Monday, May 23, 2011

20110523 1828 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3355, changed : -35 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : pullback correction little upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in control.
Support : 3350, 3300, 3270, 3250 level.
Resistance : 3420, 3450, 3470, 3500 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded loss with increasing volume changed hand doing downward pullback correction while soy oil last Friday closed unchanged and currently trading lower influence by lower crude oil that down more than 2.5%.
European debts worries hit market sentiment resulting most commodities price to trade lower after weaker Euro against stronger U.S Dollar.
Daily chart formed a wide range down bar candle corrected downward to closed below upper Bollinger band level after market opened little higher, fall lower partially due to profit taking activities and closed near the low of the day.
Technical wise, market is currently having pullback correction within little upside biased 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.

20110523 1737 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1518.5 changed : -18.5 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : weakening, buyer taking profit.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485, 1470  level.
Resistance : 1530, 1540, 1550, 1565 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded substantial losses with higher volume transacted doing 10 points discount compare to cash market that also closed recorded wide losses while regional(Asia & European) trading in negative territory and last Friday U.S. market closed lower recorded declined for a third straight week.
News wise, increased worries on Greece will default on its debt after Fitch Ratings cut Greece’s credit rating triggered the euro dropped to a one-week low resulted a higher U.S Dollar plus Italy Outlook Revised to Negative by S&P added to the negative sentiment today.
Daily chart formed wide range down bar candle closed below middle Bollinger band support level after market opened gap down, edge up little higher and plunged downwards all the way to closed near the low of the day.
Technical reading turned to suggesting a side way range bound market development possibly testing lower support level with MACD indicator about to having a negative cross down.
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.

20110523 1629 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Debt worries hits euro, stocks; govt debt, gold gain
HONG KONG, May 23 (Reuters) - Renewed worries in the euro-zone over the weekend pulled the euro down to a record low against the Swiss franc, weakened risky assets such as Asian stocks and boosted safe haven investments like U.S. government debt and gold on Monday.  "Sustained foreign selling following U.S. stocks' fall and caution about the global economic backdrop is weighing, and this is likely to continue until June," said Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at Hyundai Securities, adding the market still had relatively firm support at its 120-day moving average of 2,060 points.    

Indonesia to keep June palm oil, cocoa export tax unchanged
JAKARTA, May 20 (Reuters) - Indonesia's government will keep its palm oil and cocoa bean export tax unchanged in June at 17.5 percent and 10 percent respectively, a trade ministry official said on Friday.
The base export price for crude palm oil (CPO), which is used to calculate the export tax in the world's largest producer of the vegetable oil, will be set at $1,075 a tonne, said Deddy Saleh, director general of foreign trade at the Indonesian trade ministry.

Rains delay Argentina's 2010/11 soy harvest -gov't
BUENOS AIRES, May 20 (Reuters) - Showers in Argentina's farming areas caused some delays in the country's 2010/11 soy harvest, the government said in its weekly report on Friday, although most of the crop has already been brought in.
The South American country is the world's No. 1 soymeal and soyoil exporter, as well as its third-biggest soybean supplier. The government expects the 2010/11 harvest to total 50.4 million tonnes.

Canada canola crushers process record 4.8 mln tonnes
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 20 (Reuters) - Canada's oilseed crushers processed a record 4.812 million tonnes of canola in the current 2010/11 crop year, data from the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) showed on Friday.
The rapid pace reflects additional capacity from new plants in Saskatchewan opened by Richardson International Limited and Louis Dreyfus Canada, as well as strong export demand for canola meal and oil.

Corn jumps to 1-month top, wheat up on supply worries
SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose 1.2 percent on Monday to its highest in nearly a month, while wheat rose almost 1 percent, adding to last week's spectacular rally as harsh weather from the U.S. to Europe and China threatened to
squeeze grain supplies.  "It is highly likely that the farmer will not be able to finish corn plantings, so it's going to very bullish for corn prices," said Ker Chung Yang, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. "The weather is a key factor and the market is looking forward to USDA's crop progress report."

Vietnam crushed a bumper sugar crop, imports to slow
HANOI, May 21 (Reuters) - Vietnam's sugar output in the 2010/2011 crushing season jumped by a quarter from last year to 1.13 million tonnes, prompting market regulators to slow imports of the commodity in coming months, a state-run newspaper reported on Saturday.
Vietnam, a tiny sugar producer by world standards, could face a surplus this year in line with global markets, as smuggling of Thai sugar has been rising while domestic prices are high, industry officials say.  

Beneficial rains fall in US southern Plains wheat
CHICAGO, May 20 (Reuters) - Beneficial rains moved through the drought-stressed southern Plains in the past day, helping the maturing Kansas wheat crop, a forecaster said Friday.
"The deterioration of the Kansas crop is going to slow a little due to the rain in the last 24 hours, with more coming today and again next Tuesday and Wednesday," said Mike Palmerino of Telvent DTN weather service.

U.S. crude drops below $100 on dollar, euro zone debt
SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude slipped below $100 a barrel on Monday as investors flocked to the dollar on renewed concerns over the euro zone debt crisis.     "The dollar is definitely the driving factor as the market is looking for a new direction following the sharp correction earlier this month," said David Cohen, director of Asian Economic Forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore. 

US gasoline price down to $3.91/gal, may dip further
NEW YORK, May 22 (Reuters) - The average price at the tank for a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell in the past two weeks, and should drop more as floods in the southeast curb demand and refiners and gas stations feel pressure to pass lower costs on to drivers, an industry analyst said on Sunday.
The national average price for self-serve, regular unleaded gas fell 9.24 cents on May 20 to $3.9074 per gallon, compared to $3.9998 on May 6, according to a nationwide survey of some 2,500 gas stations in larger metropolitan areas in the continental United States.

