Friday, March 25, 2011

20110325 1805 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3261, changed : -9 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : falling, seller in control.
Support : 3270, 3200, 3150, 3100 level.
Resistance : 3300, 3350, 3420, 3450 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded small loss with lower volume changed hand after export data released by ITS and SGS showing improvement but nevertheless little lower compare to same period on previous month while soy oil traded range bound after overnight closed higher.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle with upper and lower shadow positioned nearer to lower Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, tested higher and fall lower recording loss before recover upward salvaging partial of the losses to closed off the low of the day.
Chart reading still suggesting a downside biased market development testing lower support near lower Bollinger band level but pullback could still happen as today marked the 5th down bar candle with the last 2 doji bars having lower shadow.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant/breakdown with larger cut loss and profit target.

20110325 1745 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1517 changed : +3.5 points,  volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer taking small exposure.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485, 1470 level.
Resistance : 1530, 1540, 1550, 1580 level.
Comment :
Another 6.5 points range market FKLI closed recorded small gains with better volume traded doing 1.5 point premium compare to cash market while regional markets ended mostly in positive territory.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle with longer lower shadow positioned between middle and upper Bollinger band levels after market opened gap up and traded range bound before closed near the high of the day.
Chart reading remained suggesting a side way range bound little upside biased market development testing the plotted downward trend line 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.

20110325 1623 Breaking News : China Central Bank Statement.

Reuters : China Central Bank Statement :
Gold prices could reach new record, but also see downside risks.
Global commodity prices still have room to rise in 2011.
U.S. Dollar could weaken in 2011.
Emergin market faces risks from inflation, asset bubbles.
European sovereign crisis could spread this year.

20110325 1551 Global Market Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Asian shares up after Wall St gains; euro steady
SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose on Friday amid optimism about upcoming company earnings, and the euro held steady as investors bet European leaders would be able to prevent a political crisis in Portugal worsening the region's sovereign debt crisis.
Tokyo's Nikkei rose more than 1 percent, with analysts saying some technical indicators showed the market heavily oversold. The index is down 7 percent from its close on March 11, when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan.

Asia shares up after Wall St gains; dollar squeezed
SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose on Friday amid optimism about upcoming company earnings, and the dollar retreated as investors sold the low yielding currency in favour of riskier assets.
"The market is treating many of these downgrades as rearguard actions which are already well discounted and the dollar is under pressure broadly," said Todd Elmer, currency strategist at Citi in Singapore. 

20110325 1549 Global Commodities Related News.

Oil : Oil steady, market eyes Libya, Mideast
NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices steadied on Thursday after spiking in early trade on supply worries amid fighting in Libya and growing unrest in the Middle East.
Trading was volatile and volume thin as investors awaited the next turn of events in the Middle East and as they also weighed developments surrounding Japan's nuclear crisis.

NATURAL GAS: Natgas ends down, off 7-week high; EIA disappoints
NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - Front-month U.S. natural gas futures closed lower on Thursday after a government report failed to show a big weekly inventory draw, triggering a profit-taking sell-off after prices hit a seven-week high in early trade.
"I didn't see the report (EIA draw) as that bearish, but it could have triggered profit taking after recent gains or book squaring ahead of expiration next Tuesday" of the April contract, a Texas-based trader said.

COMMODITIES: Oil, metals off; grains surge
NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil and gold broke a six-day winning streak to close down on Thursday as investors took profit after the markets ran into technical resistance.
"If the business sector's expansion momentum stalls, this (will be) bad news, creating a risk of disappointing employment gains in coming months," said Dan Dorrow, head of research at Faros Trading in Stamford, Connecticut.

Brent heads for 3rd straight weekly gain, up 1.7 pct, on Mideast
SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Brent crude rose towards $116 on Friday ahead of protests planned in Bahrain, heading for a third straight weekly gain and up 1.7 percent since western powers last weekend launched a military campaign in Libya as turmoil flared in Yemen and Syria.
"So long as ongoing problems in the Middle East continue to elevate risks of a further supply disruption, there is a strong likelihood of a price spike in the second quarter as the market demands additional oil to meet summer demand," said JP Morgan analysts headed by Lawrence Eagles.

