investors expect global interest rates to increase faster than they forecast late last year.

Sony, Nissan to Resume Operations at Plants Idled by Quake (Source: Bloomberg)
Sony Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. said they’re preparing to resume production at some factories as Japanese manufacturers seek to recover from the strongest earthquake on record to jolt the world’s third-largest economy.

Japan May Take Five Years to Rebuild After Quake, World Bank Says (Source: Bloomberg)
The World Bank said it may take five years for Japan to rebuild after this month’s earthquake and tsunami, which killed at least 8,450 and destroyed thousands of buildings.

BOJ Reluctance to Finance Japan’s Borrowing Set to Be Tested (Source: Bloomberg)
The Bank of Japan’s reluctance to fund government borrowing is set to be tested by the economy’s need for stimulus in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures close sharply higher as strong demand renews concerns about low supplies. China purchased corn from the US following a price break and may make further purchases this year, according to an employee of an international trade service agency. South Korea contracted purchases for at least eight cargoes of corn totaling 455,000 tons this week, a Seoul-based grains broker says. "The end users, whether they're domestic or international, said, 'I've got to start buying this stuff,'" says Alan Brugler, president of Brugler Marketing & Management. CBOT May corn climbs 37c to $6.83 1/2 a bushel.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures finish firmer on spillover support from rallying corn, which has rebounded 11% the past two sessions, fueled by strong demand. Its gains lift wheat because both grains are used for livestock feed. Improving demand for wheat from foreign buyers and livestock producers added support to prices, one analyst noted. CBOT May wheat rose 12 3/4c to $7.23/bushel while KCBT May gained 14c to $8.45 and MGE May jumped 12 3/4c to $8.67 1/2.

Oats (Source: CME)
Oat futures finished higher as the market recovered from a seven-month low reached. Oats for May delivery gained 17 cents, or 5.1%, to $3.52 a bushel.

China Made Purchase Of US Corn On Thursday - Trade Source (Source: CME)
China purchased corn from the U.S. on Thursday and may make further purchases this year, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person employed by an international trade service agency did not disclose the size of the purchase, yet said China may continue to import U.S. corn this year and could expand buying next year to ensure sufficient supplies. Commodity traders have been closely watching Chinese imports of U.S. corn, with supplies projected to drop to a 15-year low this year. Traders and analysts had been talking about the potential for significant sales to China for months, but expectations for business decreased as corn prices climbed. Yet speculation on Chinese buying picked Thursday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported private exporters struck deals to sell 116,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2010-2011 marketing year.
China's corn stocks are at a historically low level that suggests the country may have to import large volumes, Standard Chartered wrote in a research note last month. China hasn't be a large importer of U.S. corn in recent years, yet some analysts predict its buying will pick up, potentially reshaping the global grain trade in coming years.

US Grains Council: Quake Affects 30% Of Feed Production In Japan (Source: CME)
Major grain import facilities in northern Japan suffered severe damage in last week's earthquake and tsunami, with roughly 30% of the country's feed production capacity affected, the U.S. Grains Council said. Much of the capacity of the damaged feed mills is being covered by mills in other areas of the country and mills restarting after the disaster, the trade group said. "There are current plans to increase production at unaffected mills and ports and transport the products to the affected areas," said Mike Callahan, the council's senior director of international operations in a statement. Japan has a total compound feed production capacity of 25 million metric tons. The council warned it's still awaiting official reports on the earthquake's total impact on the grain trade. Immediate challenges to getting feed to livestock and chicken production operations include a lack of available boats, damage to roads and a lack of reliable fuel supplies.
Because farmers tend to have only a limited supply of feed on site, the council said feed deliveries need to be made to ensure the welfare of animals. Damage from the earthquake has made it difficult to transport animals, and some processing plants and dairy facilities cannot operate at full capacity, the council said. "Feed mills are collaborating and coordinating feed production to cover all critical animal sectors," said Hiroko Sakashita, the council's associate director in Japan in a statement. The council said earlier this week grain shipments to Japan are continuing with southern ports, which receive the bulk of U.S. shipments, relatively unharmed in comparison to northern ports. Japan is the largest export market for U.S. corn.

