Tuesday, March 29, 2011

20110329 1822 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3252, changed : -30 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller lockin in profit.
Support : 3250, 3200, 3150, 3100 level.
Resistance : 3270, 3300, 3350, 3420 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded loss with higher volume transacted while overnight soy oil closed lower and currently trading in rebounding development. News wise, traders are eying this coming Thursday USDA report that could see a higher soy crop but lower soy bean planting acreage.
Daily chart formed another doji bar candle(up bar) with upper and lower shadow positioned nearer to lower Bollinger band level after market opened gap down, tested lower and recover upward once recorded small gain before last half an hour sell down pressed market to closed near opening price.
Chart reading suggesting a correction range bound downside biased market development testing support and resistance level with MACD Histrogram positive divergence still valid.
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.

20110329 1732 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1522 changed : +9.5 points,  volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : little upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : turned upward, buyer staying.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485, 1470 level.
Resistance : 1530, 1540, 1550, 1580 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded gains with higher volume changed hand doing 2 points premium compare to cash market after Petronas Chemical rallied lifted the composite index while regional markets closed mixed.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle with longer upper shadow positioned in between middle and upper Bollinger band level after market opened tested lower, rallied higher triggering some short covering once touched upper Bollinger band resistance level and eased lower  to closed off the high of the day.
Chart reading turned into suggesting a little upside biased market development testing higher resistance level as price just break above plotted downward trend line else should there is no follow through it could be a false break out signal.
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.

20110329 0950 Global Economic Related News.

Australia: Corporate bonds are returning more than four times as much as global company debt this quarter as accelerating economic growth drives the longest rally among developed nations. Bondholders have earned 2.8% since Dec. 31 including reinvested interest, beating the 0.6% gain for corporate debt worldwide and 1% on U.S. notes, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. (Source: Bloomberg)      

Thailand: Says diesel prices may climb as oil fund dwindles. Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said the nation may need to curb diesel subsidies as funding runs out, a challenge to the government's efforts to quell inflation and build support ahead of elections this year. "We can continue as long as there is money in the oil fund, and that would last in cash terms until around July," Korn said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said his policy priority is to help people cope with rising prices. (Source: Bloomberg)

Thailand: Central bank may adjust rates to contain inflation
Thailand’s central bank may raise interest rates further as oil above USD100 a barrel and surging food prices add to inflation pressures stoked by the fastest economic growth in 15 years. Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said that the risk on growth is probably less of a concern, so the risk balance is tilted toward inflation. Prasarn said the removal of state subsidies may add 1 ppt to inflation and 0.5 ppt to core inflation, which excludes fresh food and fuel. (Bloomberg)

China: Industrial profits jump aids fastest growing economy
Chinese industrial companies’ profits jumped 34% in the first two months of the year, underscoring the strength of the world’s fastest-growing major economy amid higher interest rates and lending curbs. Profits rose to RMB645.5bn y-o-y. The annual sales threshold for companies eligible for inclusion was changed to RMB20m from RMB5m. Among the 39 industries covered, 38 reported an overall profit with one making losses. The chemical materials and products industries had the highest growth in profit with total earnings jumping 76% y-oy. Telecommunications, computers and other electronic equipment rose 33% and oil and natural gas exploration increased 19%. (Bloomberg)

Japan: Government weighs scrapping company-tax cut, lifting household levies
Japan’s ruling party is considering abandoning a proposed corporate-tax cut and boosting levies on individuals to help pay for earthquake reconstruction and reduce the need to step up bond sales. The government may scrap the planned 5 ppt reduction in company tax rates, a step that the head of the nation’s largest business lobby endorsed. A 2 ppt increase in the sales tax rate, currently at 5%, has also been suggested in order to secure JPY5trn a year. It would be the first increase since 1997, when the sales levy was raised from 3%. (Bloomberg)

UK: Business confidence index falls to lowest in two years
UK business confidence declined in March to the lowest in two years, suggesting the economy may struggle to gather strength in the second quarter. A gauge of sentiment, which aims to predict economic developments four months in advance, fell to 1 from 3 in February. The share of companies that were less optimistic about economic prospects increased to 44% from 36% in the previous month. Among manufacturers, a gauge of confidence fell to 19% in March from 24, while sliding to 10 from 12 among services companies. An indicator of sentiment among retailers fell to 4 from 12. (Bloomberg)