Malaysia in talks to sell crude to Japan power plants - trade
SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Malaysian state oil firm Petronas is in talks with Japanese buyers to sell crude for burning in oil-fired power plants after a massive earthquake and tsunami damaged facilities in Japan causing electricity shortage, trade sources said on Friday.
The producer could supply medium sweet crude such as Kikeh and Penara from storage which could be loaded in April or sell spot cargoes for May, they said.

U.S.grains, soy extend rally on weather, healthy demand
BEIJING, March 25 (Reuters) - - U. S. grains and soy extended a rally during early trading on Friday after a gain of three percent on concerns over dry weather and brisk demand from Japan and China.
Chicago Board of Trade wheat rose 0.57 percent while corn  edged up 0.32 percent and soy  was up 0.28 percent by 0017 GMT.

EU cleared 364,000 tonnes wheat exports this week
PARIS, March 24 (Reuters) - The European Union this week granted export licences for 364,000 tonnes of soft wheat, taking the total since the beginning of the 2010/11 (July-June) season to 15.0 million tonnes, official data showed on Thursday.
The total so far this season compared with 13.0 million tonnes of export licences cleared by the same stage in 2009/10.

Rain pounds Brazil center-west soy harvest - Somar
SAO PAULO, March 24 (Reuters) - Heavy rainfall drenched most of the big soybean producing states in Brazil's center-west grain belt in recent days with the region in full harvest, but skies should start to clear on Thursday, forecaster Somar said.
The southern growing region of No. 1 soy state Mato Grosso received 95 millimeters (3.7 inches) of rain over the past three days, with the central region of the state getting 58 mm.

Gold steady on euro zone woes; technicals pressure
SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Spot gold held steady on Friday below record highs hit in the previous session, as worries about euro zone's debt crisis and  Middle East turmoil supported sentiment, but its price may be facing headwind at key technical levels.
"The market will remain choppy, as the trend is not very clear even with support from the Libyan crisis and other factors," said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong.

20110325 1124 Global Economic Related News.

Vietnam: Inflation climbs to 25-month high, adding rate pressure
Vietnamese inflation accelerated to a 25-month high in March on rising gasoline and power costs, adding pressure for another increase in interest rates. Prices rose 13.89% this month from a year earlier, compared with a 12.31% pace in February, according to figures released by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi. That’s the fastest since February 2009. Prices rose 2.17% from February. (Bloomberg)

South Korea: consumer confidence drops to 23-month low after quake
South Korean consumer confidence fell to the lowest level in almost two years, damped by Japan’s strongest earthquake and political unrest in the Middle East. The sentiment index declined to 98 in March from 105 in February, the fourth monthly drop, the Bank of Korea said in an e-mailed statement in Seoul. A number below 100 indicates pessimists outnumber optimists. (Bloomberg)

China: Manufacturing growth rebounds
Chinese factories have stepped up a gear this month while their price increases have slowed, indicating that the government has made some progress in taming inflation without unduly harming growth, a survey showed. The HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), the earliest available indicator of China’s industrial activity, rose to a two-month high of 52.5 in March, up from a final reading of 51.7 in February. A figure above 50 points to expansion on the month. (Financial Daily)

EU: Portugal said to need up to EUR70bn
A bailout for Portugal may total as much as EUR70bn (USD99bn), two European officials with direct knowledge of the matter said as a credit-rating cut threatened to deepen Portugal’s debt woes. Preliminary calculations put the cost of a lifeline between EUR50bn and EUR70bn, said the officials who declined to be named because the issue is confidential. Portugal continued to rule out a rescue, a day after the parliament’s rejection of budget cuts led Prime Minister Jose Socrates to offer to quit. (Bloomberg)

US: Goods orders unexpectedly fall, claims drop
Orders for long-lasting goods unexpectedly fell in February, raising concern over the sustainability of the rebound in US business investment. Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years dropped 0.9% after a 3.6% gain the prior month that was larger than initially reported, the Commerce Department said in Washington. Other reports showed fewer Americans filed claims for jobless benefits last week, and consumer comfort dropped to the lowest level in seven months (Bloomberg)

