Thursday, April 21, 2011

20110421 1814 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3312, changed : -3 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer seller still battling.
Support : 3300, 3270, 3250, 3200 level.
Resistance : 3350, 3420, 3450, 3470 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded gains with lower volume participation after despite soy oil overnight closed recorded more that 1% gains and currently trading firmer along with higher crude oil and gold prices as U.S dollar continue to weaken.
News wise, Reuters reported that Indonesia government official to reduce May 2011 crude palm oil export tax to 17.5% compare to the current 22.5% level.
Daily chart formed a doji bar candle positioned near middle Bollinger band level after market opened little lower, tested lower support and recovered upwards recording small gain followed by news on Indonesia export tax reduce resulted last minutes price drop to end off the high near opening price. 
Chart reading still suggesting a side way range bound market development testing support and resistance level with MACD indicator crossed up higher.
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.

20110421 1732 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1528.5 changed : -1.5 point, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller lock in profit.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485, 1470 level.
Resistance : 1530, 1540, 1550, 1565 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded small loss with better volume exchanged doing 2 points premium compare to cash market that is also recorded loss while regional markets traded mostly higher. Market seems not quite comfortable with the news on Malaysia’s Inflation accelerated to 23 month high for the month of Mar 2011 that could triggered Bank Negara to tighten monetary policy(question here is to raised overnight interest rate or to increase bank reserve again but personally this could be a sign of further growth). 
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle closed below middle Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, tested little higher and slide downwards lower to closed near the low of the day despite major Asia markets traded higher.
Again, hate to write this but still, technical reading remained suggesting a side way range bound market development testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110421 1545 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asia Stocks Rise on Apple Earnings; Gold Reaches Records
Stocks rallied, with the MSCI World Index set for the highest close in two months, after Apple Inc. posted better-than-expected profits and as energy shares gained. The Australian dollar and gold climbed to records amid concern higher oil prices will spur inflation.

Dollar hits 3-yr low; gold, Asian stocks march on
HONG KONG, April 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar slid to a 3-year low against a basket of major currencies and Asian stocks jumped to a 3-year high on Thursday, as investors scrambled to get in front of upward momentum in higher-yielding assets, particularly in emerging markets.
"Risk-on mood prevailing in global markets yesterday allowed investors to focus on fundamental strengths of emerging economies, boosting prices of their equities," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, analyst at Credit Agricole in Hong Kong, in a note.

Brent rises above $124 on weak dollar, US stockpile drop
SINGAPORE, April 21 (Reuters) - Brent crude climbed above $124 a barrel on Thursday as U.S. crude inventories fell unexpectedly last week and a sharply weaker dollar triggered a rush into riskier assets.
"The dollar was weaker and together with the inventory numbers, these factors are supporting oil prices," said David Cohen, Director of Asian Economic Forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore.

US corn rebounds from near 3-wk low, wheat gains
SINGAPORE, April 21 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures edged higher on Thursday, regaining some ground on short-covering after sliding 2 percent in the last session, while wheat rose on worries about dry weather threatening crops in the world's top suppliers.
"It looks like there is going to be rain but not as heavy as it has been in the last week, so the weather is improving," said Adam Davis, a senior commodity analyst at Merricks Capital, a Melbourne-based funds manager that invests in agriculture.

Rising Vietnam rice prices may hit Philippine deals-trade
HANOI/MANILA, April 20 (Reuters) - Rising rice prices in Vietnam may have led some Vietnamese exporters to delay or default in loading for private Philippine firms, but government deals are not affected and buyers were  committed to supply the bulk of their quota, a Philippine industry official and traders said on Wednesday.
Delivery problems from the world's second-largest rice export nation may hurt the reputation of Vietnamese rice exporters and fuel food inflation, the fight against which has been prioritised in the agenda by regional policymakers.

Most of Argentina's soy crop harvested-exchange
BUENOS AIRES, April 20 (Reuters) - More than 54 percent of Argentina's 2010/11 soy crop has been brought in despite wet weather over the last week that delayed harvesting, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly report on Wednesday.
Progress in harvesting soybeans advanced 11.5 percentage points compared with the previous week's report, issued on Thursday, bringing the total amount of harvested soybeans to 28.5 million tonnes, the exchange said.

Argentina ups 2010/11 soy, corn harvest estimates
BUENOS AIRES, April 20 (Reuters) - Argentina's Agriculture Ministry increased its 2010/11 soy harvest forecast to 50.4 million tonnes from 50 million tonnes as rains improved yields, the government said in a monthly report on Wednesday.
Argentina, the world's biggest exporter of soyoil and soymeal, was affected by dry weather earlier this season, but heavy rains from mid-January onward have since brightened the outlook for the country's lucrative grain crops.

Dryness helps Brazil cane crush, 130 mills reopen
SAO PAULO, April 20 (Reuters) - Weather in Brazil's main center-south cane producing region should remain dry over the coming days, favoring harvesting of the new crop just beginning, Somar meteorologists said on Wednesday.
About 130 out of the 335 mills in the region have started to crush new season cane, and helped by dry weather, 195 plants are expected to be operational by Monday, cane industry association Unica said.

Brazil cocoa arrivals typical of interharvest lull
SAO PAULO, April 20 (Reuters) - Cocoa deliveries from Brazil's main growing regions remained low in the last week, data from Bahia Commercial Association showed, with the forthcoming mid-crop still several weeks off.
The mid-crop in the top cocoa state of Bahia is likely to fall about 15 percent from last year to around 1.1 million 60-kg bags (66,000 tonnes), according to some estimates, cocoa analyst Thomas Hartmann said in a weekly crop update.

Copper soars after U.S. housing data, dollar weakens
NEW YORK/LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Copper rose to its highest in a week on Wednesday after the U.S. housing market showed more signs of revival, strong earnings boosted U.S. equities and the dollar hit a 15-month low against the euro.
"Copper's getting a boost with everything else. After IBM, Intel and Yahoo all beat the Street, we saw equities go on a tear. So, the strong belief in global recovery will continue to press on. Plus, the dollar is getting killed," said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist with Lind Waldock.

