Wednesday, March 30, 2011

20110330 1823 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3312, changed : +60 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller lock in in profit.
Support : 3300, 3270, 3250, 3200 level.
Resistance : 3350, 3420, 3450, 3470 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded gains with higher volume participation as market anticipating a better export ahead of tomorrow ITS and SGS export data release while soy oil trading firmer after overnight closed higher could be due to firm soy meal export demand.
Daily chart formed a up doji bar candle with small upper and lower shadow positioned nearer to middle Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, taking few down steps  and surged upward slowly and eased little lower to closed near the high of the day.
Chart reading continue to suggest a correction range bound downside biased market development possibly testing higher resistance level near plotted downward trend line or middle Bollinger band 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.

20110330 1749 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1534 changed : +12 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased with possible pullback.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in control.
Support : 1530, 1515, 1500, 1485 level.
Resistance : 1540, 1550, 1580, 1590 level.
Comment :
Rallied FKLI closed recorded gains with lower volume traded doing about 2.5 points premium compare to cash market as market anticipating Bank Negara could increase overnight rate to curb inflation lifted banking stocks higher while overnight U.S. market and regional markets closed mostly higher except for China Shanghai exchanged.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle with small upper and lower shadow closed right at upper Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, slide little lower and climbed upward triggered some short covering before easing little lower to closed off the high of the day.
Technical chart reading suggesting an upside biased market development testing higher resistance level with possibility of having a pullback correction.
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.

20110330 1559 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asia stocks up; yen weakens on euro, US rate view
HONG KONG, March 30 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose as investors were drawn back to riskier assets by attractive valuations, while Japanese exporters were helped by the yen's weakness on expectations of interest rate rises in Europe and the United States.
Renewed demand for equities came despite concerns the global economy could be hurt by Japan's struggle to contain the world's worst nuclear crisis in decades, conflicts in Libya and the Middle East and Europe's festering sovereign debt problems. 

Brent falls below $115 on US inventory gain, low consumer morale
SINGAPORE, March 30 (Reuters) - Brent fell by 0.3 percent  to below $115 on indications that higher fuel prices were weighing on consumer confidence in top user the United States, where crude inventories rose more than expected last week.
"Underpinning the strength in the oil price is what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa, adding a $15 to $20 premium," said Ben Le Brun, a CMC Markets analyst in Sydney.

Shipment of 500,000 T Indonesian coal to Japan delayed-assoc
JAKARTA, March 29 (Reuters) - Indonesian coal shipments totalling 500,000 tonnes to Japan have been delayed after the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami, the Indonesian Coal Mining Association said on Tuesday.
"The capacity stopped by the earthquake and tsunami is about 50 million tonnes, totally in Japan," Supriatna Suhala, executive director of the Indonesian Coal Mining Association, told Reuters on Tuesday.

U.S. wheat, corn, soy steady, market awaits USDA report
BEIJING, March 30 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures were steady  on dry weather in United States and China crop areas, while corn and soy were supported ahead of a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop plantings report due on March 31.
"The USDA numbers will give direction (for the market)," said Greg Smith, managing director of Global Commodities, adding the market expects higher corn acreage but lower soy and wheat area.

Brazil soy to shrug off flood losses, hit record
SAO PAULO, March 29 (Reuters) - Brazil looks set to turn out a record soy crop in the 2010/11 season thanks to higher yields and despite the loss of some produce to floods in the center western soy belt, forecaster Agroconsult said on Tuesday.
The soy crop, now being harvested, should produce around 72.7 million tonnes, the local consultancy said, raising its previous estimate of 72 million tonnes in February. It also estimated corn output would reach 34.8 million tonnes.

China officials visit Argentina over corn exports
BUENOS AIRES, March 29 (Reuters) - Chinese food health officials arrived in Argentina this week to work on a protocol that would pave the way for Argentine corn exports to the commodity-hungry Asian nation, an official said on Tuesday.
China currently does not buy Argentine corn due to curbs on genetically modified (GMO) varieties, which account for about 80 percent of the South American country's corn crop.

Ghana says cocoa purchases up 43 pct year-on-year
ACCRA, March 29 (Reuters) - Cocoa output from Ghana, the world's second-largest grower of the key ingredient in chocolate, is running nearly 43 percent higher than in the last season, according to official data released on Tuesday.
The boost could ease the impact of supply disruptions from top grower Ivory Coast, where a post-election standoff has triggered fighting between the forces of two claimants for the presidency.

Global 2011/12 sugar output set for rise--F.O.Licht
SAO PAULO, March 29 (Reuters) - Increased planting of sugar cane and beet due to a sharp increase in prices for the sweetener should boost global production in 2011/12 if the weather is favorable, analysts F.O. Licht said Tuesday.
This larger supply, including expectations of a bigger harvest in Brazil's Center South cane belt, should contain sugar prices in the next few months, after futures hit 30-year highs earlier this year.

Ukraine EconMin proposes extending grain quotas
KIEV, March 29 (Reuters) - Ukraine's Economy Ministry has proposed the government extend grain exports quotas until June 30 from March 31, according to a draft government resolution published on Tuesday.
The ministry also proposed increasing the export quota for maize to 5.0 million tonnes from the current 3.0 million.

India may lift wheat export ban in April, May
NEW DELHI, March 29 (Reuters) - India could decide as early as next month to lift a four-year-old ban on wheat exports, but analysts said the government, struggling to bring down prices, may lack the political will for such a move.
The world's second-biggest wheat producer and consumer banned exports in 2007 to bolster domestic supplies as bad weather hit crops.

Ukraine to review grain export regime from April 1
KIEV, March 29 (Reuters) - Ukraine is likely to replace grain export quotas with other customs restrictions from April 1, Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted a senior official as saying on Tuesday.
"If restrictions are necessary it will not be quotas but other customs restrictions," said top presidential economic adviser Iryna Akimova.