U.S. Jobless claims fell by 5,000 last week to 382,000, signaling the labor market is mending. The total number of people receiving benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost three years. (Source: Bloomberg)

E.U: Services, manufacturing growth slows in March. A composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the 17-nation euro region in both industries fell to 57.5 from 58.2 in February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Retail sales declined more than forecast in February after a surge the previous month when shoppers brought forward spending to beat a tax increase. Sales fell 0.8% MoM from January, when they jumped a revised 1.5% MoM. From a year earlier, overall sales increased 1.3% YoY. (Source: Bloomberg)

Portugal: Said to need up to EUR 70b; Rating cut. Preliminary calculations put the cost of a lifeline between
EUR 50b and EUR 70b, said the officials who declined to be named because the issue is confidential. Portugal continued to rule out a rescue, a day after the parliament's rejection of budget cuts led Prime Minister Jose Socrates to offer to quit. A downgrade by Fitch Ratings dealt a further blow as European Union leaders called on Socrates and the opposition parties to unite behind belt-tightening measures that might spare Portugal from becoming the third euro country to tap emergency aid. (Source: Bloomberg)

China: Will make more use of price tools to implement monetary policy and interest rates will be at the "core" of that strategy, Zhang Xiaohui, director of the monetary policy department of the People's Bank of China, said on its website. The central bank will shift the focus of policy away from the use of quantitative tools, Zhang said in a review of monetary policy since 2002. These instruments include banks' reserve requirement ratios and loan quotas. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: Consumer prices fell in February, may rise after quake. Consumer prices excluding fresh food declined 0.3% YoY. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: Export growth accelerated in February, before the nation's strongest earthquake killed thousands, shut factories and caused power shortages, in a disaster that may disrupt trade for months. Overseas shipments rose 9% YoY in February compared to Januarys 1.4% YoY gain, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo. (Source: Bloomberg)

Philippines: The central bank increased borrowing costs for the first time since August 2008, joining India, South Korea and Thailand in raising interest rates this month as Asia steps up the fight against inflation. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas increased the rate it pays lenders for overnight deposits to 4.25% from a record-low 4%, according to a statement in Manila. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110325 1123 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

 KLCI chart reading : side way range bound little upside biased.

ADCB said to seek sale of 25% stake in RHB
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC (ADCB), the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) third biggest bank by assets, is choosing advisers for the sale of a 25% stake in RHB Capital, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The bank hasn’t made a final decision on which advisors to pick for sale, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because discussions are private. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has shortlisted at least 6 to 7 banks to make proposal for the sale, Thomson Reuters unit International Financing Review (IRF) reported yesterday on its website. The stake is worth RM4.3bn, based on the closing price of RM8.02 yesterday. (MalaysianReserve)

Wah Seong to make fans, blowers
Wah Seong Corp will set up a joint venture (JV) with PT Agrindo Prima Lestari (PTA) to manufacture industrial fans and blowers for the palm oil industry and other industries utilizing similar products in Indonesia. Its indirect wholly owned unit PMT Industries SB (PMTI) and PTA will provide after-sales, operations and maintenance services to palm oil mills and other general industries. PMTI holds a 60% stake in the JV, and PTA the balance 40%, with a proposed initial issued and paid-up capital of US$100,000 (RM303,000). PMTI”s investment in the company would be financed through its internally generated funds. (FinancialDaily)

Alcatel-Lucent barred from Axiata, TM deals for a year
Both Axiata Group and Telekom Malaysia (TM) have barred Alcatel-Lucent from participating in tenders, contracts or joint ventures for a year following the call from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). “Alcatel-Lucent welcomes the MACC recommendation and is committed to earning back our customers’ trust,” it said in a statement in response to the 12-month suspension. Axiata said the suspension runs for 12 months from 18 Feb while TM’s suspension was effective 5 Jan. (Starbiz)