Gold roars to all-time high for fifth straight session
SINGAPORE, April 21 (Reuters) - Bullion powered to a lifetime high for a fifth consecutive session on Thursday on a sharply weaker dollar, while lingering tensions in the Arab world, worries about the euro zone crisis and U.S. fiscal health offered additional support.
"The U.S. effectively lost its triple-A rating in the eyes of investors that really matter quite some time ago, back when gold broke $1,000 an ounce," said Fat Prophets commodities analyst David Lennox..

Latam-U.S. soy contest to heat up as China slows imports
SINGAPORE, April 20 (Reuters) - A slowdown in Chinese soybean purchases will leave substantial volumes from Brazil and Argentina to compete with new-crop U.S. beans after September, threatening the country's normal market dominance in the fourth quarter.
Availability of South American beans could weigh on benchmark Chicago prices , already down more than 4 percent this month as wheat  and corn  both rise. 

20110421 1142 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: US dollar at 2-1/2-yr low, gold near record high
HONG KONG, April 21(Reuters) - The U.S. dollar slid to a 2-1/2-year low against a basket of major currencies and Asian stocks were poised to hit a 3-year high on Thursday, as investors scrambled to get in front of upward momentum in higher-yielding assets, particularly in emerging markets.
Commodity-related currencies rose with the Australian dollar hitting a post-float high against the U.S. dollar at $1.0740, as the hunt for yield intensified on prospects that U.S. interest rates would remain at a record low for a long time.

OIL: Oil rallies above $124 on U.S. draw, dollar
NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - Brent oil jumped 2 percent to near $124 a barrel on Wednesday as U.S. crude oil inventories fell for the first time in seven weeks and the dollar weakened sharply, fueling investor appetite for riskier assets.
"The inventory trend has been very bullish for the last 10 weeks. And this is partly supporting the strength in crude prices outside geopolitics," said Mark Kellstrom, senior analyst at Strategic Energy Research and Capital in Summit, New Jersey.

Ecuador says OPEC sees $80-$90 oil as "adequate"
LAGO AGRIO, Ecuador, April 20 (Reuters) - OPEC sees oil prices between $80 to $90 as "adequate" and has no plans for an emergency meeting because the market is well supplied despite unrest in Libya, Ecuador's oil minister said on Wednesday.
Oil Minister Wilson Pastor told Reuters in an interview OPEC did not want the cost of oil "shooting up" because that could slow global economic growth, and he said he saw prices stabilizing in the next few months.

High oil price slows China, U.S. demand- IEA
SHANGHAI, April 20 (Reuters) - High oil prices have hurt demand in top consumers China and the United States, and OPEC needs to raise output around June to stem further price rises, the International Energy Agency's executive director said on Wednesday.
The IEA has already warned that high oil prices are threatening to slow global economic expansion, which would in turn erode the pace of growth in fuel demand.

NATURAL GAS: Natural gas ends up 1 pct, front hits 2-week high
NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended higher on Wednesday, with cool Midwest weather and rising heat across the South driving the front month contract to a fresh two-week spot high despite milder forecasts for next week and concerns about high supplies.
"Some people are expecting a low (EIA build) number. Combined with weather and nuke outages, that's what's driving up the front end (of the futures curve)," a New York trader said.

EURO COAL: ARA prices rise by up to $1/T with oil
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - European delivered physical coal values rose by around $1.00 on Wednesday but the number of trades - several in a day - returned to normal after weeks of illiquidity as players rushed to close business before the Easter public holidays in much of Europe.
"Activity has almost returned to normal levels but the number of players was fairly small behind most of the trades," one trader said.

COMMODITIES: Gold, oil surge in broad rally as dollar falls
NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - Gold hit another record high above $1,500 an ounce and oil rose to nearly $124 a barrel on Wednesday, as a weaker dollar fed risk appetite among investors.
"People are buying any kind of risk assets almost without discretion across the commodity complex, and gold and silver are part of them," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist of broker-dealer Janney Montgomery Scott, which manages $53 billion in client assets.

20110421 0955 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Malaysia: Malaysia’s Inflation quickens, adding pressure on Central Bank
Malaysia’s inflation accelerated to a 23-month high in March, an increase that may add pressure on the central bank to tighten monetary policy. Consumer prices rose 3% in March from a year earlier after climbing 2.9% in February, according to a report by the statistics department today. That compares with the 3.1% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 16 economists. While Bank Negara Malaysia kept interest rates unchanged for a fourth consecutive meeting last month, policy makers ordered lenders to set aside more cash as reserves and signaled they may review their stance amid inflation risks. (Bloomberg)

U.S.: U.S. existing homes sales rise on distressed-property demand
Sales of U.S. previously owned homes rose in March as a mounting supply of properties in or near foreclosure lured investors. Purchases increased 3.7% to a 5.1m annual rate, exceeding the 5m median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. All-cash deals accounted for 35% of transactions, the most on record, the group said. (Bloomberg)

EU: Portugal bill yields soar even after bailout plan
The treasury bills Portugal sold today are due to mature after its financial lifeline is set. And even that virtual guaranteed repayment hasn’t been enough to prevent investors from demanding record yields as concern of a possible debt restructuring in Greece roils markets. International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank officials have been in Lisbon for a week preparing to make an estimated 80bn euros (USD116bn) of finances available. (Bloomberg)

Germany: Producer price inflation unexpectedly slowed in March. Producer prices rose 6.2% YoY after increasing 6.4% YoY in February, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said in an email statement. (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan: Japan’s exports fall a more-than-expected 2.2% after quake
Japan’s exports fell more than economists expected in March as shipments of automobiles tumbled, declines analysts said may worsen as companies struggle to restore facilities and output in the wake of a record earthquake. Overseas shipments declined 2.2% from a year earlier, the first drop since November 2009, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today. Car exports fell 28% from a year earlier and shipments for electronic devices also slid as the disaster prevented companies from transporting goods. (Bloomberg)

Asia: Taiwan’s export orders rose more than estimated in March
Taiwan’s export orders climbed more than estimated in March, signaling overseas shipments may weather trade disruption caused by Japan’s earthquake and increasing scope to raise borrowing costs again. Orders, an indication of shipments in the next one to three months, climbed 13.37% from a year earlier, after a 5.33% gain in February, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in Taipei today. The median estimate of 14 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 4.7% advance. (Bloomberg)