Copper ticks down ahead of end-quarter; Mideast, Japan weigh
SINGAPORE, March 30 (Reuters) - London copper edged lower in thin trading  as activity winds down ahead of the end of the quarter and investors exercised caution amid the ongoing crises in the Middle East and Japan.
"There is nothing exciting in the market," said a Shanghai-based trader, "Unless we see heavyweight news, trading will remain thin in the next couple of days as the first quarter comes to an end."

Gold regains footing on equities, Libya; cenbanks eyed
SINGAPORE, March 30 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on firmer equities and upheaval in Libya, although further gains could be capped by worries that some central banks will have to soon start tightening monetary policy, a move that would dent bullion's appeal as a hedge against inflation.
"You've got to ask yourself, how bad is inflation? I think, really, you've got to get the economy moving before anything happens," said Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services in Melbourne.  

20110330 0959 Global Economic Related News.

Taiwan: May raise interest rate as Asia strives to curb inflation
Taiwan will probably increase borrowing costs for a fourth straight quarter tomorrow, becoming the eighth Asian economy to tighten monetary policy this month as the region fights price pressures. The central bank will raise the discount rate on 10-day loans to banks by 0.125 ppt to 1.75%, according to 17 of 18 economists in a Bloomberg News survey, after increases of the same amount each in June, September and December from a record low. (Bloomberg)

South Korea: GDP growth slows to 0.5% in fourth quarter
South Korea’s economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter in line with initial estimates, underpinning the case for the central bank to pause interest- rate increases amid concern Japan’s earthquake will damp demand. GDP grew 0.5% in the three months to December from the third quarter, unchanged from the previous estimate in January and after a 0.6% gain in the third quarter. The economy expanded 4.7% from a year earlier, lower than the earlier estimate of 4.8%. (Bloomberg)

Euro: Greece cut two steps by S&P to BB on debt restructuring concern
Greece’s credit rating was cut two steps by S&P on concern the country may be required to restructure its debt and bondholders may lose out. The rating was lowered to BB- from BB+ by S&P. The outlook remains negative, according to the statement. (Bloomberg)

US: Home prices in 20 US cities fell 3.1% from year earlier
Residential real estate prices dropped in January by the most in more than a year, raising the risk that US home sales will keep slowing. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 3.1% from Jan 2010, the biggest year-over-year decrease since Dec 2009.(Bloomberg)

US: Confidence decreases to a three-month low
Confidence among US consumers dropped more than forecast in March as fuel costs surged to the highest level in more than two years. The Conference Board’s confidence index fell to a three-month low of 63.4 from a revised 72 reading in February. Another report showed home prices decreased in January for a seventh consecutive month. Rising commodity prices and falling home equity are undermining Americans’ sentiment. (Bloomberg)

Portugal: Rating downgraded by S&P for second time in four days, saying the country will likely need an international bailout and debt restructuring. S&P cut the rating to BBB-/A-3 from BBB/A-2, with a negative outlook, it said in an emailed statement. BBB- is the lowest investment grade. (Source: Bloomberg)

France: Consumer spending on manufactured goods rose in February, lifted by prospects for accelerating growth and job creation. Spending advanced 0.9% MoM from January, when it fell a revised 0.3% MoM, national statistics office Insee said in a statement in Paris. Spending advanced 5.5% YoY. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: Industrial production rose 0.4% MoM in February. The median estimate of 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 0.1% MoM decline. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: Unemployment rate fell in February and retail sales beat analysts' forecasts, signs that the economy was picking up before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern regions. The jobless rate unexpectedly slid to 4.6% from the previous month's 4.9%. Retail sales rose 0.1% YoY. (Source: Bloomberg)

S. Korea: Current account surplus widened in February from an 11-month low in January amid sustained export growth and a narrower travel deficit. The surplus was USD1.18b, compared with a revised USD154.7m, the Bank of Korea said in a statement in Seoul. The current account is the broadest measure of trade, tracking goods, services and investment income. (Source: Bloomberg)

Vietnam: Economic growth slowed in 1Q11 after the central bank raised key interest rates to among the highest levels in Southeast Asia to tame inflation. GDP climbed 5.43% YoY in the three months through March according to a preliminary estimate released by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi, compared with 7.34% YoY in 4Q10. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110330 0959 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
side way range bound little upside biased, immediate resistance near 1530 level.

Founding member Nagendran returns to Perisai
Almost a year after his departure from Perisai Petroleum, Nagendran Nadarajah, one of the company’s founding members, is making a comeback to the oil and gas service provider. Perisai has proposed the acquisition of Garuda Energy from Nagendran for USD70m to be satisfied by way of USD50m cash and the issuance of new Perisai shares at an issue price of RM0.65 per share. Based on Perisai’s estimated enlarged capital, Nagendran would own about 12% of Perisai should the deal go through. (FinancialDaily)

Petronas, BASF mull RM4bn joint investment to set up petrochemical plant in Malaysia
Petronas and German-based BASF are considering a potential joint investment sum of RM4bn to set up a plant to produce petrochemical products in Malaysia. The joint venture project to produce specialty chemicals in Gebeng in Pahang and elsewhere in Malaysia, which is subject to a joint feasibility study, is also expected to generate some 500 high skilled jobs upon completion. BASF and Petronas had signed a MoU on 6 Dec 2010 to undertake the joint venture. (Malaysian Reserve)

Kencana Petroleum bags RM216m Petrofac job
Kencana Petroleum has clinched a RM216m contract to engineer and build the well head platforms for the Cendor oil field. Under the contract awarded by Petrofac, Kencana will undertake the engineering, procurement and construction of the platforms located off the coast of Terengganu. This is a one-off construction contract and is expected to be completed within 2Q12. The contract is expected to contribute to earnings in FY11 and FY12. (Malaysian Reserve)