US: Consumer spending climbs more than forecast
Americans increased spending more than forecast in February as incomes climbed, easing concern that rising food and fuel costs might derail the consumer demand that makes up 70% of the US economy. Purchases increased 0.7%, the most since October, beating estimates of a 0.5% gain, after advancing 0.3% the prior month. More than half the gain in spending last month reflected higher prices, one reason it will be difficult for households to contribute as much to economic growth this quarter as last. Adjusted for inflation, consumer spending rose 0.3%. (Bloomberg)

US: Home pending sales rose 2.1% in February
A gain in the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes in February failed to make up for the ground lost a month earlier, a sign the US housing market has yet to join the economic recovery. The index of pending home resales increased 2.1% after a 2.8% drop in January. Sales of previously owned homes, which now make up more than 95% of the market, dropped more than forecast last month. Purchases decreased 9.6% to a 4.88m annual rate. The median price fell 5.2% y-o-y. (Bloomberg)

20110329 0949 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

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

Khazanah shortlists 3 for stake in Pos
Khazanah Nasional has shortlisted three companies to buy its 32.21% stake in Pos Malaysia, the country's sole national postal service company, people familiar with the tender process said yesterday. Business Times understands that the shortlisted parties will make a second and final presentation today. The three are DRBHICOM, Nationwide Express Courier Services and a joint venture between Amanah Reit and loss-making Malaysia Pacific Corp. While most of the bids were based on cash and how they can leverage on Pos Malaysia's landbank, it is understood that one of the bids involves injecting a bank into the postal company. It is further understood that the shortlisted candidates for the stake had bid between 2.2 times and three times of Pos Malaysia's book value per share, which stood at RM1.54 as at end-December 2010. (BT)

NCB seeks licence renewal
Port operator NCB Holdings last week submitted a proposal for the renewal of its port licence and has hinted its concerns on the issue. The proposal comes two years before the licence expires in 2013. NCB Holdings chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said the proposal was submitted after an exhaustive study on the merits of its case was conducted by external consultants. "There is some concern on the renewal of the licence. Once people know it is subject to a renewal, there may be other contenders. Nothing's wrong with being prudent and cautious," he said after the company's annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday. Ahmad Sarji declined to reveal details of its proposal, and only said that its current licence was for a period of 25 years. (BT)

Boustead buys 51% of MHS for RM100m
Boustead Holdings has bought a 51% stake in helicopter and aircraft charter services provider MHS Aviation Bhd for RM100m to strengthen its involvement in the oil and gas industry. Boustead deputy chairman and group managing director Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said the acquisition will boost the group's bottomline on a long term basis. (BT)

Smartag to start Thailand project
Smartag Solutions, en route to a listing on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities on April 18, plans to implement its land checkpoint project in Thailand next month, its chief executive officer, Lim Peng Keong, said yesterday. He said Smartag, a radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions provider, had signed an agreement with Netbay Co Ltd to implement RFID container tracking systems at key Customs checkpoints in Thailand. (StarBiz)

Maju eyes toll-road, rail jobs in Indonesia
Maju Holdings SB has shown interest in the development of toll-road and monorail system in North Sumatra through collaboration with the Indonesian government. Maju Holdings group executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed, who met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono here, had discussed the matter yesterday, according to a report quoting Senator Rahmat Shah. “The president welcomes the good intentions,” he said in the report posted on the Indonesian president’s official website. (StarBiz)

Bracing for the Competition Act
The Competition Act, which will come into force on 1 Jan, could have a major bearing on how businesses operate in Malaysia, especially for those with currently monopolistic or oligopolistic industry positions. The Competition Act was passed in May 2010, gazetted in 1 Jan 2012. It will have two major prohibitions. – anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominant positions. (Financial Daily)

Masterskill to collaborate with Kinta Medical Centre
Masterskill Education Group and Kinta Medical Centre SB have agreed to jointly undertake academic research and development in physiotherapy. The set-up of of Masterskill-KMC Physiotherapy Centre will be located on KMC’s premises. Masterskill would bear the operational expenses of the physiotherapy centre, while profits will be shared equally for five years. It added that capital and investment outlay would not exceed RM500,000 and would be financed with its internal funds. (Financial Daily)