TM renews group CEO's contract
Telekom Malaysia (TM) has renewed group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa's contract for another three years effective 1 April. Zamzamzairani has been the group CEO since 2008, when TM and Axiata Bhd (formerly known as TM International) demerged.TM said one of the many milestones achieved under his leadership is the launch of the High Speed Broadband service (HSBB) branded UniFi in March 2010. The HSBB rollout has been one of the fastest in the world in terms of implementation, in a record 18 months. (BT)

SEGI plans 50% dividend payout
SEG International has announced a dividend policy to distribute a minimum 50% of its group net profit to shareholders with effect from the financial year ending 31 Dec 2011. The announcement of the dividend policy came on the heels of SGI’s managing director Datuk Clement Hii raising his shareholding to 32.44% from barely 0.81% when he was at the helm of Star Publications (M) last year. (FinancialDaily)

Kossan: Ventures into cleanroom gloves. Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd has proposed an acquisition of a 51% stake in Cleanera HK Ltd for USD3.1m (RM9.3m) in order to venture into clean-room gloves. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

Transmile: Gets RM200m from aircraft sale. Transmile Group Bhd has completed the disposal of four of its aircraft to Federal Express Corp for USD67m (RM200m), paving way for the company to pare down its long term borrowings that totaled RM531.6m as at Dec 31, 2010. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Autos: Toyota to restart hybrid vehicle output in Japan. Toyota Motor Corp would restart production of three hybrid models (Prius, Lexus HS250h and CT200h) on Monday after a massive earthquake this month disrupted output across the industry. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

SCORE: Nine companies investing RM20b in Score so far. Nine companies have to date confirmed investments totalling RM20b in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score). This does not include the RM2b investment by a Taiwanese company in the halal industry hub. (Source: The Star)

Plantation: 'Abolish windfall tax' call. Four national oil palm associations which represents over 80% of the country's oil palm fraternity has submitted a joint memorandum to the Prime Minister, urging the Government to seriously re-consider abolishing or reviewing the imposed crude palm oil (CPO) windfall profit tax (WPT) for the sector. (Source: The Star)   

20110325 0920 Global Market Related News.

DJIA chart reading : side way range bound.

 FTSE chart reading : correction range bound little downside biased.

DAX chart reading : correction range bound downside biased.

Hang Seng chart reading : correction range bound little downside biased.

FOREX-Euro bounces as debt woes increasingly priced in
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - The euro rebounded from an early fall on Thursday on Middle-East and sovereign buying, with worries over Portugal's political crisis and the health of the Spanish banking system increasingly factored in to the currency.
"The euro is becoming increasingly immune to issues affecting the euro zone but the markets may be getting too blase about the risks," said Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank.

US new home sales plumb record lows, prices stumble
WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) - Sales of new U.S. homes sank to a record low in February and prices were the weakest in just over seven years, underscoring the housing market's lingering malaise, which could slow the economic recovery.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales of new single-family homes dropped 16.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted 250,000 unit annual rate, the lowest since records began in 1963, after a 301,000-unit pace in January.

China factories yet to register Japan quake impact-flash PMI
BEIJING, March 24 (Reuters) - China's factories stepped up a gear this month and inflationary pressure ebbed, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting the manufacturing giant had yet to feel much fallout from Japan's devastating earthquake.
Japan is China's biggest source of imports, which include high-tech products used in the manufacture of electronics and autos, so government officials have warned they expect some impact to trade.

Portugal Is Said to Require as Much as $99 Billion in Any European Bailout (Source: Bloomberg)
A bailout for Portugal may total as much as 70 billion euros ($99 billion), two European officials with direct knowledge of the matter said as a credit-rating cut threatened to deepen Portugal’s debt woes.

Assassinated Japan Finance Chief Invoked in Rebuilding Debate (Source: Bloomberg)
Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa is under fire for refusing to consider 1930s-style purchases of government bonds to fund reconstruction from the nation’s record earthquake.

U.S. Economy: Goods Orders Unexpectedly Fall, Claims Drop (Source: Bloomberg)
Orders for long-lasting goods unexpectedly fell in February, raising concern over the sustainability of the rebound in U.S. business investment.