AirAsia’s no fuel surcharge policy stays AirAsia CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes says the airline has no plans to impose a fuel surcharge although other airlines have taken such a move. He said that they “don’t want to deter travel” and that “fares can stay where they are”. (FinancialDaily)

MISC to net USD167m from sale and charter back of ageing vessels
MISC expects to realize net cash of about USD167m from a gain of disposal of USD33m from the sale and charterback of four tankers from its existing fleet. Its subsidiary AET Inc had entered into the sale and charterback for two Aframaxes and two Very Large Crude Carriers with special-purpose companies owned by ICON Capital. The move was part of AET’s medium and long-term fleet rejuvenation strategy through the phasing out of the older vessels owned by the company. (FinancialDaily)

MRCB: Inks deal with Ekovest. Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad has entered into a joint venture with Ekovest Berhad and KL Bund Sdn Bhd in relation to the River of Life Project. MRCB would have 40% equity in JV company while Ekovest would hold 60% stake. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

DRB-HICOM: VW to make Pekan regional hub, plans to make 30,000 vehicles by 2018. DRB-HICOM Bhd's tie-up with German automotive giant Volkswagen AG (VW) to manufacture VW cars at the former's plant in Pekan, Pahang is expected to produce more than 30,000 (VW) vehicles at the plant by 2018. Pekan will become the regional automotive hub for VW. (Source: The Star)

Metro Kajang: To beef up plantation, property units. Metro Kajang Holdings Bhd is buying more land in Kalimantan, Indonesia and in the Klang Valley to beef up its core plantation and property development divisions to drive earnings. Metro Kajang was looking to buy 20,000ha of plantation land from a local landowner in east Kalimantan. (Source: Business Times)

Petrolchemical: Petronas and BASF mull RM4b joint investment to set up petrochemical plant in Malaysia. Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and BASF SE are considering a potential joint investment sum of RM4b to set up a plant to produce petrochemical products in Malaysia. (Source: The Malaysian Reserve)

Property: Malaysia to allocate land for affordable homes. The government will allocate a portion of its landbank for the construction of affordable housing, especially for Malaysians eligible for the My First Home Scheme. The affordable housing project, which will likely be stratified properties or apartments, will either be built by the government or through joint ventures with the private sector. (Source: Business Times)   

20110330 0954 Global Market Related News.

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

FTSE chart reading : side way range bound.
DAX chart reading : side way range bound downside biased.
Hang Seng chart reading : side way  range bound.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Yen slips on euro rate-hike talk; Asian stocks up
HONG KONG, March 30 (Reuters) - The yen fell on Wednesday on growing expectations of rate increases in Europe and the United States, raising its appeal as a funding vehicle for risky assets, and bolstered appetite for shares of Japanese exporters.
The yen wallowed at 10-month lows against the euro and near a three-week trough on the dollar early in Asia, having suffered broad losses after several chart support levels were breached.

BOJ Tankan May Show Manufacturers Were Optimistic Before Quake (Source: Bloomberg)
The Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey this week will probably show large manufacturers were optimistic about the economy’s recovery before the nation’s most powerful earthquake on record struck the northeast region.

G-20 Criticism of Fed Is Muted as Officials Combat Japan Crisis, Portugal (Source: Bloomberg)
Group of 20 leaders may limit criticism of the Federal Reserve for flooding the world with money when they meet in China as Europe’s debt crisis and Japan’s disaster take precedence.

Greece's Rating Cut Two Levels to BB- by S&P on Debt-Restructuring Concern (Source: Bloomberg)
Greece’s credit rating was cut two steps by Standard and Poor’s on concern the country may be required to restructure its debt and bondholders may lose out.

Fed’s Bullard Says $100 Billion Should Be Cut From Buying Plan on Recovery (Source: Bloomberg)
The Federal Reserve may need to trim about $100 billion from its plan to buy $600 billion in Treasury securities because the U.S. recovery has gained strength, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said.

U.K. Economy Shrank 0.5% in Fourth Quarter, Less Than Previously Estimated (Source: Bloomberg)
Britain’s economy shrank less than previously estimated in the fourth quarter as services and factory output was revised higher. Gross domestic product fell 0.5 percent from the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. That compares with an earlier estimate of 0.6 percent, which was also the median forecast of 24 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Excluding the impact of the coldest December in a century, growth was “broadly flat,” the statistics office said.

Fed Presidents Say Economy Still Needs Support From Bond Purchase Program (Source: Bloomberg)
Two Federal Reserve regional bank presidents voiced support for the completion of the central bank’s $600 billion Treasury securities-purchase program through June, saying it’s too soon to remove stimulus from the economy.

Dying Banks Kept Alive Show Secrets Fed's Data Will Reveal for First Time (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. regulators closed Chicago- based Park National Bank in October 2009 when it owed $345 million to one of the lowest-cost lenders in town: the Federal Reserve’s discount window. Park National had been a constant customer at the window for more than 18 months before it failed, records show.

Portugal's Rating Is Cut to Lowest Investment Grade by S&P on Bailout Need (Source: Bloomberg)
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service cut Portugal’s credit rating for the second time in four days, saying the country will likely need an international bailout and debt restructuring. S&P cut the rating to BBB-/A-3 from BBB/A-2, with a negative outlook, it said in an e-mailed statement today. BBB- is the lowest investment grade.

Thailand May Raise Interest Rates to Combat Inflation, Central Banker Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Thailand’s central bank may raise interest rates further as oil above $100 a barrel and surging food prices add to inflation pressures stoked by the fastest economic growth in 15 years.