Pos: Khazanah shortlists 3 for stake in Pos. Khazanah Nasional Bhd has shortlisted three companies to buy its 32.2% stake in Pos Malaysia Bhd, which are DRB-HICOM, Nationwide Express Courier Services and a joint venture between Amanah Raya Bhd and loss-making Malaysia Pacific. Two other companies had also placed bids for Pos Malaysia, namely Scomi Bhd and Tricubes Bhd. (Source: Business Times)

NCB: Northport's RM300m expansion depends on lease renewal. The implementation of the RM300m expansion plan of Northport (M) Bhd, a port-operating subsidiary of NCB Holdings Bhd, will have to depend on the prospects of the lease renewal for the port. (Source: The Star)

Ekuinas: RM513m available under outsourced scheme. Ekuti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) has a fund size of RM513m under its outsourced programme to invest in small to mid sized Malaysian companies. The fund size was boosted after its three outsourced fund managers - CIMB Private Equity, KFH Asset Management and Navis Capital Partners - raised RM113m from private sources. Ekuinas itself contributed RM400m to the programme. (Source: Business Times)

O&G: Shell to build RM810m diesel processing unit. Shell Refining Co (FOM) Bhd has commenced the construction of its new RM810m diesel processing unit at its refinery here. The diesel processing unit is one of the 19 Entry Point Projects under the Economic Transformation Program. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

FDI: Miti mission aims to attract German SMEs. International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), which is currently leading a trade and investment mission in Europe, aims to attract more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Germany to invest in Malaysia. (Source: The Star)

20110329 0908 Global Market Related News.

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

FTSE chart reading : side way range bound little downside biased.

DAX chart reading : side way range bound downside biased.

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

Japanese stocks fall on nuclear crisis, euro stabilises
HONG KONG, March 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Tuesday as workers struggled to contain the world's worst nuclear crisis in decades, while the euro steadied after comments from the European Central Bank's chief bolstered the view that it would raise interest rates soon.
"TEPCO is the ground zero of the problem," said Adrian Foster, head of financial markets research Asia-Pacific at Rabobank International in Hong Kong.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Japanese stocks fall, euro steadies
HONG KONG, March 29 (Reuters) - Worries over the quake-hit nuclear plant and its impact on corporate earnings knocked Japanese shares lower on Tuesday, while the euro steadied after comments from the region's central bank chief bolstered the view of an interest rate hike.
Plutonium found in soil at the Fukushima nuclear plant added to anxiety over Japan's protracted fight to contain the world's worst atomic crisis in 25 years.

Japan May Scrap Company Tax Cut, Lift Household Levies (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s ruling party is considering abandoning a proposed corporate-tax cut and boosting levies on individuals to help pay for earthquake reconstruction and reduce the need to step up bond sales.

U.S. Consumer Spending Increases More Than Forecast (Source: Bloomberg)
Americans increased spending more than forecast in February as incomes climbed, easing concern that rising food and fuel costs might derail the consumer demand that makes up 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

U.S. Crisis Was Worse Than 1930s, Ex-Fed Governor Mishkin Says: Tom Keene (Source: Bloomberg)
The U.S. financial crisis that started in 2007 was “worse and more complicated than the one that caused the Great Depression,” former Federal Reserve Governor Frederic S. Mishkin said today. While the economy skirted another depression, “we still have some serious problems,” such as credit availability for small businesses, Mishkin said on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance Midday” with Tom Keene. Mishkin, who served on the Fed Board from September 2006 to August 2008, and as research director at the Fed Bank of New York, is a professor of economics at Columbia University in New York.

Fed's Evans Says Recent Economic Data Not Enough to Alter Stimulus Policy (Source: Bloomberg)
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said recent reports indicating a more sustainable economic expansion won’t alter the central bank’s plan to purchase $600 billion in U.S. Treasuries through June.

South Korea's Current-Account Surplus Widens in February as Exports Grow (Source: Bloomberg)
South Korea’s current-account surplus widened in February from an 11-month low in January amid sustained export growth and a narrower travel deficit.

New Zealand Posts First Trade Surplus in Eight Months as Exports Jump 17% (Source: Bloomberg)
New Zealand posted its first trade surplus in eight months in February as record-high commodity prices boosted exports of milk powder and lumber, while an aircraft purchase raised imports more than economists forecast.

Portuguese Bailout Costs More Than Money Alone: Matthew Lynn (Source: Bloomberg)
Is it 50 billion euros? Or perhaps 70 billion euros? The cost of bailing out Portugal varies according to who makes the calculation. No one will know the real price until officials from the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank tell us.

Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Unexpectedly Climbed 2.1% in February (Source: Bloomberg)
A gain in the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes in February failed to make up for the ground lost a month earlier, a sign the U.S. housing market has yet to join the economic recovery.

Libyan Rebels Advance; France, U.K. Say Qaddafi ‘Must Go’ Now (Source: Bloomberg)
Libya government troops dug in with tanks to hold the line in Sirte, Muammar Qaddafi ’s hometown and a regime stronghold, as rebel forces advanced with help from NATO’s air strikes.

Yen Near One-Week Low Versus Dollar Before U.S. Jobs, French Spending Data (Source: Bloomberg)
The yen traded within 0.1 percent of a one-week low against the dollar before reports this week that economists said will show U.S. employers added jobs and French consumer spending rebounded.

Japanese Stock Futures Fall Amid Radiation Concern; Australian Shares Drop (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stock futures fell amid concern the nation is struggling to prevent a meltdown at a nuclear plant after potentially fatal radiation levels were detected nearby. Australian stocks declined.

Asian Stocks Fall on Japan Nuclear Situation, Earnings That Miss Estimates (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks fell, dragging down the benchmark regional index for the first time in three days, as radiation hampered efforts to cool crippled nuclear reactors in Japan, and as company earnings missed analyst estimates.

Fed unlikely to extend QE2, officials say
CHICAGO, March 25 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is unlikely to extend its bond-buying program with the U.S. economy now on firmer footing, several Fed officials said on Friday, with one inflation hawk saying the Fed will have to raise rates and sell assets in the "not-too-distant future."
Philadelphia Fed Bank President Charles Plosser, the inflation hawk, for the first time detailed his preferred approach to reversing the Fed's easy money policy to prevent future inflation, driving the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield higher on Friday.

China c.bank - money, credit meeting policy aims
BEIJING, March 28 (Reuters) - China's central bank said on Monday that money and credit growth are moving in line with policy goals, but it will maintain a tighter policy stance to put a lid on inflation.
"China's money and credit situation is moving in the intended direction under macro-controls, but it faces a complex economic and financial environment," the central bank's monetary policy committee said in a statement after its first-quarter meeting.

FOREX-Euro dips as Merkel loss adds to downside risks
LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - The euro eased on Monday, heading into a cluster of Asian demand and technical support, after Germany's ruling party lost a key state election, while hawkish comments by Federal Reserve officials lifted the dollar.
"It is a combination of setbacks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party and the dollar being lifted by those comments from Fed officials which led some investors to short the euro," said Adam Myers, senior currency strategist at Credit Agricole.

German elections weigh on euro; stocks lower
LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - The euro weakened on Monday after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives were routed in elections in a key state, while world shares eased back from their recent rally. "It is a combination of setbacks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party and the U.S. dollar being lifted by those comments from the Fed officials which led some investors to short the euro," said Adam Myers, senior currency strategist at Credit Agricole.

20110329 0902 Global Commodities Related News.

Brent falls for 3rd day as Libyan rebels advance; heads towards $114
SINGAPORE, March 29 (Reuters) - Brent crude fell for a third day running on Tuesday as Libyan rebels gained ground against embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi, boosting expectations supplies from the nation may be restored quicker than expected.
"There's talk in the market about oil supply from Libya being restored quicker than anticipated," said Ben Westmore, a commodities analyst at National Australia Bank. 

Australia Newcastle coal exports up 10 pct after maintenance
PERTH, March 29 (Reuters) - Coal shipments from Australia's Newcastle port, which ships mostly thermal coal used in power plants, rose 10 percent in the week ended Monday after dropping the previous week due to rail maintenance. 
Exports from the eastern coast port were 1.901 million tonnes in the week to March 28, up from 1.723 million the previous week, Newcastle Port Corporation said on its website on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia prepares massive oil rig boost-report
NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has unexpectedly called on oilfield service firms to expand its oil rig count by nearly 30 percent to boost output capacity, Simmons & Co analyst Bill Herbert said on Monday.
Saudi state-run oil giant Aramco met with leading oil service companies including Halliburton over the weekend, unveiling plans to boost the country's rig count this year and next to 118, from around 92 now, Herbert wrote in a research note.