Asia: Thailand raises key rate a sixth time, signals more to come
Thailand raised interest rates for the sixth time in less than a year as Asian nations step up efforts to damp inflation stoked by surging commodity prices, and the central bank signaled that it would do more. The Bank of Thailand increased the benchmark one-day bond repurchase rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 2.75%, it said in Bangkok today. The move was predicted by all 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. (Bloomberg)

Thailand: Export growth held near an eight-month high in March. Overseas sales increased 30.9% YoY. That compares with a 31% YoY gain in February reported previously. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110421 0953 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

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

TRC gets RM43.8m contract from Putrajaya Holdings
TRC Synergy’s wholly- owned construction arm, Trans Resources Corporation SB has secured a contract to undertake the construction of 2 types of public housing at Precinct 8 (Phase 1), Putrajaya worth RM43.8m. In a statement on 20 Apr, TRC said the contract was scheduled to be completed within 20 months. It said the project involved the construction of 40 units of 3-storey semi-detached and 4 units of two-and a half-storey semi detached public housing at two different parcels of land at Precinct 8, Putrajaya. TRC executive chairman, Datuk Seri Sufri Mohd Zin said the company won the contract due to its track record in timely and quality delivery. (Financial Daily)

RM11.2bn new investments under 5th ETP update
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak unveiled seven new entry-point projects (EPP) and recapped five previously announced projects at the fifth progress update on the government’s (ETP). The 12 EPPs within seven National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs), with an investment value of RM11.16bn, are expected to generate RM16.62bn in gross national income (GNI) and create 74,457 jobs. “Cumulatively, the ETP has to date garnered RM106.405 billion in investment, RM153.83 billion in GNI and created 298,865 new jobs. The 72 projects within 54 EPP announced to date mean that 41.2% of the 131 EPP have commenced, all in less than six months since the ETP was launched,” Najib said at the progress update. Among the 12 EPP is the RM9.6bn investment to develop the Karambunai Integrated Resort City (KIRC) in Karambunai, Sabah. The project will be developed by a consortium comprising Prism Crystal Enterprises Ltd, Tan Sri Dr Chen Lip Keong and his group of companies and the landowners — Karambunai Corp Bhd and Petaling Tin Bhd. (Financial Daily)

Petronas gets USD2bn for stake in India crude producer
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) will receive USD2bn (RM6bn) cash from the divestment of its 14.9% stake in Cairn India Ltd, which is involved in crude oil production in India. It is understood that Petronas would realise a gain of USD1bn from the divestment as the national oil company invested about USD1bn in the company’s IPO at INR160 per share in 2006. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch was the sole adviser and book runner for the deal. (Financial Daily)

Media Prima not hunting for acquisitions
Media Prima group managing director Datuk Amrin Awaluddin said the media conglomerate is not actively looking for asset acquisition to grow its business, preferring to concentrate on integrating the group’s various media assets. Speaking at the press conference yesterday, Amrin noted that Media Prima would still evaluate good opportunities that come its way but the main push is to consolidate its various media platforms that span sprint, broadcast, outdoor advertising, new media and content production. “….we are open to opportunities but when we buy companies, it must be media-related, it must be complementary to our business and it must be earnings accretive,” said Amrin. (Financial Daily)

Tricubes to bank on Government project
Tricubes plans to generate revenue from 1Malaysia Email project via advertising, an online marketplace, and the online delivery of government bills and notices. The financially troubled technology company also sees income potential in facilitating government agencies’ recruitment and registration processes. These services will be available on the web portal that Tricubes is developing under the project. The portal’s main feature is an email account, dubbed the MyEmail account, which will be offered to all Malaysians aged 18 and above for free. (StarBiz)

Cut in mobile phone rates for users in Malaysia, Singapore
Effective 1 May, mobile phone rates for incoming roaming calls and SMS between Malaysia and Singapore will be reduced by 20% and 30% respectively. Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the cuts will be reduced further to 30% and 50% for voice and SMS respectively from 1 May, 2012. The cuts are applicable to prepaid and postpaid users subscribing to Celcom, Digi, M1, Maxis, SingTel, Star Hub and U-Mobile, he added. “These are minimum reductions in rates as traffic between both countries increase,” he said at the joint-launch of the rates reduction with Singapore Information, Communications and the Arts Minister Lui Tuck Yew on Wednesday. The rates reduction follows Dr Rais and Lui's joint announcement in June last year to cut mobile phone roaming rates for both countries. (The Star)

Toyota market share drops, rivals maintain share
Toyota passenger market share in Malaysia fell in the first quarter of 2011, while one of its two main Japanese rivals, Honda, managed to maintain its market share, and the other, Nissan, grew its share by about one percentage point. Based on figures released from sources including the Malaysian Automotive Association and company disclosures, Toyota, represented in Malaysia by UMW Toyota Motor, sold 21,310 vehicles in the first quarter of the year, giving it a market share of 13.4%. Toyota’s market share for the full year 2010 stood at 14.8%, The Vios remained as Toyota’s top seller, followed by Hilux pickup truck. (StarBiz)

Puncak Niaga Acquires 55% stake in Reputable Collection
Puncak Niaga Holdings (PNHB) has acquired a 55% stake in Reputable Collection SB (RCSB) via a subscription of 55 shares for RM55. In a filling to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, PNHB said RCSB would become its 55% owned subsidiary. The remaining 45% stake in RCSB is held by Rembulan Mesra SB. RCSB’s subsubsidiary, Jalinan Handal SB will also become a subsidiary of PNHB. (Financial Daily)

Khazanah sounds out Bank Islam on Muamalat stake
Khazanah Nasional plans to sell its 30% stake in Bank Muamalat Malaysia, a move which could pave the way for a merger between the Islamic lender and its bigger rival Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, sources said. Bank Muamalat is 70%-owned by conglomerate DRB-HICOM Bhd. Bank Islam is the country's oldest Islamic lender. Khazanah, the government's investment arm, is on a mission to gradually divest all its non-core holdings and assets. Managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, when met by Business Times last week, said Khazanah sees its stake in Bank Muamalat as a "non-core holding" and that it "could be" sold within this year. (BT)