French February Consumer Spending Gains on Outlook for Faster Job Creation (Source: Bloomberg)
French consumer spending on manufactured goods rose in February, lifted by prospects for accelerating growth and job creation. Spending advanced 0.9 percent from January, when it fell a revised 0.3 percent, national statistics office Insee said in a statement today in Paris. Economists predicted a 0.5 percent gain, the median of 11 forecasts gathered by Bloomberg News showed. Spending advanced 5.5 percent from a year earlier.

Aussie Advances to Record High Versus Dollar on Global Growth Prospects (Source: Bloomberg)
The Australian dollar touched the strongest level since it was freely floated in 1983 on speculation global growth will boost demand for commodities, which are a majority of the nation’s exports.

Japan’s 10-Year Bond Futures Decline as Rising Stocks Damp Safety Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s bond futures fell after stocks advanced, damping demand for the relative safety of debt. The contracts for June delivery slid 0.17 to 139.61 as of 9:18 a.m. in Tokyo.

Google Tests Fate in China as Mapping Application Deadline Looms (Source: Bloomberg)
Google Inc. ’s defiance of China’s censorship rules resulted in the world’s most popular search engine being pulled out of the country 12 months ago. This year, the dispute may be spilling over to Gmail and maps.

Libyan Rebels Retreat as Western Nations Seek Qaddafi’s Ouster (Source: Bloomberg)
Libyan rebels were forced to retreat in the face of artillery and rocket fire from government troops defending Sirte, cutting short their advance as foreign ministers from alliance nations met in London to coordinate strategy for driving Muammar Qaddafi from power.

Yen Trades Near 10-Month Low Versus Euro Before Economic Confidence Report (Source: Bloomberg)
The yen traded 0.1 percent from a 10-month low against the euro before a European report that may show confidence in the region’s economic outlook held near the highest in more than three years.

Japanese Government Bonds May Fall on Bets Yen’s Drop Will Help Exporters (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s bonds may fall, extending a loss this quarter, on speculation the yen’s decline to a two- week low against the dollar will brighten the earnings outlook for exporters and damp demand for the relative safety of debt.

Radiation Contamination In Food, Water Recedes In Japan (Source: CME)
Findings of nuclear contamination have dropped sharply in Japan, even in Fukushima prefecture, where the latest food samples showed no traces of radiation for two days. At the peak last week, a total of 21 communities in four prefectures--plus Tokyo--had imposed restrictions on tap water consumption on infants. Only four such curbs remain in place, with none outside Fukushima prefecture, with atmospheric radiation also dropping. As the heavily damaged nuclear power plant has caused worries around the world, two types of radioactive contamination--iodine and cesium--have been reported in recent days following a sample taken last weekend. Both are byproducts of the process that produces electricity inside the nuclear reactor. Scientists say iodine and cesium are so far the most likely ones to spread to broader areas, as some materials are too heavy to travel long distances.
As of Mar. 23, the Japanese government banned shipments or consumption of about 60 locally grown farm products in Fukushima prefecture including spinach, broccoli and raw milk. But since a sampling Mar. 24 added a type of wasabi, or a Japanese horseradish, to the list of these restricted farm products, the authorities haven't detected radioactive materials from samplings of farm crops in the prefecture over the weekend. An official at the prefecture said Tuesday the results of 43 farm product samplings taken Monday are crucial to keep track of food contamination trends, as that sampling is the second in a series of tests that covers such farm products as spinach, already on the list. Noting that the prefecture has done testing on vegetable only once last week, "the latest samples include those of the same farm products grown in the same place," the official said. He said the results are scheduled to come out as early as Wednesday evening.
In Fukushima prefecture, authorities still haven't lifted warnings on tap water in four communities, as the radioactive iodine reading stayed above 100 becquerels a kilogram--the level considered the maximum acceptable for infants, although warnings on consumption by infants have been lifted in three other Fukushima communities. Separately, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Tuesday that six prefectures found samplings of farm products and sea life showed no traces of contamination, or were below the threshold for consumption.

Fed should not curtail bond buys: officials
COLUMBIA, S.C., March 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy still needs support from the Federal Reserve's full $600 billion planned bond purchases, despite signs its recovery is becoming self sustaining, top Fed officials said on Monday.
Recent spikes in gas and food price are likely to be short-lived and probably will not trigger a broad rise in costs that would force the U.S. central bank to reverse its ultra-loose monetary policy stance, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart suggested.

China likely to raise rates if inflation tops 5 pct -paper
BEIJING, March 29 (Reuters) - Chinese inflation will probably rise more than 5 percent in the year to March, pushing the central bank to raise interest rates, an official newspaper said on Tuesday.
Although the government has made progress in taming price pressures, the combination of a low base effect, high global commodity prices and rising service costs will push inflation towards three-year highs in the coming months, the China Securities Journal said in a front-page commentary.

PRECIOUS-Gold dips as interest rate outlook hits confidence
LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - Gold eased in Europe on Tuesday as expectations that interest rates may rise in key countries undermined confidence in the metal, with investors remaining cautious after its failure to build on last week's record high.
"It does seem to be getting trickier to push convincingly beyond previous highs," said Macquarie analyst Hayden Atkins.

FOREX-Euro struggles to hold gains after Fed comments
LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - The euro struggled to hold gains against the dollar on Tuesday, as expectations for a euro zone interest rate rise were offset by a Federal Reserve warning about keeping U.S. monetary policy loose for too long.
"Euro/dollar is trading at the moment on two factors -- interest rate differentials and the technical configuration," said Niels Christensen, currency strategist at Nordea in Copenhagen.

World stocks slip, euro rebounds
LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - World stocks slipped despite emerging market gains, while the euro recovered on expectations of higher interest rates. "Some investors concluded now it's an opportunity to pick up some shares," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors in Sydney. "The broad trend is up and dips are being bought."

20110330 0947 Global Commodities Related News.