G-7 Intervention to Curb Yen's Advance After Quake ‘Appropriate,’ IMF Says (Source: Bloomberg)
The Group of Seven’s intervention last week to curb a surge in the yen was “appropriate” after volatility that was “unhelpful” to the Japanese economy, an official at the International Monetary Fund said.

Kan May Put Free-Trade Talks on Hold After Quake in Setback for Obama Goal (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s strongest-ever earthquake may derail Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s push to join U.S.-led trade talks after the resulting tsunami devastated farmers.
Kan had set a June deadline to decide on whether to join the talks toward slashing some of the world’s highest agricultural duties, including a 778-percent tariff on rice. Two lawmakers from Kan’s ruling Democratic Party of Japan said the Trans-Pacific Partnership is off the table for now as the government focuses on quake victims and the nuclear crisis.

South Korean Consumer Confidence Drops to 23-Month Low After Japan Quake (Source: Bloomberg)
South Korean consumer confidence fell to the lowest level in almost two years, damped by Japan’s strongest earthquake and political unrest in the Middle East.
The sentiment index declined to 98 in March from 105 in February, the fourth monthly drop, the Bank of Korea said in an e-mailed statement in Seoul today. A number below 100 indicates pessimists outnumber optimists.

Irish Economy Shrinks 1.6% as Consumer Spending, Investment, Exports Drop (Source: Bloomberg)
Ireland’s economy shrank the most in a year in the fourth quarter of 2010 as rising unemployment curtailed consumer spending and investment and exports declined.

Small-Business Hiring in U.S. Gaining Momentum, Paychex, Intuit Data Show (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. small businesses are starting to ramp up hiring 21 months after the end of the deepest recession since the 1930s, supporting Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s confidence in a gradual labor-market recovery.

Consumer Comfort Index in U.S. Drops to Seven-Month Low on Gasoline Prices (Source: Bloomberg)
Consumer confidence in the U.S. fell last week to the lowest level since August as more Americans became despondent over the economy.

First-Time Jobless Claims in U.S. Decreased by 5,000 Last Week to 382,000 (Source: Bloomberg)
Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, signaling the labor market is mending.
Jobless claims declined by 5,000 to 382,000 in the week ended March 19, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The total number of people receiving benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost three years.

Orders for U.S. Durable Goods Unexpectedly Declined in February (Source: Bloomberg)
Orders for long-lasting goods unexpectedly fell in February, reflecting declines in demand for capital goods and military aircraft.
Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years dropped 0.9 percent after a 3.6 percent gain the prior month that was higher than initially reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Orders excluding transportation equipment fell for a second month and demand for business equipment declined.

Euro Heads for Weekly Loss Versus Dollar After S&P Lowers Portugal Rating (Source: Bloomberg)
The euro headed for a weekly loss against the dollar after Standard & Poor’s lowered Portugal’s sovereign debt rating by two notches, citing increased political uncertainty and rising refinancing risk.

U.S. Stocks Rally a Second Day on Higher-Than-Estimated Corporate Profits (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher for a second day, after corporate profit topped analysts’ estimates and a government report showed a decline in jobless claims.

VIX Posts Its Biggest Six-Day Retreat Since 2008 as Global Stocks Advance (Source: Bloomberg)
The benchmark measure of U.S. stock options completed its biggest six-day drop since November 2008 as concern that this month’s Japanese earthquake will curb global economic growth eased.
The VIX, as the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index is known, fell 6.1 percent to 18 at 4:15 p.m. New York time, extending its retreat since March 16 to 39 percent. That’s the biggest drop over the same number of days in 28 months. The VIX needed to fall below 17.53 to beat the six-day record set two months after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s September 2008 bankruptcy sent stocks plunging.

World shares recover all of Japan disaster losses
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - Global stocks inched higher on Thursday and are now higher than when Japan's earthquake and tsunami struck, buoyed by confidence that the world economic recovery remains on track.  "Sentiment is still relatively good. The cycle is good. We are still mildly optimistic on the overall picture," said Joost de Graff, senior portfolio manager at Kempen Capital Manageent in the Netherlands.