Sime Darby: Insider trading probe. The Securities Commission (SC) is carrying out insider trading investigations surrounding the mega-merger that created Synergy Drive, the group that's now known as Sime Darby Bhd. The capital market watchdog had called in some people for questioning and the probe appears to be looking at information that may have been leaked out before the first announcement on November 27, 2006. (Source: Business Times)

IGB: Work on Mid Valley City Phase 3 to begin. IGB Bhd will commence the building of Mid Valley City's third phase in the next few months, while two other development projects are also set to take off. Phase 3 is planned as a commercial development with an office and a retail building with estimated gross built-up area of more than 1m sq ft. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Islamic Banking: Khazanah sounds out Bank Islam on Muamalat stake. Khazanah Nasional Bhd plans to sell its 30% stake in Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd, a move which could pave way for a merger between the Islamic lender and its bigger rival Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd. (Source: Business Times)

Banking: Zeti reappointed as Bank Negara governor. Bank Negara's governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz has been reappointed for a five-year term, effective May 1. (Source: The Star)

Construction: E-tender system to take off soon. Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) is making preparations to implement National e-Tendering Initiative (NeTi) that will be the platform to process online job tenders under the Works Ministry. (Source: The Star)

Property: Inflation and demand to lift property prices. Malaysian property prices are expected to increase at an average of between 10% and 20% this year, in light of rising inflation and increase in demand for local properties by foreigners. (Source: The Star)

20110421 0938 Global Market Related News.

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

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

Asian Stocks Rise to Highest Level in Six Weeks as U.S. Earnings Increase (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks rose, pushing the regional index to its highest level in six weeks, after U.S. companies including Apple Inc. reported increased profits, signaling the global economic recovery is accelerating, and commodity shares gained.

Allies Send Military Advisers, Equipment to Strengthen Libyan Rebel Forces (Source: Bloomberg)
The U.S. and its allies, a month into their air campaign in Libya, are being drawn more deeply into a conflict they expected would quickly topple leader Muammar Qaddafi .

U.S. Stock Rally Sends Dow to Highest Since 2008 as Intel, Yahoo! Surge (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rallied, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its highest level since June 2008, as sales at companies from Intel Corp. (INTC) to Yahoo! Inc. exceeded estimates and commodity producers gained. Intel climbed 7.8 percent, the most since March 2009, after the world's largest chipmaker also forecast revenue that may top projections. Yahoo! Inc., the most-visited U.S. Web portal, jumped 4.7 percent. United Technologies Corp. (UTX), the maker of Pratt & Whitney jet engines and Carrier air conditioners, rose 4.3 percent after lifting the lower end of its sales forecast. Alcoa Inc. (AA) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) added at least 1.2 percent as commodity prices advanced amid a weaker U.S. dollar.

U.S. home building rises, foreclosures a threat
WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) - U.S. home building and permits for future construction rebounded strongly last month from February's weather-depressed levels, but a glut of housing on the market will make further gains difficult.
Housing starts rose 7.2 percent to an annual rate of 549,000 units from an upwardly revised 512,000-unit pace in February, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

Existing Home Sales in U.S. Rise on Growing Demand for Distressed Property (Source: Bloomberg)
Sales of U.S. previously owned homes rose in March as a mounting supply of properties in or near foreclosure lured investors.

Advance in U.S. Existing-Home Sales Probably Failed to Recover Lost Ground (Source: Bloomberg)
A gain in U.S. sales of existing homes during March probably failed to make up for a drop the previous month, a sign that the housing market is struggling to rebound, economists said before a report today. Purchases rose 2.5 percent to a 5 million annual rate after dropping 9.6 percent in February, according to the median forecast of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Sales in January of existing homes, which make up 90 percent of the market, climbed to the highest level in eight months as buyers used all-cash transactions to obtain distressed properties.

Banks Lag S&P as Slow Loan Growth Eclipses Higher Dividends (Source: Bloomberg)
Bank stocks are underperforming the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, even after Federal Reserve stress tests showed some financial institutions have regained enough strength to boost dividends and buy back their shares.

Apple Profit Nearly Doubles After IPhone's Verizon Debut (Source: Bloomberg)
Apple Inc. reported profit that almost doubled as rising demand for Mac computers and the iPhone, newly available from Verizon Wireless, outweighed lower- than-predicted sales of the iPad tablet.

China says imported inflation rising, firms under pressure
BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) - China is facing quickening imported inflation and higher raw material costs could push some firms and industries deeper into the red, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday.
"Energy and raw material prices are climbing and the rising costs will be passed to downstream businesses and lead to greater losses in some industries," the ministry said in a statement without naming any specific sector.

China Mobile’s Rural Users Lift Subscriptions Past 600 Million (Source: Bloomberg)
China Mobile Ltd. (941) became the world’s first phone company to exceed 600 million subscribers as it signed up more rural customers in the first quarter. China Mobile added 16.8 million subscribers in the first quarter, an almost 3 percent increase from the 584 million customers at the end of December, the company said yesterday.

Japan Stocks Gain for Second Day as U.S. Earnings Show Recovery (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks advanced for a second day after U.S. companies including Apple Inc. (AAPL) reported increased profits and oil prices surged, signaling the global economic recovery is accelerating. Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s biggest electronics exporter, gained 1.3 percent. Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), the country’s No. 1 commodities trader, rose 1.1 percent after crude and metal prices gained. Inpex Corp. (1605), Japan’s largest oil explorer, advanced 3 percent. The Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average rose 0.9 percent to 9,691.51 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo. The broader Topix gained 0.6 percent to 842.35, with seven shares advancing for each that fell.

Low Birthrate is Biggest Threat to South Korean Economy, Governor Kim Says (Source: Bloomberg)
The biggest threat to South Korea’s economic health isn’t from North Korean aggression or Chinese competition, according to Kim Moon-Soo, governor of the country’s largest province and a potential presidential candidate. It’s from the country’s low birthrate. South Korea will face “a very big obstacle to our growth” unless families have more babies, Gyeonggi Governor Kim said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. The government needs to be “more active” in providing child care and lowering families’ education cost, he said.