Oil : Oil rises on technicals, Libya uncertainy, Mideast
NEW YORK, March 29 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday in technical, thin trading and lifted by stronger equities and lowered expectations about a quick return of Libya's oil exporting capabilities.
"The API report is somewhat bullish due to the gasoline data. We have seen large drawdowns over the past several weeks, and if the trend does not reverse, supplies could become very tight just in time for the height of the driving season," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
NATURAL GAS: April natgas expires on weak note, ends down 3 pct
NEW YORK, March 29 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended down sharply on Tuesday, with the expiring April contract pressured by profit-taking despite cold Northeast and Midwest weather this week that boosted demand.
"Futures looked like they just petered out ahead of expiration. It had to be profit-taking or long liquidation," a Texas-based trader said.

EURO COAL: Prices fall 75c/T, few trades reported
LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - Prompt European physical coal prices weakened by around 75 U.S. cents a tonne on Tuesday as few trades took place, utilities and traders said.
"There are a few more utilities offering, but how much of that's because they have too much coal ... and how much is because they're short API2 paper (coal swaps) is impossible to tell," one European trader said.

COMMODITIES: Markets mixed as investors reshuffle near Q1 end
NEW YORK, March 29 (Reuters) - Commodity prices closed mixed on Tuesday, as investors prepared for the end of a volatile quarter, with oil rising on continued unrest in Libya, gold falling on talk that some countries may tighten monetary policy, and copper tracking moderate Wall Street gains.
"Any rhetoric on money tightening could certainly cause some anxiety, resulting in gold prices correcting a bit. But I continue to see a significant underlying bid in gold as dips are bought," said James Dailey, portfolio manager of the TEAM Asset Strategy Fund.

East Libya oil terminals suffered minor damage - firm
BENGHAZI, Libya, March 29 (Reuters) - The Libyan rebel-held oil terminals at Ras Lanuf, Zueitina and Es Sider suffered minor damage during recent fighting and will be ready to operate once the area is secure and workers return, an oil official said.
Abdel Jalil Mayuf, information manager at the Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), based in east Libya, said it would likely take at least two weeks to get oil production in the rebel-held east up to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 100,000-130,000 bpd now, depending on security and other factors.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish near unchanged as traders wait for USDA to issue crop planting estimates Thursday. Grain users are nervous about how much will be sown as supplies are projected to reach a 15-year low this year. Plantings will increase from last year, but it may not be enough to ease tight inventories. "We can rarely recall a year when these figures were more eagerly anticipated," Joel Karlin, analyst for Western Milling, says about USDA's forecasts. Deferred contracts feel some support from worries wet weather will disrupt planting. CBOT May corn ends up 3/4c at $6.71 3/4 a bushel.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures close stronger on concerns dryness in the Plains will reduce the next harvest. States like Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Kansas have struggled without much rain or snow since hard red winter wheat was planted there last fall. The crop, used to make bread, will be harvested this spring and summer. Yet, farmers will abandon much more than normal because plants are in poor condition, analysts say. CBOT May wheat ends up 12c at $7.37 1/4 a bushel, KCBT May climbs 18 1/2c to $8.67 and MGE May rises 13 1/4c to $8.88 1/4.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures finish mixed as nearby contracts come under pressure from profit-taking. Market participants continued taking money off the table after the market finished at a 5-week high Friday. But deferred contracts jumped today as traders wait for the USDA to issue highly anticipated estimates on US crop plantings and grain inventories Thursday. It's widely expected that rice acres will be down sharply from last year due to weak prices. CBOT May rice down 3 1/2c to $13.85 1/2 a bushel while November gains 10c to $15.22.

Oil Declines as Petroleum Institute Report Signals Faltering U.S. Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil declined in New York after an industry-funded report showed crude supplies in the U.S. rose the most since October, signaling a recovery in demand may falter in the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity.

Copper Drops to $9,569, Set for the Worst Quarterly Performance in Three (Source: Bloomberg)
Copper in London fell, putting it on track for its worst quarterly performance in three quarters, on concern global economic growth may slow after Japan’s worst earthquake on record and as China extends tightening measures.

FAO: China Corn Imports May Reach 2.5M Tons This Year (Source: CME)
China could import the largest volumes of corn for more than 15 years in 2010-2011 but dealers may hold off buying if an influential U.S. government report this week predicts high plantings, a senior economist with the United Nations' food body said. Speculation China could significantly boost imports this year and next has been a huge price driver for the already tight market. Corn futures traded in Chicago surged 14% last week on expectations China had inked a deal for U.S. supplies, speculation that many saw as confirmed when the U.S. Department of Agriculture said exporters struck deals to sell 1.25 million tons of corn but didn't disclose the destination. Secretary of the Food and Agriculture Organization's Intergovernmental Group on Grains, Abdolreza Abbassian, said a huge move by the Asian giant seems unlikely. But he said the country may import as much as 2.5 million tons by the end of the 2010-11 crop year, which would be the largest amount since 1994-1995 and the third-highest level in 50 years.
"Why would the Chinese buy now and take delivery just before summer when they have to harvest their wheat?" he said. "China isn't stupid--they know that if they come into the market in a big way prices will double. "The supply and demand balance I see in China doesn't convince me they will post a big import figure this year anyway. I would say China this season may buy 2-2.5 million tons, which is only 1 million tons more than we said in August." Increased demand from China would support the corn market because supplies are already projected to reach a 15-year low this year. U.S. corn futures reached a 32-month high earlier this month on strong demand and concerns farmers will not sow enough acres this spring to replenish supplies. Abbassian said if the USDA's figures come in below expectations and are bullish for the market, he expects China will buy sooner in anticipation of rising prices. But if they are bearish "my view is the price prospects will be more comfortable and they will be happy to wait."
For most of the past 50 years, Beijing has been largely absent from the international market, as domestic production was enough to meet demand. The most the world's second-largest corn producer has ever imported was 4.3 million tons in 1994-95, following a disastrous harvest. But as the country's rapidly-expanding middle class's growing taste for meat puts pressure on grain supplies after China's corn harvest suffered last year because of drought, speculation that the Asian giant may have to resort to imports has increased.