20110325 0912 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures end sharply higher on renewed talk of sales to China and concerns wet weather will delay planting. Chatter about sales to China, a non-traditional customer, revved up again after cooling the past two days as the government failed to confirm the business. "Now I think the opinion is going more toward, 'They bought some. We're just not hearing about it,'" says Alan Brugler of Brugler Marketing & Management. Rallying wheat futures added spillover strength to corn. CBOT May corn ends up 21 1/2c to $7.02 1/2.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures finish sharply higher as forecasts call for dry weather to continue threatening crops in the Plains. Outlooks for dryness in the key growing area were a turnaround from expectations for beneficial precipitation that pressured prices Wednesday. The Plains have been too dry since hard red winter wheat was sown there last fall. CBOT May wheat ends up 25 1/4c at $7.39 1/2 a bushel, KCBT May gains 23 1/4c to $8.53 1/4 and MGE May rises 24 1/4c to $8.83 1/4.

IGC Ups 2010-11 World Wheat Output 1M Tons (Source: CME)
Global wheat production for the 2010-11 crop was revised slightly higher to 649 million metric tons and is forecast to rise by 3.7% the following crop year, the International Grains Council said. Global wheat production, which was previously estimated in February at 648 million tons, is now forecast to fall 4.3% on the year, largely due to adverse weather conditions such as a severe drought in Russia and Kazakhstan which damaged harvests. Global wheat production is forecast to rise to 673 million tons in 2011-12 and stay broadly balanced with demand, which should lead to higher stocks, the IGC said. "Surpluses in the major exporters are expected to be adequate to meet the forecast upturn in 2011-12 imports, placed at 127 million tons, assisted by some recovery in the Black Sea region and by relatively ample old crop stocks in other countries, notably the U.S. and Australia," the organization said.
Global grain output for the 2010-11 crop year was cut by 2 million tons to 1.726 billion tons and is now forecast to fall 3.7% on the year. Global grain consumption for the 2010-2011 crop year was revised lower to 1.788 billion tons and is forecast to rise by 1.1% the following crop year, the IGC said. The IGC held steady its forecast for global grain trade at 243 million tons in 2011-2012 and is now forecast to increase by 1.24% the following crop year. "Increased trade in wheat and barley, with additional feed-grade supplies are likely to be available in the Black Sea region," the IGC said.

China Official Hints At Strain In Food Source (Source: CME)
China may not be able to meet sharply rising food demand from its domestic resources, a senior Chinese agriculture official said, indicating room for further growth in imports. Chen Xiwen, director of the State Council's executive office on rural policy, questioned the policy wisdom of setting increasingly higher targets for grain output as China struggles to wring more yield out of scarce arable resources. His comments seemed to depart from statements by other parts of China's government that emphasized trying to meet the country's demand for key grains from domestic supplies. Just a day earlier, the State Council vowed to take all necessary measures to ensure an eighth consecutive record grain harvest this year, with officials saying higher output is necessary to combat inflation -- the government's top economic priority this year.
"Chasing ever-higher output levels may mean overfertilization and unsafe agriculture," said Mr. Chen, who is also director of the ruling Communist Party's rural affairs office. "Of course, we have to raise output in this area but our techniques and resources can't keep up." China's government has long emphasized the need to produce enough grain to meet almost all the demands of its huge population, to avoid becoming dependent on foreign suppliers. In recent decades, it has dropped the self-sufficiency goal for some crops, like soybeans, but continues to categorize corn, wheat and rice as key grains, of which it maintains formidable stockpiles. Mr. Chen said current stockpiles of key grains total 200 million metric tons, including both private and public stocks -- about two-fifths of annual consumption and among the largest such reserves in the world.
But China's grain imports have risen in recent years across major categories, soaring in some categories last year to their highest levels in more than a decade. For corn, the most prominent example of the shift, China broke its 15-year status as a net exporter last year as imports exploded, in part because drought damped domestic output. Wheat and rice imports also grew. Driving the shift in large part are dietary changes as China's population becomes wealthier. Those changes mean "our ability to meet consumption levels is clearly insufficient," Mr. Chen said. He said genetically modified foods, increased fertilization and organic farming are partial solutions, but pose inherent problems, such as pollution and potentially unsafe or overly expensive food.  Mr. Chen said China is maintaining self-sufficiency in grains, but he also highlighted the value of trade. He pointed to soybeans, imports of which overtook domestic output around 2004 to meet sharply rising Chinese demand.
"China used to be the world's largest soybean producer, now it's the world's largest soybean importer," Mr. Chen said. China last year posted a record 54.8 million tons of soybean imports. Mr. Chen also swatted at perceptions in China of rising foreign control in some parts of the domestic agriculture sector. Some foreign grain processors last year came under public criticism, as rising food prices helped push inflation to a three-year high. "The government is committed to welcoming foreign competition in the downstream agricultural processing sector . . . and it is not true that foreign companies control agriculture prices in China," he said. Foreign agriculture companies have "contributed innovation," and developing China's agriculture sector doesn't mean having to squeeze out foreign competitors, he added.