U.S. wheat, corn, soy consolidate, eyeing USDA report
BEIJING, March 29 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat, corn and soybean futures were consolidating in Asian trade on Tuesday, as the market is cautious ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's planting intentions report due on Thursday.
"Traders prefer to stay on sidelines, waiting for the report," said Zhao Ronghui, an analyst with China National Cereals Trade Corp.

Shipping artery to US PNW wheat export terminal reopens
CHICAGO, March 28 (Reuters) - The Pacific Northwest shipping artery that feeds the largest U.S. wheat export gateway reopened to barge traffic this weekend after a 3-1/2 month closure to repair its lock system, an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman said on Monday.
"So far everything is running smoothly but we are keeping a close eye on the situation since the locks were out of the water for an extended period," said Scott Clemans, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman, Portland District.

Ivory Coast rains support abundant midcrop cocoa
ABIDJAN, March 28 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions last week saw plenty rainfall and mixed with sunny weather, which could boost the quality and the size of the forthcoming mid-crop, farmers and analysts said on Monday.
The October-to-March main crop in Ivory Coast has just ended and farmers are eyeing the April-to-September midcrop, which is expected to be abundant and of good quality compared with last season.

Paraguay soy output should reach record
ASUNCION, March 28 (Reuters) - Paraguay's soybean production should rise to a record 8 million tonnes this season due to favorable weather, the head of the country's biggest soy-producing group said on Monday.
The impoverished South American country is the world's No. 4 exporter of the oilseed, though it trails far behind neighboring agricultural giants Brazil and Argentina, and soy has become a motor of its small economy.

India cotton acreage seen up 15 pct in 2011/12-trade
March 28 (Reuters) - India's farmers could boost cotton acreage by 15 percent in the 2011/12 season, a trade body said on Monday, raising the possibility that domestic prices could ease from June from current near-record highs.
The Cotton Association of India (CAI) said its estimates of increased acreage for the crop in the world's second-biggest producer were based on expectations higher earnings will prompt farmers to plant the fibre in more areas.

Cuba strains to top 1 million tonnes raw sugar
HAVANA, March 28 (Reuters) - Cuba's dilapidated sugar industry will be hard pressed to produce a million tonnes of raw sugar this season, with only around 800,000 tonnes harvested and less than a month of ideal yield weather remaining, according to official media.
"The harvest is at more than 80 percent of plan," a television spot on the national news said at the weekend.

Copper steady; firm euro supports, China buyers absent
SINGAPORE, March 29 (Reuters) - Copper prices were steady in London and Shanghai on Tuesday, underpinned by a firmer euro, but both markets faced pressure from nagging worries about the timing of restocking by Chinese consumers.
"It all boils down to confidence and rightly or wrongly that has evaporated. Copper near $10,000 is too rich for most consumers to stomach. Chinese buyers want none of it, which is why the arbitrage is wide," said a trader in Singapore.

China's Minmetals says unlikely to extend Century zinc mine
SYDNEY, March 29 (Reuters) - China's Minmetals Resources  is unlikely to extend the life of its giant Century zinc mine in Australia much past the pre-arranged closure date of mid-2015, Minmetals said on Tuesday.
The Century mine, developed in the 1990s, is the world's second largest of its kind, but is running out of reserves

Gold steadies as policy change eyed; ETF holdings fall
SINGAPORE, March 29 (Reuters) - Spot gold held steady on Tuesday, as investors weighed the implication of the possible end of easy monetary policy in advanced economies, paring holdings in the top exchanged-traded gold fund.
"Gold should stay rangebound between $1,410 to $1,440, with focus shifting to currencies," said a Singapore-based trader, adding that physical demand would emerge if prices dropped below $1,410.

Oil : Oil falls in low volume as Libyan rebels gain ground
NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. crude fell on Monday for a third day in the lowest trading volume of the year, as Libyan rebels regained key territory and redoubled efforts to resume oil exports from the OPEC country.
"The low trading volumes have continued from last week with a high level of indecision in oil markets," said John Kilduff of New York hedge fund Again Capital.
NATURAL GAS: Natgas ends down, longs take profits after 8-wk high
NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - Front-month U.S. natural gas futures ended down slightly on Monday in a seesaw session, pressured by profit taking after a late rally to an eight-week high as still-cold Northeast and Midwest weather continued to underpin demand.
"We hit another new high late, then got hit with a little profit taking," a Boston-based trader said, noting the market was overbought and due for a correction, particularly after Friday's 4 percent spike.