London copper down on firm dollar, euro debt woes
SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - London copper fell on Monday as part of a broad decline across the base metals complex on a
stronger dollar, worries about the euro zone debt crisis and bearish technicals.
"The strengthening of the U.S. dollar no doubt has an impact on the copper markets today," a Sydney-based trader said.

Global crude steel output slows down, Japan weighs
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - Global crude steel production slowed in April, for the first time this year after hitting a record high in March, on weaker apparent demand and after an earthquake and tsunami cut Japan's output.
Global crude steel production was at 127 million tonnes in April, 7 percent up from April 2010 but 2 percent down from March, when it hit a record high at 129 million tonnes.

Gold rises to near two-week top on euro zone debt woes
SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - Investors ditched the euro and turned to gold as a safe haven after Fitch cut Greece's debt ratings by three notches, pushing the country deeper into junk. "I would expect gold to be supported above the $1,500 level. If the crisis starts to involve other nations beyond Greece, then we could see gold heading to a new record high," said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.  "Silver is still trying to gain ground after the huge fall earlier. If we do see a new record for gold, then I think silver will move higher."

20110523 1159 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Euro weakens on debt worries; stocks dip
HONG KONG, May 23 (Reuters) - The euro tumbled to a record low against the Swiss franc on Monday on renewed concerns about the euro zone's debt crisis, prompting investors to switch out of riskier assets such as equities.
"I expect the market to start off carefully today. Investor sentiment remains fragile. Eurozone debt concerns continue, and investors will await key global economic data due out later this week," said Han Beom-ho, a market analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

OIL: Volatile oil ends higher, eyeing Europe and euro
NEW YORK, May 20 (Reuters) - Oil rose in thin, volatile trading on Friday, bouncing back from sharp mid-session losses as traders struggled to set a clear direction in a market buffeted by new euro zone concerns and mixed signals on demand.
"Any commodity can serve as a store of value if you are worried about currencies you were holding and while gold is the easiest to hold, its price is very high and that may have benefited oil," said Bill O'Grady, chief investment strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis.

NATURAL GAS: Natural gas ends up 3 pct, rebounds with crude
NEW YORK, May 20 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures rose more than 3 percent on Friday, rebounding with stronger crude futures and ongoing nuclear plant outages despite mild weather that has curbed demand in much of the nation.
"As natural gas edged closer to the $4 per mmBtu area, some erratic reversals in crude futures brought out the buyers yet again, perhaps helped by headlines reminding us that terrorist groups have been targeting U.S. oil and gas infrastructures," Jay Levine, broker with enerjay, LLC in Portland, Maine said.

COMMODITIES: Ends up as oil reverses fall: corn up 11pct on week
NEW YORK, May 20 (Reuters) - Commodities rebounded on Friday, with oil rising 1 percent on book squaring at the end of a volatile week, and metals and most agricultural markets posted gains too.
"I don't think we've reached any change in the underlying conditions in the market," said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Iraq sees oil output hike despite constraints
BASRA, Iraq, May 21 (Reuters) - Iraq expects output from its southern oilfields to hit up to 2.5 million barrels per day at the end of this year despite crumbling infrastructure, the head of South Oil Co. (SOC) told Reuters on Saturday.
Its offshore terminals are stretched to capacity and dilapidated. Its export pipeline to Turkey suffers frequent maintenance problems and is often bombed.

Kazakhstan plans flat oil export duty until 2014
ASTANA, May 21 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest oil producer, plans to keep its crude export duty at $40 per tonne until 2014, its economy minister said on Saturday, promising a stable export regime for producers.
"There can come such a delicate moment: if you are charging taxpayers, there comes a moment when you just overload them," Kairat Kelimbetov told Reuters in an interview.

20110523 1016 Global Economic Related News.

EU: Fitch Cuts Greece to B+, Says Maturity Extension Is Default
Greece’s credit rating was cut three levels by Fitch Ratings, which said that even a voluntary extension of its bond maturities being studied by European Union policy makers would be considered a default. Fitch cut its rating to B+, four levels below investment grade, from BB+ and said that the country could face a further reduction in its creditworthiness. The yield on Greek 10-year bonds rose 57 basis points to 16.6%, more than twice the level of a year ago when Greece accepted an EU-led bailout. (Bloomberg)

IMF board aims to pick successor to Strauss-Kahn by June 30
The International Monetary Fund said it will aim to pick a leader to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn by the end of June and promised to choose the most-qualified candidate from among front-runners announced by the agency. “The executive board has adopted a procedure that allows the selection of the next managing director to take place in an open, merit-based and transparent manner,” Shakour Shaalan, the senior member of the IMF’s 24-person board, said in a statement yesterday in Washington. (Bloomberg)

US: Treasury two-year notes advance for sixth week on Fed rate view
Treasury two-year notes rose for a sixth week in the longest winning streak since August as manufacturing and housing weakness reinforced bets that the Federal Reserve will keep borrowing costs low. Benchmark 10-year securities advanced as New York Fed President William Dudley said the central bank is falling short of its goals because of the modest pace of the recovery, with unemployment too high and inflation likely to ease. The government will sell USD35bn of two-year notes, the same amount of five-year notes and USD29bn of sevenyear notes next week in three daily consecutive sales starting 24 May. (Bloomberg)

Portugal: IMF board approves EUR26bn loan to Portugal
The International Monetary Fund approved a EUR26bn (USD36.8bn) loan to Portugal as part of a joint bailout with the European Union in the latest effort to stem the region’s sovereign debt crisis. The Washington-based institution will make EUR6.1bn available immediately, the fund said in an e-mailed statement today. The IMF followed European officials, who on May 16 endorsed the EUR78bn (USD110bn) joint package. (Bloomberg)

Italy: Outlook revised to negative by S&P; Ratings affirmed. Italy's credit outlook was revised to negative from stable by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, which affirmed the country's A+/A-1+ sovereign credit ratings.