No Farmland Bubble, But Correction Likely -US Ag Bank Regulator (Source: CME)
There is no bubble in U.S. farmland prices, although there is likely to be a downward correction in prices, a top regulator overseeing the nation's largest network of agricultural lenders said. Tight global grain supplies and sharply higher prices have created a robust farm economy, justifying higher land values, said Leland Strom, chairman and chief executive of the Farm Credit Administration. "You've got farmers with strong balance sheets, probably the strongest balance sheets you've had in the agriculture sector in the last 30, 40 years," Strom said in an interview on the sidelines of an expo on local and organic food production. Still, Strom said that in some cases high prices can't be justified in the long term. Farmland values in Iowa and other key agricultural states jumped 12% in 2010, the second-biggest increase in the past 30 years, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Eventually, Strom said, U.S. farmer fortunes will shift, perhaps through a change in ethanol policy or adoption of improved technologies that lift crop yields elsewhere in the world. That gives prices some downward potential, he said. Strom also said the increase has been driven in part by investors who have noted the strong returns in farmland investment in recent years. But regulators are closely watching loan-to-asset ratios among its banks, which remain "at a very reasonable level," Strom said. The FCA oversees the federally chartered Farm Credit System, a network of five banks that accounts for more than a third of lending in the rural U.S. It also oversees the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp., or Farmer Mac. Some officials are voicing increasing concern about a bubble, including the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Agricultural economists with the University of Tennessee issued a paper this week calling the rising values "scary." While they acknowledged stable loan-to-value ratios, they said much of that asset value is in land. "If land prices drop, the loan-to-asset ratio deteriorates quickly," they said. The economists added that if crop prices fall, rising input prices could put farmer balance sheets in the red, making it harder for them to repay loans. The rising values pose a challenge for farmers trying to figure out how to take advantage of their increased cash flow. "When land comes up for sale next to you, it may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Strom said on the sidelines of the FamilyFarmed Expo.

Central banks move to weaken yen, calm markets
LONDON/SYDNEY, March 18 (Reuters) - Japan bought billions of dollars to restrain a soaring yen on Friday, backed up by action by European central banks as the world's richest nations moved to calm financial markets made nervous by Japan's nuclear crisis.
The moves are the first joint intervention in currency markets by the Group of Seven leading powers since they came to the aid of the newly-launched euro in 2000, and signal the weight of concern about the wider impact of events in Japan.

China raises banks' required reserves again
BEIJING, March 18 (Reuters) - China's central bank said on Friday that it would raise lenders' required reserves by 50 basis points, the third time this year and the sixth since November.
The move increases the required reserve ratio for the country's biggest banks to a record 20.0 percent, another step in the government's campaign to control inflation.

US consumer prices turn higher, economy gains steam
WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices increased at their fastest pace in more than 1-1/2 years in February as fresh data showed growth was accelerating, but underlying inflation pressures remained generally contained.
Some economists expressed concern that the deepening crisis in Japan could hurt U.S. growth in the weeks and months ahead  but they cautioned it was too soon to know for sure.

Commodity fund in-flows surge to $4 bln in Feb-Lipper
NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Investors plowed more than $4 billion into commodity-based products and mutual funds in February, the most in nine months, favoring agricultural markets, silver and broad index funds, Lipper data showed on Thursday.
Inflows to U.S.-regulated "commodity products"  rebounded to $4.05 billion last month, up from just $38 million in January, according to data tracking funds that invest directly physical commodities or derivatives, not corporate securities. It's the highest since 6.3 billion in May of 2010.