EURO COAL: German election boosts forward coal prices
LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - Prompt European physical coal prices softened by around $2.00 on Monday but 2012 prices gained the same amount following the Green election win in Germany's Baden-Wuerttemberg state.
"There will be more coal power... with consequences for CO2 emissions," Guenther Oettinger, a former premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg state where Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives lost power on Sunday, told Reuters in Berlin.

COMMODITIES: Biggest 1 day-drop in 2 weeks on demand worries
NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - Commodities saw their biggest one-day loss in two weeks on Monday as oil, metals and grains markets slumped amid worsening prospects for demand after last month's big price run-up.
"I don't expect to see any notable improvement in investment demand until physical demand shows some signs of improvement," said Catherine Virga, a senior analyst for base metals at New York's CPM Group.

UAE says steps in to fill Libya oil supply gap
ABU DHABI, March 28 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates is stepping in to fill the gap from a drop in Libyan oil supply by pumping more oil, the country's OPEC governor said on Monday.
Since the start of disruptions in Libya's oil supplies, OPEC members have taken unilateral action to boost production. Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has produced just under 9 million barrels per day (bpd) so far in March.

U.S. says Libyan rebels may sell oil
WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - The United States on Monday gave a green light to sales of Libyan crude oil from rebel-held territory, giving a potential boost to forces battling Muammar Gaddafi.
A U.S. Treasury Department official said Libyan rebels would not be subject to U.S. sanctions if they avoid entities linked to Gaddafi's regime, which would allow them to sell oil under their control.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures close lower on concerns USDA will surprise traders by reporting more grain than expected in storage as of March 1. The government will issue estimates on quarterly grain stocks in a highly anticipated crop report Thursday. Traders say stocks may exceed expectations because of the high quality of last fall's crop. Livestock and ethanol producers can usually get a bit more mileage out of high-quality corn, raising the possibility they may not have used as much of the grain. CBOT May corn tumbles 18 1/2c to $6.71 a bushel in thin trading.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures finish lower in thin volume on spillover pressure from a 2.7% drop in corn. Volume is expected to remain light as traders wait for USDA to issue much-anticipated crop estimates Thursday. The government will reveal how many acres farmers will plant with corn, soybeans, spring wheat and other crops. Farmers are expected to sow more total wheat acres than last year but face challenges from poor weather. CBOT May wheat falls 1.1% to $7.25 1/4 a bushel, KCBT May loses 6 1/2c to $8.48 1/2 and MGE May drops 6c to $8.65.

Global Rice Trade May Fall Slightly To 30.3 Mln Tons In 2011 - IGC (Source: CME)
Global rice trade is likely to fall marginally to 30.3 million metric tons due to slowing demand from the Philippines, the International Grains Council said. The volume of the trade was 30.5 million tons last year, it estimated. Reduced deliveries to Asia, primarily to the Philippines, are only partly offset by larger shipments including to Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, IGC said in a monthly report for March. Rice imports by the Philippines are likely to fall by more than 1.0 million tons to 1.4 million tons, it said. Indonesia's rice imports may rise by a third to a four-year high of 1.2 million tons, while Bangladesh's imports are forecast to rise 29% to 900,000 tons, it said. Despite the forecast decline in global demand, Thailand's exports will likely rise by around 12% to 10.0 million tons, due to lower supply from other leading exporters, notably Pakistan and Vietnam, IGC said.
As of March 6, Thailand's rice exports in 2011 were 50% higher than a year earlier at 1.8 million tons, it said