Ukraine Plans To Extend Grain Export Quotas But Confusion Continues (Source: CME)
Ukraine's Ministry of Economy has proposed an extension of restrictions on grain exports to the end of June from March 31, according to a draft resolution posted on the ministry's website. The resolution appears to contradict the words of Iryna Akimova, deputy head of the presidential administration, who said earlier Tuesday that Ukraine would end quotas as of April 1 and introduce alternative customs controls. The ministry said the reason behind the move to keep the quotas was to prevent an "uncontrolled growth" in grain prices. The resolution also proposes increasing export allowances for corn to 5 million metric tons from the current 3 million tons. Ukraine introduced grain export restrictions in October, citing a bad harvest due to drought and a need to control domestic food prices. The quotas were extended in December to run to the end of March.

India Considers Lifting Wheat Export Ban � Minister (Source: CME)
India is considering lifting its ban on wheat exports, junior Farm Minister Arun S. Yadav said, as the country is expecting a bumper crop for a second straight year. "We are thinking about it [allowing wheat exports]. A decision may be taken by April-May," Yadav told reporters. India, the world's second-largest wheat grower, has maintained the ban on the grain's export since 2007 to keep local supplies steady. But expectations of a bumper crop and a shortage of storage space have now prompted the government to consider allowing exports. Yadav didn't clarify whether the government was looking at allowing unrestricted wheat exports, but traders feel the country will clear only limited shipments. He said wheat output in 2010-11 will likely exceed the government's estimate of 81.47 million metric tons. A panel of top Indian bureaucrats met Monday to discuss the possibility of allowing wheat exports as state-run warehouses have run out of space, a food ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
"The panel was of the view that the matter be reviewed again in May when the government has a better idea of the crop's arrival in the local market," the official said, adding that trade ministry wants 2 million ton of wheat exports. Harvesting of the new wheat crop began March 15 and is likely to be over by end-April, while procurement of stocks by federal agencies is expected to end by mid-May. Food Corp. of India's wheat purchases for government stocks from the new crop have more than halved since the start of the procurement season compared with a year earlier. The state-run company has bought around 157,000 tons of wheat from the start of procurement on March 15 through March 27, compared with 332,000 tons a year earlier. Traders said that the government's procurement is being hampered by a lack of storage space. "The government will have to open up some exports as they would need to offload old stocks," said a wheat trader, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.
"Probably, they will decide only once the procurement is over." While the trade, finance and farm ministries are keen on exports, the food ministry has opposed the move as it wants to maintain sufficient stocks for meeting the requirement of a proposed law that will widen the scope of subsidized grain sales to the poor. But the law is unlikely to be implemented soon as a maze of approvals will be required from within the government and the groundwork such as identification of poor households as well as a distribution mechanism is yet to be completed.

Farmers Plant Corn Faster Than Normal In Southern US (Source: CME)
Corn planting is ahead of schedule in the southern U.S., according to state crop progress reports. Warm, dry weather in Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas has allowed growers to accelerate planting after some areas saw temporary delays due to rain. Weekly reports issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed growers had made significant advances in the past week. "Excellent weather conditions allowed producers to progress with field activities," the National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Louisiana said. The south makes up only about 6% of U.S. corn production, yet grain consumers are closely watching early plantings there in the face of low supplies, which are projected to reach a 15-year low this year. Corn futures recently reached 32-month highs and grain users remain concerned world supplies won't keep pace with strong demand. Farmers in the southern U.S. are busy planting corn, but aren't expected to significantly increase the number of acres devoted to the grain.
Strong prices for cotton are making it a more attractive crop. "The price is so good on cotton right now that some of that corn acreage will likely be shifted" to the fiber, said Brent Bean, professor and extension agronomist at Texas A&M University. The USDA last month projected cotton plantings nationwide would expand 18.2% from last year to 13 million acres and corn plantings would jump 4.3% to 92 million acres. The government will update its planting forecasts Thursday. Favorable weather in southern states contrasts with wet weather in the northern Plains and Midwest that has raised worries about planting delays that could reduce corn output. Farmers in the Midwest, where the bulk of the country's corn is grown, will begin sowing early next month. Planting was 46% complete in Mississippi as of Sunday, up from 5% a week earlier and above the average of 22%, according to government data. In Arkansas, planting was one percentage point ahead of normal at 28% complete.
The crop in Texas was 50% planted, up from 43% a week earlier and above the average of 48%. Growers are mostly finished planting in southern Texas. In the north, where the bulk of the state's corn is produced, farmers will avoid problems associated with a severe drought because most of the corn is irrigated, Bean said. Rains in January aided planting in southern Texas, but the crop will need more moisture in the next month, said Charles Ring, a corn grower and member of the Texas Corn Producers Board. The state accounted for about 2.4% of national corn production in 2010 and is the largest corn producer in the south.

Commodity traders say won't follow Glencore to IPO
GENEVA/SINGAPORE, March 29 (Reuters) - Two of the world's biggest commodities traders ruled out public flotations on Monday, at least for the time being, despite admitting the attractions of raising such "permanent capital."
Trafigura and Gunvor said they had no wish to follow Swiss commodities trading giant Glencore and raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) of shares.

Big commodity traders mount last stand on U.S. curbs
WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - A global push to temper wild swings in oil and other commodity prices reached a pivotal point on Monday as big traders mounted their last attack on a U.S. plan to limit the role of speculators.
Many of the world's biggest commodity market participants such as U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc and Delta Air Lines  are resisting new rules that would cap how many futures and related swaps contracts any one company can control.