Japan: BOJ refrains from adding stimulus even as economy contracts
The Bank of Japan’s policy board unanimously voted to maintain monetary policy even after a report yesterday showed the country slipped into a recession following a record earthquake. Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and his eight colleagues decided to maintain a 30trn yen (USD370bn) credit program and a 10trn yen assetpurchase fund that represent the bank’s main policy tools. Deputy Governor Kiyohiko Nishimura dropped his call made last month to expand asset buys to provide more stimulus. The key overnight rate was kept at zero to 0.1%. (Bloomberg)

India: Inflation may prompt to dump budget goal
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee may dump his target of trimming India’s budget deficit, as the fastest inflation among major Asian economies prompts him to spend more on interest payments, salaries and subsidies, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. Inflation is forecast at 9.5% in the year ending 31 March, according to Nomura. The government targets revenue expenditure to rise 4.1% in the same period, the slowest pace in 11 years, assuming lower fuel and fertilizer subsidies. (Bloomberg)

Taiwan: Export orders increased less than estimated in April
Taiwan’s export orders increased less than estimated in April as demand for the island’s electronics products and semiconductors eased in China and the U.S. Orders, an indication of shipments in the next one to three months, rose 10.14% from a year earlier after a 13.37% gain in March, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in Taipei today. The median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 14.65% advance. (Bloomberg)

20110523 1013 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

 KLCI chart reading :
little upside biased with possible pullback correction.

TSH counts on land bank to expand plantation ops
TSH Resources is banking on its sizeable unplanted land bank of 60,000ha to continue expanding its plantation business. It has allocated about RM100m in capex for new planting of oil palm trees on these parcels of land which are largely located in Indonesia, group MD Datuk Tan Aik Sim said. Currently, TSH's planted oil palm plantation in Indonesia and Sabah measures some 39,000ha. Of this, more than half are immature. Tan said TSH's fresh fruit bunches production was projected to grow at an average compounded growth of 43% over the next four years. (Starbiz)

TSH Resources: Plans RM470m investment in Indonesia. TSH Resources Bhd is stepping up its Indonesia operations with investments totaling RM470m in the next 4 years which is expected to result in a compounded growth of 43% in fresh fruit brunches production by 2014. (Source: Malaysian Reserve)   

MPHB to focus on gaming after completing stake buy
Multi-Purpose Holdings’ (MPHB) acquisition of the remaining 47% stake it does not own in Magnum Holdings SB for a collective price of RM1.6bn will be completed by 11 June. With the completion of the exercise, the company intended to focus on its core business of gaming, said MPHB managing director Surin Upatkoon. They would also focus on cutting its borrowings by raising RM1bn through non-core gaming assets sale, he added. (StarBiz)

Sime invests in Liberia
Plantation conglomerate Sime Darby is planning to invest USD3.1bn in its oil palm and rubber plantation ventures in Liberia over the next 15 years. Chairman Tun Musa Hitam said its unit, Sime Darby Plantations SB, to date had invested RM50m (USD17m) in the West African country. In 2009, an amended and restated concession agreement between Sime Darby Plantation and the Liberian government gave the company a 63- year concession of 220,000ha in Liberia to be developed into oil palm and rubber plantations. “We expect by 2015 some 10,800 tonnes of crude palm oil will be produced from our plantations in Liberia,” Musa told Malaysian and Liberian reporters after the official launch of Sime Darby Plantations' first oil palm seedlings planting at its first estate Matambo Estate in Grand Cape Mount County witnessed by Liberia vice-president Joseph Boakai. (StarBiz)

MSC eyes new tin mines
Malaysia Smelting Corporation is currently looking to acquire concessions for three or four tin mines in Malaysia and Indonesia to tap into strong demand from China's booming electronics industry. The company might invest up to RM200m to increase its mining assets in the near term, MSC CEO Datuk Mohd Ajib Anuar told Reuters. “We raised RM104m from the Singapore listing, and out of that we've earmarked RM80m for financing development of new mines,” Anuar said. “With that RM80m plus some borrowing, we would have possibly RM150m to RM200m to look for expansion of new mines,” he said, adding that potential locations were Bangka in Indonesia, as well as Perak and Pahang, two major tin-producing states in Malaysia. MSC also entered into a confidentiality agreement with Congo Ministry of Mines in Kinshasa. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the agreement was in connection with the disclosure of confidential information on certain prospective tin mining areas for a possible joint-venture cooperation in exploration and development of tin and related mineral resources in Congo. (StarBiz)

LBS MoU with India firm aborted
LBS Bina Group said the memorandum of understanding signed with Lodha Developer s Private Ltd for the development of one of the five sectors of the Dharavi Slum Rehabilitation Project in Mumbai, India, has been terminated. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority had rejected all the bids including those submitted by Lodha following the termination of the bidding process for the project. (StarBiz)

Prasarana revises pre-qualification criteria for some packages
Syarikat Prasarana Negara has revised its pre-qualification criteria for elevated civil works, stations and depots work construction packages for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang part of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit. Now it allows interested contractors to form joint ventures or consortiums among local companies. Prasarana also said it would be displaying the notice on the pre-qualification revision for eight days, beginning last Friday, adding that it had set for all applications to be submitted before 6 June. The planned construction period for the proposed Sungai Buloh Kajang MRT line is from 2011 to 2016 and, when completed, it would provide a fast train service for 1.2m people along the route. (StarBiz)