Australian Farm Confidence Up; High Prices Help - Rabobank (Source: CME)
Australian farmers' confidence rose in the first quarter, boosted by widespread summer rainfall and stronger commodity prices, according to a survey published by Rabobank Australia. "Current conditions could be seen as optimal for the vast majority of producers," said Peter Knoblanche, Rabobank's general manager for rural Australia. "I can't remember the last time we had such a favorable summer season coupled with record commodity prices." Agriculture formally accounts for about 4% of gross domestic product but with two-thirds of output exported valued at an estimated A$31 billion this fiscal year, the industry accounts for 14% of commodity shipments. The increased confidence comes despite widespread damage from floods and a cyclone in several areas and is the fifth consecutive quarter that positive sentiment was recorded in the industry, according to Rabobank. The bank is a major agricultural lender in Australia.
The latest survey, which was completed in February, found 48% of the 1,200 farmers surveyed across Australia expected conditions to improve in the coming year, up from 42% in the previous quarter. The number of farmers expecting conditions to worsen fell to 14% from 19%. "The results reflect exactly what we are seeing on the ground," with summer rainfall positioning most producers well heading into winter, Knoblanche said. A strong Australian dollar has moderated returns on exports, but high international prices are such that this isn't causing too much concern, while the strong currency also helps to mitigate the landed cost of imported farm inputs such as chemicals, fertilizer and fuel, said Knoblanche. The high level of positive sentiment is reflected in farmers' investment intentions with 33% looking to increase on-farm capital spending in the coming year, he said.
Sentiment is positive across all farm sectors other than sugar, where some prime cane crops in far north Queensland were destroyed by Cyclone Yasi and there is widespread water logging of crops from the wide inclement weather, he said. "The high nature of global stocks should continue to support prices in the near term, although the crush in Brazil and Thailand may see further softening as we head into winter," he said. Dairy price increases have been modest, but most processors have increased prices paid to farmers in the current quarter and there is a "general expectation of further milk price step-ups as the season draws to a close," said Knoblanche.

Europe aluminium premiums hold near record highs
LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - Premiums for duty-paid physical aluminium in Europe steadied this week within reach of record highs, garnering support from the tight holdings of stocks in London Metal exchange warehouses.
Premiums for duty-paid metal in Rotterdam this week were at $190-210 a tonne over London Metal Exchange (LME) cash prices, traders said, matching quotes from last week.

Market tightness keeps alumina over $400, for now
LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - Alumina scaled its highest levels since mid-2008 this week and prices looked set to stay strong in the medium-term on the back of market tightness, traders said.
Alumina  was at $404-405 a tonne this week, they said, up from quotes of $400-401 last week and versus $300 in late September.

Gallium near 10-yr high as LED demand soars
LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - The price of gallium, used in the electronics industry, rose to its highest since mid-2001, traders said, as demand soars for LED-using gadgets like super-thin mobile phones and televisions.
Gallium was trading at $950-1,000 per kg in the European spot market this week, compared with $850-900 last week.

METALS-Copper steadies, investors eye EU debt crisis
LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - Copper steadied on Friday as concerns over sovereign debt in Europe and the worsening nuclear crisis in Japan undermined sentiment, but expectations of a supply deficit this year lent support.
"One of the key concerns is the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe. We have already seen some downgrades, and there is speculation that Portugal is going to ask for a bailout," said Credit Agricole analyst Robin Bhar.

PRECIOUS-Gold falls below $1,410/oz as dollar firms
LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - Gold fell more than 1 percent on Monday, briefly dipping below $1,410 an ounce, as the dollar rose after hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official last week and as impetus from unrest in the Middle East petered out.
"In the March rebound, the momentum wasn't there for follow-thorugh buying," said VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov. "Yes, we touched a fresh high, but there were no significant longs created."

US grains pare gains on China stock comments, planting uncertainty
BEIJING/SINGAPORE, Reuters (March 28) - U.S. wheat and corn pared early gains under pressure after Chinese media reported abundant stock levels meant that Beijing would win the war on inflation and uncertainty ahead of this week's US planting report.  "Taken together with the uncertainty about the planting reports, there is not much appetite for risk. Other commodities are falling too and there is every reason to trim positions," said an Australian grains trader.

China to sell feed-grade wheat from state reserves
BEIJING, March 28 (Reuters) - China will release state reserves of wheat whose quality has been downgraded for use in animal feed production, marking the first such sale of wheat reserves to feed mills, analysts said on Monday.
"The feed wheat sales, coupled with corn imports seen totalling between 3-4 million tonnes, are likely to offset corn supply pressure," said Li Qiang, a senior analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. Ltd (JCI), adding that total feed wheat sales by the government would be 1.64 million tonnes.

Philippines rice imports to fall in 2011- attache
WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Philippines:
"After contracting in 2010 as a result of an El Nino dry spell, Philippine rice and corn production are expected to increase in (marketing year) MY10/11 as a result of more favorable weather conditions. Barring any major natural calamity or prolonged weather disturbance, local rice and corn production is expected to increase again in (marketing year) MY11/12 due to firm demand of the growing Philippine population and continued economic growth. There continues to be no commercial wheat production in the Philippines. Rice is the main staple and is a highly political commodity in the Philippines."