PRECIOUS-Gold gains on Libya unrest, eyes yen
LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Gold rose 1 percent on Friday, as the United Nations authorisation of military attacks in Libya boosted gold's status as a shelter from risk, while investors eyed whether intervention in the yen could calm markets jitters.
"The uncertainty across the different global centres is still there and that should support precious metals," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

FOREX-Yen falls on G7 intervention, more selling seen
LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - The yen fell broadly on Friday as European authorities sold the Japanese currency in the first co-ordinated Group of Seven intervention since 2000, but traders said impact in European time appeared to be limited.
"It will be interesting to see whether any speculators will be brave enough to try and push the dollar down through 80 yen again," said Adam Myers, senior currency strategist at Credit Agricole CIB.

U.S. corn, wheat extend rally on exports, oil
SINGAPORE, March 18 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat and corn futures rose more than 3 percent adding to the previous session's biggest one day gains in five months, as strong weekly exports and talk of Chinese purchases propelled grains higher.
"U.S. exports sale numbers were very bullish," said Ker Chung Yang, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. "We are seeing Asian equity markets are doing quite well at the moment."

Argentine corn crop seen at 20.5 mln T - gov't
BUENOS AIRES, March 17 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2010/11 corn crop is seen at 20.5 million tonnes, down 9.6 percent from last year due to dryness early in the season, the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday in its first official forecast.
The government, which did not estimate 2010/11 soy output, held its forecast for 2010/11 wheat production at 14.7 million tonnes.

US Grain Exports-Corn sales at 3-wk high as prices fall
CHICAGO, March 17 (Reuters) - U.S. corn export sales jumped 72 percent to a three-week high last week as a six-day price slide, the longest in four months, lured buyers and lifted sales above 1 million tonnes for the seventh time in nine weeks, analysts said on Thursday.
Net U.S. wheat export sales climbed 31 percent to a three-week high as prices slid to the lowest point since December, when crop woes in major exporter Australia shifted more buying to U.S. shores, they said after the release of U.S. Agriculture Department weekly export sales data.

Yen slides after intervention; oil up on UN vote
LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Global stocks rose and the yen tumbled after the Group of Seven agreed on joint intervention to weaken the Japanese currency and calm markets worried about Japan's nuclear crisis.
"The G7 intervention is calming the markets, but we still need a few days of consolidation to think we are over the worst of it," Giles Watts, head of equities at City Index in London, said.

20110321 1021 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

 Soy Oil chart reading : correction range bound little downside biased.

ITS CPO export down 12.8% to 719,302 tonnes for the period of 1~20 Mar 2011.
SGS CPO export down 9.5% to 734,897 tonnes for the period of 1~20 Mar 2011.

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybeans rally for a third consecutive day, with prices continuing to strengthen on supportive fundamental outlooks. Traders are concerned about global soybean supplies due to strong demand, and rising concerns that Brazil's crop may not be as large as expected. Market also received a boost from bullish acreage outlook from Informa Economics. The forecast, if confirmed this year, would be 1M less than expected and would force the market to pencil in a possible 50-60M bushel cut in projected end-of-year supplies in 2012, says Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics. CBOT May soy rises 2% to $13.62 1/2; Nov soy gain 2.4% to $13.34 a bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy-product futures rallied in unison with beans. The threat of tight world soy supplies for crushing and the potential for that trend to continue into the 2011-12 market year that begins Sept 1, based on lower private acreage forecasts, helped elevate prices, analysts said. CBOT May soyoil settled 2.3% higher at 55.77c/pound while May soymeal finished up 2.6% at a 2-week high of $367.90/short ton.

Palm oil prices climb over 2 pct on easing Japan concern
JAKARTA, March 18 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose more than 2 percent tracking price of other commodities higher as investor fears over the impact of the nuclear crisis in quake-hit Japan receded.
"There is a lot of activity in the physical market -- bargain hunting is going on," said one dealer. "External markets are a lot better than a few days ago."

Argentine soy outlook steady, corn harvest slow
BUENOS AIRES, March 17 (Reuters) - Rains in Argentine soy areas relieved crops over the last week, but persistent dryness means output is not expected to exceed 48.8 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday.
Argentina, the world's third-biggest soy supplier, had dry weather earlier this season, but heavy rains from mid-January onward brightened the outlook for the oilseed. Parched conditions have returned over the last two weeks.