Mah Sing to launch RM2.5bn projects
Mah Sing Group will launch RM2.5bn to RM3bn worth of projects in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor this year to meet its sales target of RM2bn for the current financial year. Group MD and CEO Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the projects would comprise an array of commercial, residential and industrial properties. The two commercial projects are Icon City Petaling Jaya and Star Avenue@D’sara, while the industrial project is iParc 3@ Bukit Jelutong. Residential projects lined up for the launch in the Klang Valley include Hijauan residence in Cheras, Kinrara Residence, Aman Perdana, Bayu Sekamat, M Suites@Jln Ampang, M City@Jln Ampang and Garden Plaza in Cyberjaya. (StarBiz)

Kimlun targets RM600m new jobs
Construction outfit Kimlun Corp is confident of securing some RM600m worth of new jobs this year, which would add nicely to its current outstanding order book of about RM900m, said CEO Sim Tian Liang. The numbers look promising as they translate into about there years worth of contracts for the company based on its revenue last year of RM527.6m. Sim mentioned that this is achievable based on their contract wins. Their tender book is currently around RM500m. He added that the success rate from tenders is 20% to 25%, which is high given that more than two-thirds of its tenders are to repeat clients. (Financial Daily)

Ananda’s Indian ops dragged into spectrum scandal
Billionaire Tan Sri T Ananda Krishnan’s Indian telecommunications operation has been dragged into that country’s spectrum scandal that has seen at least one minister charged and several other key personalities, including influential MPs, hauled up. According to Economic Times of India, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which was directed by Indian courts to scrutinize decisions made by the Indian telecoms ministry, “is likely to ask Maxis Communications and former Telecoms Minister Dayanidhi Maran to assist in the investigation. (Financial Daily)

Ramunia: Targets RM903m offshore job in Mumbai. Ramunia Holdings Bhd is eyeing a USD300m (about RM903m) fabrication job in the oil and gas industry offshore Mumbai with its Indian partner. The said bid is for work at India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltds (ONGC) wellhead platform with pipeline facilities for oil-field cluster 7 and 16. The firm is also tendering for about RM500m worth of local job. (Source: Malaysian Reserve)

Three-A: China JV plant with Wilmar on track. The construction of the multi-storey manufacturing plant in China, which is easily three times the size of Three-A's operations in Malaysia, is on track for completion as early as the third quarter this year. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Labelux Buys Jimmy Choo for About $811 Million(Source: Bloomberg)
Labelux, the privately held group that owns Bally, agreed to buy upscale shoemaker Jimmy Choo on expectations for further growth in luxury accessories. Labelux paid TowerBrook Capital Partners LLP more than 500 million pounds ($811 million) for Jimmy Choo, according to two people familiar with the matter. TowerBrook made more than three times its initial equity investment, said one of the people, who declined to be named because the information is private.

20110523 0947 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

   Soy Oil chart reading : side way range bound.

Soybeans(Source: CME)
US soybean futures ended flat as prices stabilized in the absence of fresh news to produce definitive movement in either direction. The market has reached a price level that factors in tight supplies and uncertain 2011 production and planting, analysts said. However, slow export and domestic demand, plus the threat of plantings delays for corn possibly shifting some intended corn plantings to soybeans, limits further upside price movement. CBOT July beans end up 3/4c at $13.80 1/4 a bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil(Source: CME)
Soy-product futures end little changed, following the lead of soybeans, stabilizing in unison with them amid a consolidation move in the absence of fresh fundamental news to direct prices. CBOT July soyoil closed flat at 57.46c/pound and July soymeal settled down 80c at $360.60/short ton.

Palm oil hits six-week high on strong exports, markets
KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures hit more than six-week highs as upbeat exports data and broad gains across commodity markets buoyed sentiments. "Local export data is good and overseas markets have given extra support for Malaysian palm oil," said a trader with foreign brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. " The market is trying to test the level of 3,400 ringgit."

Indonesia forest moratorium softens blow for planters
JAKARTA, May 20 (Reuters) - Indonesia revealed a long list of exemptions on Friday to a two-year moratorium on new permits to clear forest, a concession to the hard-lobbying plantation industry in the world's top palm oil producing nation but vexed some green groups.
The moratorium, taking effect on Friday after a five-month delay, will exempt permits already given in principle by the forestry ministry and extensions of existing permits, as well as projects to develop supplies of energy, rice and sugar.

Argentine soy yields low as harvest nears end
BUENOS AIRES, May 19 (Reuters) - Argentine farmers made good progress to bring in 2010/11 soybeans over the last week, but yields were unexpectedly low, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday.
Dry, hot weather in March affected soy crops in the South American country, the world's top supplier of soyoil and soymeal, hampering the development of late-planted beans.

Argentine corn, soy forecasts unchanged-govt
BUENOS AIRES, May 19 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2010/11 soy harvest is expected to come in at 50.4 million tonnes, the government said in its monthly crop report on Thursday, unchanged from last month's forecast.
Argentina's 2010/11 corn harvest is expected to be 20.9 million tonnes, the report said, the same as the government's forecast a month earlier.

20110523 0944 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn(Source: CME)
US corn futures close higher as wet weather is expected to continue delaying planting. Rains will fall in western Illinois Saturday and start proceeding eastward, according to meteorologists at Freese-Notis Weather, a private forecaster. "We're going to have seven days of rain," predicts Bill Wiebold, extension specialist at the University of Missouri. Grain users, nervous about tight inventories, are snapping up supplies left over from last year's harvest because they worry this fall's will start late. CBOT July corn rises 11 1/4c to $7.59 1/2 a bushel.