Net commodity index investment rises to third record
NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - Net investment into commodity indices rose to a record high for a third month in a row in February, with long positions crossing $300 billion for the first time ever, data showed on Monday.
The value of holdings by institutional investors and others who buy into commodity baskets has surged by more than $45 billion in the past three months, partly as a result of rising prices that have drawn near record highs.

Japan Feb aluminium shipments up 2.3 pct yr/yr
TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shipments of aluminium products rose 2.3 percent in February from a year earlier to 168,092 tonnes, marking 15 consecutive months of gains, but a devastating earthquake is  likely to weigh on shipments this month.
Shipments in February rose 7.3 percent from January after two straight months of declines, the Japan Aluminium Association said on Tuesday.

China spot copper demand seen weak on tight credit, high prices
HONG KONG, March 29 (Reuters) - Demand for spot copper in China may not pick up in April and May if prices stay high and Beijing maintains a tight credit policy, analysts and industry players said on Tuesday.
Weak demand means the world's top copper buyer may be largely out of the international spot market after China's refined copper imports fell 3 percent in the first two months of the year.

Freeport Indonesia sees copper output down 17 pct this yr
JAKARTA, March 29 (Reuters) - Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc's  Indonesia unit, which runs the giant Grasberg mine, expects its copper output to fall 17 percent this year to about 1 billion pounds by weight, its chief financial officer said on Tuesday.
The primary driver for the dip are differences in ore grades as Freeport Indonesia work through different sections of the Grasberg open-pit mine, a spokesman added, on the sidelines of the Ozmine conference in Jakarta.

China daily steel output hits record in mid-March
BEIJING, March 29 (Reuters) - China's daily output of crude steel rose 2.6 percent to a record 1.945 million tonnes from March 11-20, despite faltering demand and surging steel product stockpiles, figures from the China Iron and Steel Association showed on Tuesday.
CISA said daily output stood at an average of 1.92 million tonnes in the first 20 days of the month, up from 1.823 million tonnes in February and 1.703 million tonnes in January.

METALS-Copper falls on Chinese demand worries
LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - Copper fell to its lowest price in a week on Tuesday on concerns over high inventories and slack demand from top consumer China, exacerbated by talk of further monetary tightening there, but a weaker dollar lent support.
"The focus is clearly on China, and in China they are continuing to run down their inventories and are not coming back to the market. There is a lot of uncertainty on how much stuff they have," said Credit Agricole analyst Robin Bhar.

China corn purchases redefine global stocks: Gavin Maguire
--Gavin Maguire is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own. To get his real-time views on the market, please join the Global Ags Forum. --
CHICAGO, March 28 (Reuters) - China's alleged recent incursions into the corn import market represent much more than an additional mouth at the corn export trough, and could prompt a drastic redefining of what can be considered 'available' corn inventories globally.
China, the world's No. 2 corn grower, holds nearly half of the world's total corn reserves. Until recently, it routinely exported millions of tons to neighboring nations and so its inventories were considered part of the overall pool of corn supplies. But with China increasingly likely to become a net corn importer going forward, those inventories can no longer be considered as potentially available to other importers.

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 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.

Ukraine sows 461,000 ha spring grain as of Mar 28
KIEV, March 29 (Reuters) - Ukrainian farms had sown 461,000 hectares for the 2011 spring grain harvest as of March 28, almost the same area as a year earlier, the Farm Ministry said on Tuesday.
It said spring barley had dominated the area.
Cold weather across Ukraine in late February had prevented delayed spring grain sowing which traditionally starts in early March and farms began the 2011 sowing campaign in the second half of the month.

China sells 108,991 T feed wheat, 36 pct of volume
BEIJING, March 29 (Reuters) - China's government sold 108,991 tonnes of state wheat reserves whose quality has deteriorated for animal feed production, 36 percent of the volume of 300,990 tonnes offered at Tuesday's auction.
The auction marked the first such sale of wheat reserves to feed mills amid tight domestic corn supplies.

U.S. Plains wheat belt stays dry; Midwest cool
CHICAGO, March 28 (Reuters) - Little rain relief is in sight for the parched U.S. Plains wheat belt, but cooler temperatures this week will limit crop stress, a forecaster said on Monday.
"There is a pattern developing here and it is not good. All signs are failing," said Telvent DTN forecaster Mike Palmerino referring to recent outlooks for rain that turned dry again.

Cocoa dips, I.Coast conflict intensifies, sugar up
ICE cocoa futures were lower as dealers monitored conflict in top producer Ivory Coast, after two towns in the country's western cocoa belt fell to presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara.
Coffee prices eased in early trading, as strong exports from key producers Vietnam and Brazil weighed on markets.

Pakistan eyes record cotton crop above 15 mln bales in 2011/12
ISLAMABAD, March 29 (Reuters) - Pakistan is eyeing record cotton production of over 15 million bales in the 2011/12 crop year as farmers sow a wider area after domestic prices more than doubled from a year ago, government and industry officials said on Tuesday.  Cotton and textile account for about two-thirds of the country's exports and a healthy cotton crop is vital to economic growth, which is expected to slip to around 2.75 percent in the current financial year to June, because of flood damages.

High production costs curb Vietnam rice price drop
HANOI, March 29 (Reuters) - Vietnam's rice export prices are unlikely to fall significantly this year despite a recent bumper harvest due to surging production costs, an industry executive said, tempering the country's edge in export markets.
Despite a major dong devaluation in February that Thai traders said made Vietnamese rice more competitive and hurt Thailand's market share, rising costs in Vietnam had offset that advantage and helped to narrow the gap between the two nation's  export prices.