Thailand Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 2.75% as Inflation Accelerates (Source: Bloomberg)
Thailand raised interest rates for the sixth time in less than a year as Asian nations step up efforts to damp inflation stoked by surging commodity prices, and the central bank signaled that it would do more. The Bank of Thailand increased the benchmark one-day bond repurchase rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 2.75 percent, it said in Bangkok today. The move was predicted by all 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

ECB Raising Rates May Turn Into Mistake Weakening Euro, Standard Life Says (Source: Bloomberg)
The European Central Bank’s policy of raising interest rates may not be “appropriate” and could drive the euro down 16 percent or more as the region’s fiscal crisis persists, according to Standard Life Investments. The currency may weaken below its “fair value” of $1.20 to $1.25, said Ken Dickson, investment director for currencies at the Edinburgh-based company, which oversees about 157 billion pounds ($256 billion).

Spain Sells 3.4 Billion Euros of Treasury Bonds at Auction, Close to Goal (Source: Bloomberg)
Spain sold 3.4 billion euros ($4.9 billion) of bonds and demand rose even as its borrowing costs increased amid expectations Greece may restructure its debt. The Treasury said it sold 2.49 billion euros of 10-year bonds at an average yield of 5.472 percent, compared with 5.162 percent at the previous auction on March 17. It also sold 885 million euros of bonds maturing Jan. 31, 2024 at 5.667 percent.

Germany’s Producer-Price Inflation Unexpectedly Slowed to 6.2% Last Month (Source: Bloomberg)
German producer-price inflation unexpectedly slowed in March. Producer prices rose 6.2 percent from a year earlier after increasing an annual 6.4 percent in February, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said in an e-mailed statement today. Economists forecast an acceleration to 6.6 percent, according to the median of 18 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. In the month, prices rose 0.4 percent, half the 0.8 percent gain predicted by economists. Energy prices showed the biggest annual gains, the statistics office said, with light heating oil up 35.2 percent and diesel 19.5 percent more expensive. Excluding energy costs, producer-price inflation was at 4.4 percent in March.

Australian Dollar Pares Loss as Stocks Gain Before Data on Producer Prices (Source: Bloomberg)
The Australian dollar pared losses as stocks gained before the release of producer price data for the first quarter. The so-called Aussie traded at $1.0709 as of 10:24 a.m. in Sydney, after reaching as low as $1.0677.

Australia Won’t ‘Manipulate’ Currency Now at Record, Rudd Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Australia won’t “manipulate” its currency, which yesterday reached a record, and countries that do will “pay a price,” Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said. Rudd in an interview ruled out intervention in the so- called Aussie, which has gained 15 percent in the past year against the dollar. Spurred by revenue from shipments of coal and iron ore to China, the currency’s surge has hurt Australian tourism, manufacturing and education.

Brazil Raises Interest Rate to 12% to Lower Inflation From Two-Year High (Source: Bloomberg)
Brazil’s central bank slowed the pace of rate increases on a less-than-unanimous vote, saying they need to implement policy adjustments “for a sufficiently long period” to bring inflation to target next year. Policy makers, led by central bank President Alexandre Tombini, voted 5-2 to raise the Selic rate by a quarter point to 12 percent from 11.75 percent, as expected by 15 of 58 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Forty-one analysts forecast a half-point increase and two predicted a pause. The bank said that two board members voted for a half-point increase.

FOREX-Euro surges to 15-mth highs; dlr, yen slide
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - The euro surged to its highest in 15 months against a weaker dollar on Wednesday, boosted by better risk appetite and after a bond auction from Spain was well received by investors.
The response to the Spanish bond auction provided a fillip to the common currency which is eyeing its Jan. 13, 2010 high of $1.4582. Traders said, before that the euro would have to clear option barriers at $1.4550 and $1.4600.  

Supply chain biggest near-term challenge-GM CEO
NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - General Motors Co  has a better grasp of how to handle disruptions in its global network of suppliers, said GM's chief executive, who also reiterated the automaker's outlook for vehicle sales this year.
CEO Dan Akerson said on Tuesday ensuring that shortages do not disrupt GM's supply chain is its biggest near-term challenge.

Toyota cuts US output, may lower 2011 sales target
NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Co  said on Tuesday it would cut U.S. vehicle production and may have to lower its 2011 U.S. sales target despite some improvement in the flow of parts from Japan.
Toyota also said that from April 26 to June 3 it would cut production by 70 percent at its North American assembly plants. Workers will have four-hour shifts three days a week instead of eight-hour shifts three days a week.

20110421 0935 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish sharply lower as traders take profits. Deferred contracts fell hardest on chatter about drier, long-range forecasts that looked more favorable for planting. AgResource predicted warmer temperatures and "more-normal" rainfall in early May. Yet, meteorologists see little improvement in near-term weather. "It doesn't look good," says Drew Lerner, president of World Weather. Slide triggered pre-placed sell orders, which accelerated the decline, traders note. CBOT July corn drops 16 1/2c to $7.40 1/2 a bushel; December corn loses 20 1/2c to $6.55 1/2.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures close weaker as traders book profits following recent surges. KCBT wheat suffered the steepest fall after reaching a two-week high on concerns relentless dryness will hurt hard red winter wheat output. Forecasts don't offer much hope for improved weather in the southern Plains, where it may be too late to revitalize the crop in some areas. "They can't buy a drop of rain in Texas and Oklahoma," says Mike Palmerino, meteorologist at Telvent DTN. CBOT July wheat slips 1/4c to $8.20 3/4 a bushel; KCBT May drops 6c to $9.30 3/4; MGE May stumbles 3c to $9.48 1/2.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures close higher on projections for increased demand. Consumers in Asia could ramp up rice purchases due to high wheat prices, as both grains are food staples, analysts say. Nearby wheat futures briefly traded above the lofty level of $8 a bushel at the CBOT on Wednesday due to concerns about poor weather reducing global output. World rice supplies are considered ample. CBOT July rice advances 20 1/2c to $14.22 per hundredweight.