Wheat(Source: CME)
US wheat futures finish lower as traders book profits following recent rallies. CBOT wheat pulled back for the second day after gaining more than 17% for the week as of Wednesday's close. Yet, concerns persist about harsh weather reducing global output. Excessive rains in the US northern Plains and dryness in France are unfavorable for crops. Grain users worry supplies of high-quality wheat are tightening. CBOT July wheat drops 5 1/2c to $8.06 1/2 a bushel; KCBT July loses 11 1/2c to $9.33 1/4; MGE July slides 6 1/2c to $9.99 3/4.

Rice(Source: CME)
US rice futures finish stronger as the market continues to rebound from a nearly 1-month low hit last week, climbing almost 10% since May 11. Concerns about rains delaying US planting and hurting early crop development add support, an analyst says. CBOT July rice rises 8 1/2c to $15.10/hundredweight.

Corn in Chicago Gains as Much as 1.9% to $7.7375 a Bushel; Wheat Climbs(Source: Bloomberg)
Corn for July delivery increased as much as 1.9 percent to $7.7375 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade before trading at $7.7325 by 8:37 a.m. Singapore time, while wheat advanced as much as 1.7 percent to $8.20 a bushel and last traded at $8.175. July-delivery soybeans rose 0.6 percent to $13.88 a bushel.

US corn up on exports, wheat headed for biggest weekly gain
SINGAPORE, May 20 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose around half a percent, trading close to a three-week top as strong U.S. exports supported the market, while wheat dipped for a second day after climbing to a three-month high in the previous session. "We did see demand return quite significantly as U.S. export sales were particularly strong and what that signals to us is that significant pent up demand remains in the global feed grain market," said Luke Mathews, an agricultural commodities strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

S.Africa maize output f'cast seen steady
JOHANNESBURG, May 20 (Reuters)  - South Africa's May 2010-April 2011 season maize estimates are likely to remain steady from last month's forecast, a Reuters survey showed on Friday, but late and heavy rains could affect the crop quality.
The average estimates of seven trading houses polled by Reuters showed that Africa biggest economy's maize output for the 2010/11 season is likely to be 10.85 million tonnes, slightly more than the 10.8 million tonnes in the previous traders' forecast.

Rain lifts West Australia wheat crop prospects
SYDNEY, May 20 (Reuters) - Rain has fallen across Western Australia this week, improving crop prospects for what is typically the country's top wheat exporting state, where hopes had been fading for pick-up in production following a prolonged drought.
More wet weather is forecast for the next 24-hours, according to the country's weather bureau, providing a window of opportunity for the state's farmers to start seeding crops in the hope of recovering from one of the worst harvests on record in 2010/11.

Vietnam rice exports rise 20.6 pct in year to date
HANOI, May 20 (Reuters) - Vietnam's rice exports so far this year have reached 2.87 million tonnes, a rise of 20.6 percent from a year ago, the Vietnam Food Association said.
That reflects deals Vietnam signed earlier this year with the Philippines, Indonesia and several African countries. However, rice prices in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia may ease in coming weeks as demand has now slowed and supply is rising.

Farm states suffer expanded drought, wheat suffers
KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 19 (Reuters) - A dire drought that has plagued Texas and parts of Oklahoma expanded across the key farming state of Kansas over the last week, adding to struggles of wheat farmers already dealing with weather-ravaged fields.
Harvest in Kansas, the top U.S. wheat-growing state, is set to begin within weeks. But a report issued Thursday by a consortium of climatologists said the three most severe levels of drought spread across the state over the last week, with the most dire conditions concentrated in the key wheat-growing south-central and southwest parts.

Heavy rains loom over eastern U.S. Corn Belt
CHICAGO, May 19 (Reuters) - Heavy rains will move through the U.S. Corn Belt beginning Thursday in the west and continuing until next week in the east, slowing crop planting especially in eastern Midwest, a forecaster said on Thursday.
"The biggest concerns are still Indiana, Ohio and North Dakota. That area is in tough shape and it's going to get very wet as we go into the weekend and the first part of next week," said Mike Palmerino, Telvent DTN forecaster.

China Unlikely To Start Government Wheat Purchase Program This Year(Source: CME)
China is unlikely to start a program to buy wheat from farmers at government-set minimum prices for state reserves this year, as market wheat prices are well above the protective level, the State Administration of Grain said. In October of last year, the government set this year's wheat purchase prices for state reserves at CNY1,860-CNY1,900/ton, up to 8% higher than a year earlier, to protect farmers' interests. Market wheat prices are now around CNY2,150/ton. The administration expected good harvests of wheat and rapeseed this year, but prices of wheat and rapeseed oil will likely be stable and remain at high levels after the current harvest is completed, it said in a statement, without mentioning the highly-anticipated government purchase prices for rapeseed. Market talk that China Grain Reserves Corp.
will buy rapeseed at CNY4,500-CNY4,600/ton, up sharply from last year's CNY3,900/ton, drove benchmark January rapeseed oil futures up on Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange to settle at CNY10,506/ton, a three-week high.

Mexico Sees 2011 Food Export Value At $20 Billion, Up 10%(Source: CME)
Mexico's food exports will reach a value of $20 billion in 2011, up from roughly $18 billion last year, an official with the Agriculture Ministry said. A low inflation rate and macroeconomic factors are favorable for the agriculture sector this year, said Ernesto Fernandez-Arias, deputy minister for the ministry's agricultural aid unit. The production of sorghum, wheat, cotton and other crops is expected to go up as favorable prices motivate producers to increase the amount of land cultivated. Officials with the ministry said earlier today that the country plans to increase the presence of its agricultural products in the U.S. as well as to branch out from its northern neighbor's market.