Australia Government Moves To Reward Farmers Cutting Carbon Emissions (Source: CME)
Legislation to reward Australian farmers and landholders who cut pollution was introduced into the House of Representatives by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet. The legislation aims to limit emissions of greenhouses gases, mostly carbon dioxide, establish a carbon credit mechanism and create abatement or carbon offset projects in the land sector, which accounts for around a quarter of Australia's total, such as storing carbon in soils or vegetation, Combet said. In February, Prime Minister Julia Gillard outlined plans to tax carbon emissions by Australia's 1,000 largest emitters in a bid to cut pollution and shift investment towards a greener economy and renewable energy projects. The government says it will give details, including pricing, closer to the middle of the year, and will legislate in the second half of the year. The plan won't include carbon emissions on farm production, as this is "too complex," Gillard said at the time.
The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011 "is critical to providing long-term investment certainty and enabling the land sector to be part of Australia's climate change solution," Combet said in a statement. The government wants to encourage private and commercial investment in areas such as carbon sinks, forests, native forest protection, landscape restoration and more sustainable, carbon-efficient farming practices, he said. Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said that under the initiative, farmers and other landholders will be encouraged to generate carbon credits from a range of activities such as fertilizer management, reduced livestock emissions and reforestation. The government wants it approved by July 1, the minister said. Ross Garnaut, one of the government's chief climate change advisors, noted that the rural sector is a major source of emissions, but that it could play a significant role in Australia's carbon mitigation efforts.
"These opportunities could also significantly improve the economic prospects for Australian farmers," he said earlier this month in a paper entitled Transforming Rural Land Use. The National Farmers Federation said earlier this year it supports the initiative, commenting that it is "prudent in gearing farmers up to engage as and when carbon markets develop."

Australia government agrees to repay royalties under mine tax
CANBERRA, March 24 (Reuters) - Australia's biggest mining companies won a major concession over a planned new 30 percent profits tax on Thursday, with the  government agreeing to refund any future increases in state-based royalty charges.
The widely expected decision could save miners hundreds of millions of dollars in future royalty payments in resource states such as Western Australia and Queensland, and silence any new industry campaign against the tax.

METALS-Demand prospects lift copper, aluminium
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Thursday to their highest in almost three weeks, weathering dismal U.S. housing data and taking strength from improving demand in other sectors, including
"Copper has impressed me," said Barclays Capital analyst Gayle Berry.

PRECIOUS-Gold climbs towards record on euro zone jitters
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - Gold and silver prices rose on Thursday as jitters over the euro zone sovereign debt crisis, violence in the Middle East and worries over radiation leaks in Japan conspired to blunt risk appetite.
"Given the geopolitical environment, concerns about Portugal and other peripheral countries, euro zone debt concerns and the still extremely low interest rate environment, it is not surprising the trend is your friend," said Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg.

Technical signs, strong dollar push coffee lower
NEW YORK/LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures closed down on Wednesday, easing further away from a 34-year high touched earlier this month, while cocoa was little changed as an export ban in top grower Ivory Coast kept things at a standstill. "I would expect prices will start rising again after the Japanese and Libyan crises settle because (2011/12) crop forecasts will not be adequate to meet demand."