U.S. wheat rises for 4th day on weather, corn up 1 pct
U.S. wheat futures gained around half a percent on Wednesday, rising for a fourth straight session as adverse weather threatened to curb supplies from top exporters the United States, Canada and Europe. " Farmers might be forced to switch to soybeans if corn plantings continue to get delayed, which will be bearish for soy and bullish for corn," said Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. "

Upbeat company earnings boost stocks, commods (Source: Reuters)
Upbeat earnings from companies including chip maker Intel lifted stocks and boosted appetite for riskier assets on Wednesday, driving commodities higher and the Australian dollar to a 29-year high versus the dollar. While S&P grabbed some headlines earlier in the week, on a future event that may or may not happen, it seems things on the ground are coming up pretty good," said Philip Isherwood, European equities strategist at Evolution Securities.

India normal monsoon forecast to boost farm sector
NEW DELHI, April 19 (Reuters) - India on Tuesday forecast normal rains for the 2011 monsoon, strengthening the prospects of a plentiful farm output that could help bring relief to Asia's third-largest economy in its battle with high prices. Rainfall is likely to be 98 percent of the long-term average, Earth Sciences Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters, adding that the forecast would be reviewed in June when the monsoon, which irrigates 60 percent of Indian farms, arrives.

Bangladesh grain imports likely to drop in 2011/12
DHAKA, April 20 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's grain imports are likely to drop to 1.4 million tonnes in the fiscal year beginning in July from nearly 2.5 million tonnes in the current fiscal year, a senior food official said on Wednesday. The government will import 1 million tonnes of wheat and 400,000 tonnes of rice in the 2011/12 fiscal year to ensure food security, an official at the Directorate General of Food said. And another 150,000 tonnes of wheat and rice is expected to come as foreign grants.

Cool, wet  weather halts U.S. Midwest corn planting
CHICAGO, April 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Midwest will be cool and wet for at least the next 10 days, preventing farmers from planting corn through most of April, a forecaster said on Tuesday.Up to an inch of rain fell in northern Iowa, eastern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota since early Monday while the eastern Corn Belt received 0.25 to 0.75 inch of rain.

Indonesia 10/11 wheat imports seen up 10 pct-attache
WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Indonesia: "In marketing year 2010/11, Post forecasts Indonesian wheat imports to increase by approximately 10 percent to 5.9 million tonnes, compared to 5.364 million tonnes in 2008/09. Indonesian corn imports are also estimated to increase to 2.5 million tonnes over the previous MY of 1.167 million tonnes. This is primarily due to the estimated decrease of corn production in MY 2010/11.

Goldman Sachs commodities risk up 60 pct in Q1
NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs's  commodities risk rose for the first time in a year during the first quarter as it staked 60 percent more money than the previous quarter to trade in rallying raw materials market.
Value-at-risk (VaR) for commodities at the No. 1 U.S. investment bank averaged $37 million in the three months to March 31, versus $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, results on Tuesday showed.

Commodity Assets at Record $412 Billion in March, Barclays Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Commodity assets under management rose to a record $412 billion in March, led by the biggest ever jump for agriculture products, Barclays Capital said. Investment flows into raw materials for the first quarter totaled $16.8 billion, with $7.1 billion added to agriculture and $6.8 billion to energy, Barclays analyst Roxana Mohammadian Molina said in a report e-mailed today. Precious metals got $300 million, the smallest ever, Barclays said. Commodities represented by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Total Return Index of 24 raw materials climbed 4.4 percent in March, trading at a two-year high, led by gains in cotton, energy, silver, live cattle and corn. Pricier food contributed to riots across north Africa and Middle East this year, toppling leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and leading central banks from Brazil to China to raise interest rates.

Biofuels Could Supply 27% Of Transport Fuel By 2050-IEA (Source: CME)
Biofuels could supply up to 27% of the world's transport fuels by 2050, compared with just 2% today, provided the efficiency of the production process can be improved, the International Energy Agency said. Biofuels made from starch, sugar and oilseed crops could displace substantial volumes of diesel, kerosene and jet fuel currently produced from fossil oil, the IEA said. Biofuel use on that scale would also avoid 2.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, provided the biofuels were produced sustainably, it said. However, hitting the 27% level would require the use of 100 million hectares of land, the IEA said in a report, which poses "a considerable challenge given competition for land and feedstocks from rapidly growing demand for food and fibre. "To meet this vision, most conventional biofuel technologies need to improve conversion efficiency, cost and overall sustainability," which will require substantial investment in research and commercialization, the report said.
Technological improvements could make biofuels competitive on cost with fossil fuels by 2030. Long-term government support and a policy framework that encourages sustained investment will be essential, it said. Competition with the food supply will also need to be carefully avoided if this target is to be achieved, the IEA said.

IGC Widens 11-12 Grain Deficit View Despite Output Rise (Source: CME)
The International Grains Council more than tripled its estimate for a world shortfall in grain supplies next season even though it upped its forecast for world production. Global grain production in 2011-12 is forecast to rise 4.5% to 1.808 billion metric tons due to a recovery in output from key producers the European Union and Argentina, the IGC said, raising its previous estimate by 3 million tons. World corn output is expected to rise almost 5% on the year in 2011-12 to a record 847 million tons, while wheat production is pegged at 672 million tons--22 million tons higher than the current season. "Prospects for the next global grains harvest remain broadly favorable with a marked upturn in output expected," the IGC said in its monthly report. Yet despite the growth in world output, the IGC said it expects consumption to outpace demand by 10 million tons, more than three times as much as its previous forecast of 3 million tons.
Even though consumption growth is expected to fall to 1.5% as industrial use of grain slows, stocks are expected to hit a four-year low of 334 million tons, equivalent to 18.4% of demand, compared with 23% two seasons ago. "With consumption of grains forecast to remain higher than production, a further downturn in world carryover stocks is likely," the IGC said. Corn markets are particularly tight, with total supplies expected to fall by 0.8% this year, the first year-on-year decline since 2002-03. Inventories are expected to fall even further next season, with carryover stocks expected to decline 8 million tons from this season's low levels to 111 million tons. The reduction in stocks comes despite a forecast slowdown in corn demand next year. "Potentially tight supplies and firm market prices are expected to limit [corn] consumption growth to 1.3%," the IGC said. U.S. corn futures hit an unprecedented $7.80 a bushel earlier this month and some analysts say they could go above $8/bushel.
With prices at these levels, the IGC said it expects demand growth to be constrained as livestock producers switch to wheat for feed and global industrial use of the grain slowing.