Argentina Minister: More Food Output Needed To Address High Prices(Source: CME)
Argentina reiterated its position that high global prices for foodstuffs like grain need to be addressed by increasing production, rather than regulating prices. Speaking at a gathering of agriculture ministers from Group of 20 nations, Agriculture Minister Julian Dominguez said the use of technology like genetic engineering and the cultivation of semi arable lands are key if food production is to keep pace with the World's growing population. "The solution to the problem of hunger is more food and not looking for mechanisms to artificially reduce international prices," he said during the opening address. Argentina aims to increase its output of grain and oil seeds to 160 million metric tons by the end of the decade, up from an estimated 100 million tons this year, he said. Argentina leads the world in soymeal and soyoil exports and is the third-largest soybean exporter. Argentina is also the world's No. 2 corn exporter.
Though prices for many agricultural commodities have backed off record highs in recent weeks, they remain elevated due in part to fears about tight supplies. U.S. corn inventories are projected to reach a 15-year low this year, while global wheat supplies face adverse weather conditions in the U.S. Plains, Canada, and France. In February, the World Bank warned that soaring food prices had pushed tens of millions of people into poverty across the globe. Argentina and Brazil--two of the world's largest commodity producers and G-20 members--have opposed efforts to regulate the trading and prices of commodities. France, which holds the presidency of the G-20 this year, has pushed for greater oversight of the financial markets that deal in commodities. Argentine officials have shown some willingness to discuss greater regulation and transparency of derivatives markets.
"The elevated volatility for these products which worries the presidency of the G-20, is without a doubt related to financial speculation," Argentina's Economy Minister Amado Boudou said at the event. While the administration of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez has resisted attempts to lower international prices for agricultural products, at home she has taken a number of measures to keep domestic food prices low. Her government tightly controls wheat and corn exports, only clearing shipments once domestic supply has been set aside. Those limits irritate farmers, who say that it forces them to sell their harvest at less attractive prices on the local market. Taxes on grain exports, namely soybeans, are an important source of revenue for the Fernandez administration. Those exports also underpinn the country's hefty trade surplus, which totaled $12.06 billion last year.

European Wheat Prices To Revisit 3-Year Highs On Drought-Analysts(Source: CME)
Forecasters and traders said wheat prices could hit the three-year highs touched in February if drought in Europe and the U.S. continues to stress next year's wheat crop. New-crop wheat prices have gained sharply this week, hitting three-month peaks of EUR251.50 a metric ton on the November Paris milling wheat contract on Thursday, driven by concerns next season's harvest could be irreparably damaged. But now analysts say the current bull run may continue, taking futures above the near-record highs of EUR281/ton touched in February as the worst drought in decades tightens its grip on Europe's fecund farmland. "I think there are still significant risks that wheat prices could push back to the highs we saw in February if weather doesn't improve in the coming weeks," said Erin Fitzpatrick, an analyst at Rabobank.
Production expectations for next season are falling by the day as drought across key growing regions of France, Germany, the U.K. and Poland--which account for 65% of EU-27 output--wilts the young crops in the fields. Parts of Europe received less than 40% of their average rainfall between February and April and analysts now say up to 12% of France and Germany's crop will be lost even if rain does arrive. "If we do not get the right mix of rain and sun in the coming 8-10 weeks, then later this year we will see record price levels," said Charles Robertson of Renaissance Capital. Concerns about crops in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Russia are also keeping the market nervous. Last year's rally was sparked when an historic drought in Russia prompted the Kremlin to ban exports and take tens of millions of tons of the world's cheapest wheat out of the international market.
Although initially delayed by poor weather, at the end of last week Russian farmers had planted spring crops on 18.921 million hectares, only 4.5% less than on the same date last year, the Agriculture Ministry reported. In forecast generally regarded as over-optimistic by the trade, the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week forecast that wheat exports from the Black Sea region, including Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan could double to more than 26 million tons in 2011-12. But Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank, said with weather so unpredictable at this stage, any production estimates are very much uncertain until the grain is in the storage bins. "We're still in the development stage," he said. "The troubles last year only came in June to July. "EUR280/ton is definitely on the cards at the moment."

Spain Asks For Early EU CAP Payments As Weather Hurts Farmers(Source: CME)
Spain has become the latest country to apply for early European farming support subsidies this year as poor weather continues to threaten harvests across the region, a spokesman for the European Commission said. The European Union's executive arm has already approved in principal France's request for an advance on the Common Agricultural Policy, which would pay farmers around $4 billion on Oct. 16, rather than in December. But Roger Waite told Dow Jones Newswires Spain had also applied for early support for its producers, which could total up to $2.6 billion, while "Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg are expressing an interest, and Hungary too." Europe is in the grip of the worst drought to hit the region for decades, with some parts receiving only around 40% of their average rainfall between February and April. France's Ecology Minister has declared "a state of crisis" and imposed restrictions on the use of water in 28 out of 96 of its administrative regions due to the lack of rainfall.
In Spain, however, unseasonably heavy downfalls have stopped farmers planting this year's tomato crop, delaying the start of the season. Analysts forecast output from the key producing region of Extremadura could fall 22% compared with 2010 to 1.38 million metric tons, while Andalusia could lose 35% of its crop compared with last year. Waite said the Commission is likely to decide on the early payments in June or July. The Oct. 16 deadline is imposed because it is the start of the new budget year and so advances couldn't be made before then, he said. But he added that under the EU's state aid scheme, farmers could be paid up to EUR7,500 in extra support over a three year period. "It's not possible for things to be advanced before 16 October but if farmers were to go to a bank and ask for banks to advance the statement the member costs could cover the cost of interest under state aid," he said.