US farmers rush to sow idle acres, yields in doubt
CHICAGO, March 29 (Reuters) - For the past five years, Nebraska farmer Brandon Hunnicutt has carefully avoided a small, soggy seven-acre plot of land in the middle of his farm, fearing the poor soil will be more trouble than it's worth.
This year, however, Hunnicutt -- and thousands of others across the Midwest -- will rush to cash in on near-record prices by sowing corn, soybeans, wheat into every available inch of arable land, including some that have lain fallow for years if not decades.

Bumper US crop planting may tame high food prices
CHICAGO, March 28 (Reuters) - The bumper crops expected to be planted by U.S. farmers this spring could be the first big step toward alleviating global food price inflation.
After drought and torrential rains in 2010 devastated major crops from Russia to Australia, all eyes will be on the U.S. government's plantings report on Thursday for a glimpse of production prospects from the world's top grain exporter.

US spring wheat acreage growth limited by rains
CHICAGO, March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers were expected to boost their plantings of spring wheat by just 30,000 acres in 2011 as wet conditions in the northern U.S. Plains will likely limit the amount of crop they can seed despite dwindling world supplies and strong prices, a Reuters poll showed.
"The better weather guys are saying we are going to have a very cold and very wet spring in the Upper Plains," said Tim Hannagan, analyst with PFGBest. "It is going to be cooler and wetter than normal. That certainly says you are going to plant less spring wheat."

U.S. corn area seen 2nd largest since 1944
CHICAGO, March 28 (Reuters) - High corn prices and big profits will lead U.S. farmers to plant the second largest land area to corn since 1944, ensuring a comfortable supply of the  feedgrain next year, weather permitting, analysts said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday will release its hotly anticipated March plantings report and an average of analysts' estimates pegged this year's corn acreage at 91.839 million, 4 percent more than last year and the second largest in nearly 70 years.

Indonesia white sugar output to rise 16 pct in 2011 - assoc
JAKARTA, March 28 (Reuters) - White sugar production in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest sugar consumer, will climb by 16 percent this year on drier weather, with planting rising by 3.5 percent, the Indonesian Sugar Association (AGI) said on Monday.
Indonesia produced about 2.25 million tonnes in 2010 after heavy rains hit crops, leading to government permits for 450,000 tonnes of imports, but this year output is seen jumping to about 2.6 million tonnes, Farukh Bakrie, chairman of AGI told Reuters.

20110330 0944 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

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

Soybeans (Source: CME)
U.S. soy futures settled higher Tuesday, climbing to the upper end of a recent trading range on anticipation USDA will project 2011 U.S. soy acres below levels that would allow the market to rebuild supplies. The market is factoring the market's greater need to entice farmers to plant more soybean acres since the USDA conducted its March plantings survey, said Dave Marshall, independent broker. Concerns that rainfall in northern Brazil will further delay harvests and potentially produce yield losses from wet conditions in northern areas are buoyed prices as well. CBOT May soybeans settled up 13c or 1% at $13.61 1/2 a bushels, and Nov soy ended up 12 1/4c or 0.9% at $13.54 1/4.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy product futures rallied in unison with soybean futures. The threat of lower available soy supplies for crushing due to lower plantings in 2011 served as support for both soymeal and soyoil futures, analysts said, CBOT May soyoil ended 0.49c or 0.9% higher at 57.02 cents per pound, and May soymeal settled $5.00 or 1.4% higher at $358.60 per short ton.

China Demand To Push Global Soybean Trade To Record High �IGC (Source: CME)
Demand from China and the European Union is likely to boost global soybean trade this year by 5.4% to a record high of 97.6 million metric tons, the International Grains Council said. The IGC raised its forecast for global soybean trade in the year ending Sept. 30 by 200,000 tons in a monthly report for March. It forecast China's soybean imports to rise 6% to 56 million tons, or nearly three fifths of global trade, boosted by rapid expansion in the vegetable oil and feed meal sectors. It said E.U. soybean imports will likely rise 17% to 13.5 million tons, due to tighter availability and higher prices of other alternatives such as rapeseed. The IGC also raised its estimate for 2010-11 global soybean production to 259.1 million tons due to improved prospects in South America. Brazil's soybean harvest may hit a record high of 70.3 million tons, it said.
Higher exports from Brazil and Paraguay will more than offset a marginal fall in exports from Argentina, it said. It forecast Brazil's soybean exports to rise 12% to 32 million tons. It said global soymeal trade will likely rise 7% to 58.3 million tons, boosted by strong import demand in both Asia and the E.U. It forecast Soymeal imports by the E.U. to rise 8.6% to 23.9 million tons, and raised its projections for Brazil's soymeal exports by 3% to 13.2 million tons. It forecast global rapeseed trade to decline 10% to a three-year low of 10 million tons, due to weaker demand in North America and Asia, as prices are high compared with soybeans.

Palm oil falls on ample soyoil supply prospects
KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil futures fell as traders expect soyoil supplies to swell on the incoming South American soy harvest.  "Palm oil has followed the declines in Chicago soyoil as ample supply becomes more apparent. This has prompted the technical players to sell down, probably to 3,200 ringgit," said a trader with foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.

US soy acres seen losing ground, stocks expanding
CHICAGO, March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will plant fewer acres to soybeans this year than they did last year, but seedings could be the third largest ever and might grow even larger if seeding delays force farmers to switch out of other crops, a Reuters Poll showed.
An estimated 76.870 million acres are expected to be planted to soybeans in 2011, down 534,000 acres from 2010.

European rapeseed crop outlook uncertain on frosts
HAMBURG, March 28 (Reuters) - The outlook for Europe's summer 2011 rapeseed crop is uncertain as late winter frost damage is suspected in leading producers Germany and Poland, despite good crops seen elsewhere, observers said on Monday.
"Some German and east European rapeseed has not come through the winter well and (those countries) may be facing lower crops on the year," one trader said. "This could remove the benefits of a more positive outlook in France and Britain."