Coming Weeks Crucial For European And U.S. Wheat Harvests-Analysts (Source: CME)
The coming weeks will be crucial for the development of next season's crop in the world's two largest wheat exporters, analysts said, helping to determine the outlook for a grain market that has hit near-record high prices this year. Leading prices higher were forecasts for continued dryness in key producers the U.S. and Europe. A good harvest in the 2011-12 season is vital to stabilize world supplies after poor weather cut into production last year and sent prices to near-record highs. Analysts warn that the next fortnight will be crucial in determining whether Europe's upcoming crop will be able to replenish stock levels. Dryness in top producers France, Germany and the U.K. is already stressing crops during the initial growing period. "Further moisture deficits could see Western Europe emerge as a major issue in May," said Australia and New Zealand Bank. Dealers are particularly nervous as near-record European exports have eaten into stocks this season.
Strategie Grains, an influential French forecaster, pegs inventories at the end of the 2010-11 season at 8.6 million tons--2 million tons less than the minimum needed to supply the market until next harvest. "In Europe, consequences could be seen on the crop in the next 10 days with the really early start of vegetative state," said risk-manager Agritel. In top exporter, the U.S., the situation is similarly uncertain. The outlook for hard red winter wheat, grown in the Plains states such as Kansas and Oklahoma, is poor as it has struggled with dryness since it was sown last autumn. The crop will be harvested late this spring and summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Monday rated 36% of the U.S. winter wheat crop as good-to-excellent, unchanged from last week. Although the estimate was above analysts' pessimistic expectations, it is well below 69% a year ago. Yet wheat is one of the best-supplied markets in the grain complex.
Corn and soybeans, also used as animal feed, both have critically low stock levels this year and analysts warn that even a record world harvest will not be enough to build up a buffer into 2011-12. Rabobank International analyst Erin FitzPatrick said that with concerns mounting over European and U.S. output, prices will need to stay high to ensure a large Southern Hemisphere harvest as well next season. She forecasts U.S. wheat prices will stay at $7.55/bushel into the third quarter of 2011, falling only slightly to $7.30/bushel by the end of the year. "The U.S. don't have enough acres to produce the record corn, wheat and soy crop that we need," she said. "We expect a price rally this year and we're not going to see the same drop off in prices in the way we did after the 2007-08 rally to incentivize Southern Hemisphere production."

Agricultural Companies Call For Increased USDA Research Funding (Source: CME)
A group of key U.S. agribusiness interests is calling for increased federal funding for agriculture research. Support for agricultural and food research is "totally inadequate and on the decline," the Global Harvest Initiative said in a policy paper released Wednesday. The group is a partnership formed by Monsanto Co., DuPont Co., Deere & Co. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. The group notes "considerable trepidation" in calling for increased research funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture given the country's fiscal problems, but said USDA research supports the entire global agriculture industry. The report said private companies' research is directed toward their own sales and profits, and that federal research is needed to address long-term and overlooked needs. The group said that spending on USDA research is far outstripped by spending on the National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation.

India Farm Minister: Government Should Allow Wheat, Rice Exports (Source: CME)
India should lift a ban on exports of wheat and common grades of rice as the country has sufficient stocks and will likely harvest a second year of bumper foodgrains output because of normal monsoon rains, Farm Minister Sharad Pawar said. "There is ample availability of wheat and rice. The government should apply its mind whether to enter the global market now," he told reporters, adding that high global prices will provide good returns to farmers. India produced a record food grain output of 235.9 million tons in the crop year ending June, after last year's monsoon rainfall came in at 102% of the long-term average. State-run warehouses are bulging with stocks, even as the government prepares to store the newly harvested wheat crop. Pawar said global wheat and rice prices are attractive and exports by India will help farmers earn better returns. On the impact of the normal monsoon forecast for June-September, Pawar said it will help achieve at least 4% farm sector growth this fiscal year started April 1.
"India can easily afford to export 2 million tons each of wheat and rice given the current level of stocks and production we are heading towards," Farm Secretary P.K Basu said. India will aim to produce around 240 million tons of foodgrains in the 2011-12 crop year starting July, he said, when asked about the impact of normal rains. The quantity of monsoon rains alone is not enough and the geographical spread during the season is equally crucial for India's agriculture sector, which lacks irrigation facilities in more than half its farm land. Pre-monsoon rains have lashed the breadbasket northern region over the past eight to 10 days and are likely to intensify, while there have also been showers in southern India, mainly in Kerala and coastal Karnataka. Weather officials say there is no reason to suspect any delays or any other concern over this year's monsoon.
Monsoon rains usually enter India's mainland through the southern state of Kerala in the first week of June, gradually progressing to cover most of central and northern India by July, before retreating in September.

Arabica coffee nears 34-year high, cocoa up
Arabica coffee rose on Wednesday, edging closer to the 34-year high hit in early March, underpinned by a shortage of high-quality beans and a weaker dollar. Cocoa rose as all eyes remained on top producer Ivory Coast as dealers awaited news on the resumption of exports and the condition of the mid crop.

India asks sugar mills to register for exports-source
NEW DELHI, April 19 (Reuters) - India, which has allowed exports of 500,000 tonnes of sugar following a bumper crop, has asked mills to register starting Tuesday, a source in the food ministry said. The official, who is directly involved in the decision making process, said permission would be granted within three days of the applications and the mills would have to ship out within four and half months.

Venezuela sugar output seen flat in 2011-attache
WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Venezuela:"The Venezuelan sugar industry foresees continued  essentially flat domestic production in 2011, due to the sector's marginal profitability and application of policies that do not effectively support cane output. Total imports are expected to thus remain strong at 800,000 tonnes. The government maintains the regulated consumer price at Bs. 3.73 per kilogram, an amount that domestic producers consider insufficient to cover rising production costs."

Crude Oil Trades Near an Eight-Day High After Equities Rise, Dollar Falls (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil traded near an eight-day high in New York after climbing as U.S. equities advanced amid optimism the economic recovery is accelerating, and the dollar tumbled, bolstering investor demand for commodities. Futures rose 2.9 percent yesterday, the most since March 17, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced to the highest level since June 2008 after sales at companies from Intel Corp. to Yahoo! Inc. beat projections. Prices also gained after the Energy Department reported an unexpected drop in crude supplies. “The stock market is a leading economic indicator, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that oil is up as well,” said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Washington. “If the stock market is higher, there’s a good chance that oil demand will be up as well.”