The rumor that just won't die: Did China buy US corn?
CHICAGO, March 24 (Reuters) - As one of the last great bastions of open-outcry trading, the Chicago grain market pits are among the most efficient at processing rumors, with traders quickly separating the likely from the far fetched.
But despite officials denials from Beijing and the absence of confirmation from the U.S. government, rumors of a fresh round of big Chinese corn imports from the United States have failed to fade even a week later, an eternity in market time.

US corn export sales robust despite Japan quake
CHICAGO, March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. corn export sales likely slipped last week from a three-week peak as demand from earthquake-shattered Japan eased, trade sources said ahead of a weekly U.S. Agriculture Department export sales report.
But the reduced sales to Japan, the world's top corn importer, were mostly offset by increased buying by other big importers such as South Korea and Mexico as prices fell to two-month lows and the dollar slid to multi-month lows.

Tanzania's sugar output seen up 18 pct
DAR ES SALAAM, March 23 (Reuters) - Fine weather will boost Tanzania's 2010/11 (April-March) sugar output by 18 percent this year but imports will still be needed, the industry regulator told Reuters on Wednesday.
"Sugar production will likely approach 310,000 tonnes this season because of better-than-expected weather," Matthew Kombe, director general of state-run Sugar Board of Tanzania said in an interview.

Worst Texas Drought in 44 Years Damaging Wheat Crop, Reducing Cattle Herds (Source: Bloomberg)
The worst Texas drought in 44 years is damaging the state’s wheat crop and forcing ranchers to reduce cattle herds, as rising demand for U.S. food sends grain and meat prices higher.

Gold Futures Decline on Lack of ‘Follow-Through’ After Climbing to Record (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold futures jumped to a record of $1,448.60 an ounce as turmoil in Libya, Japan and Europe spurred demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

20110325 0910 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soy Oil chart reading : side way range bound little downside biased.

ITS CPO export down 3.7% to 937,591 tonnes for the period of 1~25 Mar 2011.
SGS CPO export down 0.3% to 954,441 tonnes for the period of 1~25 Mar 2011.

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures rebound from an early session slide on fears that farmers will not sow enough acres this spring to replenish depleted soybean supplies, and potential yield losses from wet conditions in northern Brazil. New crop contracts led the advances after private forecasters projected smaller than expected spring acres, said Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics. However, gains in nearby futures lagged, with slower domestic and export demand amid competition from newly harvested South American supplies limiting spot month advances, Zuzolo added. CBOT May soy ended up 0.2% at $13.54 1/2 a bushel, and new crop Nov finished up 0.8% at $13.43 1/2.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy product futures ended mixed, with soymeal succumbing to pressure from slower demand. Soymeal felt the weight of slumping demand and increased competition from South American supplies, analysts said. Soyoil ended higher, buoyed by lower than expected end of month stocks reported in Census Bureau Feb crush report, analysts said. CBOT May soymeal end down $0.20 or 0.06% lower at $359.80 per short ton, and May soyoil ended up 0.64c or 1.2% at 56.12 cents per pound.

Palm oil ends off 4-mth low; technicals, output weigh
KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 (Reuters) - Malaysia's crude palm oil futures ended off a four-month low on Thursday although weak technicals and expectations of strong production continued to weigh.  "They realised that the other markets are not sharply falling in the same way and there is view that crude oil above $100 a barrel will support palm oil."

Recurring rains lift Argentine soy growth- exchange
BUENOS AIRES, March 23 (Reuters) - A second week of rains in central and southern parts of Argentina's farming belt should help maturing soy crops after a dry spell late last month, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Wednesday.
Argentina, the world's third-biggest soy exporter, had dry weather earlier this season, but heavy rains from mid-January onward brightened the outlook for the oilseed.

Exporters sell 105,000 T US soybeans to unknown
WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) - Private exporters reported the sale of 105,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations for delivery in the 2011/12 marketing year, said the Agriculture Department on on Wednesday.
The 2011/12 marketing year for soybeans will open on Sept 1.