France Expands Restrictions on Use of Water as Dry Conditions, Heat Endure(Source: Bloomberg)
French authorities widened water-use restrictions to 42 of France’s 96 mainland departments as drought conditions persisted in the country, the European Union’s largest agricultural producer. The number of departments in France with limits and bans on water use as of yesterday had increased from 28 on May 16, according to a statement by the Environmental Ministry published on its website today.

Sugar, coffee firm, NY sugar week wraps up
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - ICE sugar and coffee futures firmed in early trading in modest volumes, with many dealers travelling back to their desks as New York sugar industry week wrapped up. ICE raw sugar futures edged up in light volumes with upside capped by forecasts for a wider global surplus of the sweetener in 2011/12 as New York sugar industry week wrapped up. A European broker noted that the Brazilian crop size was being talked down at the New York sugar week, which was attended by many Brazilian producers.

Peru coffee output seen up 5 pct-attache
WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Peru:  "Peru's coffee production for Marketing Year 2012 is forecast at 4.4 million 60-kilogram bags, an increase of 5 percent compared to the previous year. Coffee exports in CY 2010 were 229,524 tonnes valued at a record of $887 million. Coffee exports in MY 2012 are forecast at 4.2 million 60-kilogram bags."

Brazil begins harvesting high-quality coffee crop
BRASILIA/SAO PAULO, May 19 (Reuters) - Brazil's coffee pickers are heading back to the fields to gather the world's largest coffee crop now turning ripe and showing high quality, signaling relief for a coffee trade juggling low stocks.
Agronomists and traders at three cooperatives and one broker contacted by Reuters were much more optimistic about the crop's prospects than at the outset of the previous two crops, dogged by weather-related quality problems early on.

Oil Declines Amid Concerns Over U.S. Economic Growth, Greek Debt Default(Source: Bloomberg)
Oil declined in New York amid signs the economy is slowing in the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation and on concern Greece may default on its debt, stoking speculation fuel demand may slow. Futures slid as much as 0.7 percent today after U.S. stocks fell for a third week and Staples Inc. and Gap Inc. cut profit projections. A U.S. Commerce Department report on May 27 may show consumer spending cooled in April, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is scheduled to brief his Cabinet today on added budget cuts and asset sales to keep European aid flowing.

April daily average aluminium output 70,400 T -IAI
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - Daily average primary aluminium output in April rose to 70,400 tonnes from 69,800 tonnes in March, provisional figures from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) showed on Friday.
Total production in April was 2.112 million tonnes, compared with 2.163 million tonnes in March and 1.983 million in April 2010.

Russian Copper eyes $1.2 bln London IPO-paper
MOSCOW, May 20 (Reuters) - Russian Copper Co (RCC) plans to offer 20-25 percent of shares in a London float this year, anticipating a recovery in copper prices, business newspaper Kommersant said on Friday.
Russia's third-biggest copper producer could raise between $900 million and $1.2 billion through the IPO scheduled for the third quarter of the year, Kommersant said, citing sources close to the situation and RCC's shareholders.

U.S. brass mill imports, exports up in March yr/yr
NEW YORK, May 19 (Reuters) - U.S. imports of brass mill products rose 4.9 percent in March compared with March 2010, and exports increased by 10.4 percent from the year ago period, an industry group said this week.
Imports of all brass mill products into the United States in March firmed to 43,933,141 lbs from 41,895,716 lbs in the year-ago period, the Copper and Brass Fabricators Council said in its monthly report.

S.Korea buys 1,500 T copper; reissues tin tender
SEOUL, May 20 (Reuters) - South Korea bought 1,500 tonnes of copper cathode for shipment by July 15 to the port of Incheon via a tender closed on May 13, while passing on a tin tender that will now close on May 26, the state-run Public Procurement Service said on Friday.
The agency bought copper from domestic refiner LS Nikko at a premium of $88 per tonne over London Metal Exchange (LME) cash prices on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis, it said on its website ( 

China daily crude steel output at record high early May
BEIJING/SHANGHAI, May 20 (Reuters) - Daily output of crude steel in China reached 1.9467 million tonnes in the first 10 days of May, with production at record levels despite worries about power shortages and the impact of Beijing's monetary tightening policies.
Industry consultancy Mysteel, citing data from the China Iron and Steel Association, said output was up 0.29 percent from May 1-10 compared with the previous 10 days.

Quality issues threaten India iron ore sales to China
MUMBAI/BEIJING, May 19 (Reuters) - India's iron ore exports and prices could be hit by quality issues on $2.2 billion of shipments raised by top buyer China, an Indian industry official said on Thursday.
India is the world's third-largest iron ore supplier and sends almost all its exports to China, trade worth around $1.5 billion per month.

METALS-Copper up, investors look to China signals
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Friday, regaining ground after losses in the previous session, as a weaker dollar lent support and investors looked to positive signals from top consumer China.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange  traded at $9,046 a tonne by 0934 GMT from $8,950 at Thursday's  close. The metal used in power and construction has seen some choppy trade this week, rising some 3 percent on Wednesday before falling again on Thursday.

PRECIOUS-Gold up on loose U.S. monetary policy prospects
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday, helped by a soft dollar after poor U.S. economic data this week raised prospects the Federal Reserve will keep monetary policy loose for some time to come.
Bullion has dropped about 5 percent since rallying to a lifetime high near $1,575 an ounce in early May, but expectations the Fed will keep monetary policy ultra-loose for a while longer could polish gold's safe haven appeal.

20110523 0943 Global Market Related News.

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

Hang Seng chart reading : correction range bound downside biased.