Gold Gains to Record for Sixth Straight Day, Climbs to $1,506.32 Per Ounce (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold for immediate delivery climbed as much as 0.3 percent to an all-time high of $1,506.32 an ounce in Singapore today. The metal has risen to a record every day since April 13. Bullion futures for June delivery traded at $1,504.30 an ounce, near a record $1,506.50.

PRECIOUS-Gold breaks $1,500/oz as investors seek security
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Gold shot up above $1,500 an ounce on Wednesday for the first time ever as worries over the health of the global economy boosted the metal as a safe haven.
Spot gold  hit a high of $1,505.21 an ounce and was bid at $1,505.16 an ounce at 0942 GMT, against $1,493.90 late in New York on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures for June delivery  rose $10.60 an ounce to $1,505.70.

China issues circular to restrict aluminium expansion
HONG KONG, April 20 (Reuters) - China on Wednesday called on central and provincial authorities to stop approving the construction of new aluminium smelting capacity in a circular posted on a government website.
Nine ministries and departments jointly issued the circular, which reiterates Beijing's policy of restricting aluminium capacity.

March daily average aluminium output 69,800 T -IAI
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Daily average primary aluminium output rose to 69,800 tonnes in March from 69,600 tonnes in February, provisional figures from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) showed on Wednesday.
Total production in March was 2.164 million tonnes, compared 1.949 million in February. Total production in March 2009 was 2.045 million tonnes.

Europe copper premiums up on short-term demand
LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - The premium for physical copper in Europe edged up this week, supported by near-term demand and some market tightness in Rotterdam, traders said.
The premium for copper in Rotterdam  -- paid above the London Metal Exchange (LME) cash price  -- was at $65-90 a tonne, traders said, versus last week's quotes of $60-75 a tonne and versus $40 in early April.

Japan steel output falls only slightly in March despite quake impact
TOKYO, April 20 (Reuters) - Japan's crude steel output fell a smaller-than-expected 2.7 percent in March from a year earlier as strong overseas demand offset the impact of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the steel industry association said on Wednesday.
Crude steel output came to 9.09 million tonnes in March, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation said. The data, which is not seasonally adjusted, marked an increase of 1.7 percent from February.

hina zinc stocks surge 50 percent to 1.5 mln T - trade
HONG KONG, April 20 (Reuters) - China's refined zinc stocks have risen by as much as 50 percent so far this year and may climb further in the second quarter as large smelters maintain full operations due to rosy demand forecasts, analysts and smelter officials said on Wednesday.
Increased stocks will weigh on domestic prices, which could cut China's purchases in the international market after an increase in refined zinc imports of 16 percent in the first two months of the year.

LME zinc stockpiles hit highest level since 1995
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Stockpiles of zinc held in warehouses monitored by the London Metal Exchange surged past the 800,000 tonne mark for the first time since 1995, data showed on Wednesday.
Zinc stocks climbed by 26,550 tonnes to 812,100 tonnes, the latest LME data showed.  

Tin premiums hold near record high, market tight
LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - Premiums for physical tin in Europe held firm near record highs this week, supported by market tightness and robust demand, traders said.
Traders quoted premiums for Chinese material  -- paid over the London Metal Exchange (LME) cash price  -- at $500-$650 a tonne versus last week's $500-550 a tonne. This matched peaks in early March, which were the highest since records began in 1998.

METALS-Copper advances ahead of U.S. housing data
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Copper climbed for a second session on Wednesday on hopes the U.S. housing sector will show further signs of revival in data due later, while aluminium rallied to new two-and-a-half-year highs.
Three month copper  on the London Metal Exchange traded at $9,480 at 0947 GMT, up from a close of $9,340 a tonne on Tuesday. Aluminium  pushed to fresh peaks.

20110421 0934 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

 Soy Oil chart reading : side way range bound.

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soy futures end higher, bucking losses in corn amid a weak US dollar and tight soy supplies. Analysts say action was in part a correction in the corn-soybean spread, which had narrowed recently. Technical chart support helped keep the market firm despite a 2.5% tumble in corn, as did weak US dollar, Prime Ag Consultants analyst Chad Henderson says. Still, soybean demand has been lackluster recently, and Henderson says "you're going to need supply disruptions to get above $14." Soybean planting still weeks away in most areas. May soy up 15 3/4c, or 1.2%, to $13.57 3/4 per bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
CBOT soy products end higher in tandem with soybeans as a weaker US dollar supported commodities generally. While corn slumped on an improved weather forecast, the soy complex surged ahead with support from a weaker USD and gains in gold and other commodities. Traders say there was selling of corn and buying of soy. May CBOT soyoil up 0.61c to 58.14c per pound; May soymeal up $2.80 to $349.20 per short ton.

Palm oil up on firm overseas markets; exports drop (Source: Reuters)
Malaysian palm oil futures rose more than 1 percent on Wednesday as traders booked positions on firmer overseas markets, despite key exports data showing weakening demand. "Market players are short covering to correct the oversold situation," said a trader in Kuala Lumpur.

Soy battle to heat up as China steps back
SINGAPORE, April 20 (Reuters) - A slowdown in Chinese soybean purchases will leave substantial volumes from Brazil and Argentina to compete with new-crop U.S. beans after September, threatening the country's normal market dominance in the fourth quarter. Availability of South American beans could weigh on benchmark Chicago prices already down more than 4 percent this month as wheat and corn both rise.

Indonesian palm oil demand seen up 80 pct by 2015
JAKARTA, April 19 (Reuters) - Consumption of crude palm oil (CPO) in Indonesia, the world's top producer, will rise by about 80 percent to 18.7 million tonnes by 2015, due to greater demand from downstream industries, a government official said. Southeast Asia's largest economy consumed between 10.5 million and 11 million tonnes of CPO in 2010, but will increase this to 28 million tonnes by 2020, Abdul Rochim, an official at the Indonesian industry ministry told Reuters in an interview.