Malaysia corn imports look bright in 10/11 - attache
WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Malaysia:
"The outlook for 2010/11 looks bright for corn imports in Malaysia. Higher demand for pork and broilers results in an increase in demand for imported feed corn. Imports of wheat are expected to increase strongly in 2010/11 to meet increased domestic consumption, as well as to replenish stocks. With a decline in domestic rice production, Malaysian rice imports rose 15 percent to one million tons in 2010 with Vietnam being the biggest rice supplier to Malaysia."

Cocoa falls, Ivory Coast conflict eyed, sugar firm
ICE cocoa futures were lower as tensions in top grower Ivory Coast continued to fuel concerns over future global supplies from the country, with no sign of a peaceful resolution underpinning prices. ICE raw sugar futures prices were steady, as the market monitored weather conditions in top producer Brazil, where fresh supplies are imminent as harvest gets underway.

ANRPC ups 2011 world rubber output forecast to 10.06 mln T
SINGAPORE, March 28 (Reuters) - Global natural rubber production is forecast to reach 10.06 million tonnes in 2011, up from a previous estimate of 9.7 million tonnes, driven by expansion of planting areas and higher yield, the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries said on Monday.
"ANRPC's total production of natural rubber is now expected to reach 10.06 million tonnes during this year, up 6.2 percent from 9.47 million tonnes in the year before," the association said in a report.

Mawana Sugars to double branded sugar output in FY12-MD
MUMBAI, March 28 (Reuters) - Mawana Sugars  plans to double its branded sugar output to 20,000 tonnes in FY12, a top official told reporters on Monday.
The company, which sells branded sugar in northern regions, is also planning to foray into premium range sugar in May, Managing Director Sunil Kakria said.

Supply concerns rising for chocolate makers - ICCO
LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - A ban on exports from top cocoa grower Ivory Coast is leading to increasing supply concerns for chocolate manufacturers, International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) executive director Jean-Marc Anga said on Friday.
"From what we know the situation of the European cocoa manufacturers has to be one of great concern because we know Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) represents about 35 percent of world supplies," he told reporters following an ICCO council session.

China not cutting agricultural import tariffs imminently -source
BEIJING, March 28 (Reuters) - China has no imminent plans to cut taxes on imports of agricultural commodities, a government official who has direct knowledge of the situation said on Monday.
Normally the tariff commission of China's Ministry of Finance would hold a meeting in April or May to discuss any changes to the tariffs effective from July 1. Another meeting in September or October would draft tariff changes as of Jan 1.

Oil Trades Near One-Week Low in New York After Libya Rebels Gain Territory (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil traded near the lowest in almost a week in New York because of speculation that territorial gains by Libyan rebels may speed up a resolution to the country’s armed conflict. Futures fell for a third day yesterday after rebel forces advanced westward with support from NATO air strikes on Sirte, the hometown of Muammar Qaddafi, as leaders of France and the U.K. declared that the Libyan leader “must go immediately.” Prices have climbed 22 percent since anti-government protests began Feb. 15 in Libya.

20110329 0900 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

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

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures end lower, backpedaling from earlier gains on late profit-taking. Spillover weakness from a 2.7% slide corn futures, the negative influence of outside financial markets and declining near-term demand applied pressure to reverse early price strength, analysts said. Increased export competition from South America and traders looking to reduce some risk ahead of Thursday's USDA planting-stocks reports led traders to book profits on initial gains. However, declines were limited by ongoing fears 2011 acreage will fall short of levels needed to replenish tight old crop stocks. CBOT May soy ended down 0.7% at $13.48 1/2 a bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy product futures stumbled Monday, retreating in unison with a profit taking setback in soybeans. Traders said volume was light, with participants taking a cautious approach ahead of Thursday's key planting and stocks reports from federal forecasters, analysts said. CBOT May soyoil ended down 0.31c or 0.5% at 56.53 cents per pound, and May soymeal finished $3.60 lower or 1% at $353.60 per short ton.

Palm oil firms; investors brace for more dips
JAKARTA, March 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose more than 1 percent before partly reversing gains with sentiment driven by comparative vegetable oils, although many investors expected downward price pressure in the coming months.  "The market is holding firm on the back of Friday's CBOT (price)," said a palm oil trader in Kuala Lumpur.