U.S. Stocks Fall a Third Week Amid Greece Debt Concern, Earnings Forecasts(Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks declined for a third straight week, the longest slump since August, as investors grew more concerned that Greece will default on its debt and reduced earnings forecasts undermined confidence in the economy.

Consumer Spending Probably Eased in April: U.S. Economy Preview(Source: Bloomberg)
Consumer spending probably cooled in April as higher food and fuel prices forced Americans to cut back on other items, economists said a government report this week will show.

U.S. Debt Limit Increase Agreement May Take Until August, Ryan Tells NBC(Source: Bloomberg)
A congressional agreement to increase the U.S. debt limit and reduce federal spending may take until August, the Republican chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee said. “I think there will be a deal. It will probably take a while,” Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. “We have to August.” The U.S. Treasury Department has said Congress must raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2 to avoid the government defaulting on its loans.

U.S. home sales, factory data show recovery weak
WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) - Weak data on U.S. home sales and factory activity showed an economy stuck in low gear although a drop in claims for jobless aid offered hope the labor market's recovery was on track.
Thursday's reports suggested growth was being hampered by a combination of bad weather at home and supply disruptions caused by the March earthquake in Japan, but analysts said the economy should regain momentum by the second half of the year.

Two top Fed officials say easy money still needed
CHICAGO, May 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. labor market is improving, but not at a fast enough pace to require the Federal Reserve to reverse its super-easy money any time soon, two top Fed officials said on Thursday.
The economy has "a considerable way to go" before it meets the Fed's dual mandate of full employment and price stability, New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley said.

Japan’s Deepening Economic Slide May Heighten Pressure for Faster Stimulus(Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese consumers are making deeper cutbacks after the March 11 earthquake than anticipated, heightening the urgency for policy makers to unveil measures to end the nation’s third recession in a decade. Household spending had the largest back-to-back quarterly drop since the global financial crisis, the Cabinet Office said yesterday. The figures contrast with comments by Japan’s central bank, which refrained from adding more stimulus today, that the economy’s main challenge is one of supply chain disruptions caused by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

Japanese Stocks Fall for Third Day on Greek Debt Concern, Euro’s Decline(Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks fell for a third day as Fitch Ratings cut Greece’s credit rating and the euro dropped to a one-week low, reducing the outlook for export earnings.

BOJ holds fire, unfazed by recession and Q1 slump
TOKYO, May 20 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Friday in a sign that a first-quarter economic slump failed to undermine the central bank's confidence growth will pick up around autumn when the wounds from the devastating earthquake begin to heal.
In a surprise move, Deputy Governor Kiyohiko Nishimura did not repeat his proposal to loosen policy further. He suggested expanding the central bank's asset buying scheme last month but was outvoted by the remaining eight board members.

Singapore to Create Most Bank Jobs Next Year(Source: Bloomberg)
Singapore will create more jobs in financial services during the next 12 months than any other city, beating London and New York, said recruiter Astbury Marsden, which advises companies in Europe and Asia. A survey of investment bankers showed 37 percent expect Singapore to add the most jobs, the London-based recruitment firm said in an e-mailed statement. The survey showed 22 percent expect London to create the most jobs, just ahead of Shanghai and Hong Kong, while 1 percent said New York.

BOE’s Dale Signals Gradual Rate Increases Over Two Years in FT Interview(Source: Bloomberg)
Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale said that officials should raise interest rates to bring inflation under control even if Britain’s economic recovery isn’t yet assured. “I’m not at all confident that the recovery has taken hold and will definitely power away,” Dale said in an interview with the Financial Times published today in London. “However, I’m even more worried about what’s going on in terms of inflation.”

Italy Outlook Revised to Negative by S&P, Prompting Vow of Faster Reforms(Source: Bloomberg)
Italy’s Treasury said it will “intensify” structural changes in the economy and push ahead with measures to balance the budget by 2014 after Standard & Poor’s said its debt rating is at risk of a downgrade. “With regard to the economy, the government has initiated and will intensify its reforms; in regard to the budget, a phase of measures are in advanced preparation in order to balance the budget by 2014,” the Treasury said today in an e-mailed statement from Rome. It also said the measures will be submitted to the Parliament for approval by July.

German Economic Growth Will Likely Slow by Mid-Year, Finance Ministry Says(Source: Bloomberg)
The pace of Germany’s economic growth will probably slow by mid-year after jumping 1.5 percent in the first quarter, the Finance Ministry said in its monthly report. The Munich-based Ifo institute’s German business confidence index sank for a second consecutive month in April, reflecting concern over energy prices. At the same time, growing domestic industrial orders suggest that the impact of oil and gas costs may be limited, the ministry said today.

Euro Declines to One-Week Low on Concern European Debt Crisis Will Deepen(Source: Bloomberg)
The euro fell to a one-week low against the dollar as concern over Europe’s sovereign debt crisis deepened, reducing the appeal of the region’s assets.

Pakistan Leaves Key Rate at 14% as Inflation Slows, Budget Cuts Probable(Source: Bloomberg)
Pakistan extended a six-month pause in interest-rate increases as inflation eased and the central bank awaits next month’s budget for signs the government will tighten fiscal policy and help contain prices pressures. The State Bank of Pakistan left the discount rate unchanged at 14 percent, among the highest in the world, according to a central bank statement in Karachi yesterday. The decision was predicted by all 10 economists and researchers surveyed by Bloomberg News.

FOREX-Euro supported above recent lows, dollar weaker
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - The euro was steady against the dollar on Friday, holding on to modest gains made in the previous session, with investors' focus slowly shifting to interest rate differentials from the euro zone's debt crisis.
Trading in the euro was influenced by a large $1.4360 digital option for expiry on Monday, with the spot euro/dollar  pair needing to hold below that level for a payout.