Tuesday, May 24, 2011

20110524 1810 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3380, changed : +25 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound 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 small gain with half of yesterday volume transacted ahead of tomorrow export data while soy oil overnight closed lower and currently rebounding as crude oil also having technical rebound.
Daily chart formed a small up doji bar candle closed near upper Bollinger band level after market opened higher and traded within 23 point range bound quiet activities market and closed little higher.
Chart reading suggesting a correction range bound little upside biased market development.
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.

20110524 1753 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1525 changed : +6.5 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : falling, buyer reducing position.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485, 1470  level.
Resistance : 1530, 1540, 1550, 1565 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded gains with lower volume changed hand recovered partial of yesterday losses doing 7 points discount compare to cash market that closed little higher while regional(Asia & European) trading mostly recording little gain and overnight U.S. market continue to fall lower.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle closed little below middle Bollinger band level after market opened little higher, traded range bound and edge up little higher towards the end.
Chart wise, market still likely to trade side way range bound testing support and resistance level with MACD indicator having negative cross down today.
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.

20110624 1521 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asian markets steady amid euro zone debt woes
SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - Asian stocks held steady but may resume declines after the prior session's sell-off as fears about the euro zone's worsening debt problems and volatile commodity prices kept investors on edge.   "It appears that a lot of selling is coming from European funds, as worries about the region's debt issues deepens," said Kim Seong-hong, a market analyst at Samsung Securities. 

GLOBAL MARKETS: Asian markets steady amid euro zone debt woes
SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - Asian stocks were steady in early trade on Tuesday but ran the risk of resuming a decline after the prior session's selloff,  with fears about the euro zone's worsening debt problems and volatile commodity prices keeping investors nimble.
The euro was under pressure in Asian markets, slipping about 0.25 percent to $1.4012 as it edged closer to a two-month trough of $1.3968 hit on Monday.

OIL: U.S. crude falls over $1 on eurozone concerns
SEOUL, May 24 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil fell by $1.05 to $96.65 per barrel in early Asian trade on Tuesday on a stronger dollar due to renewed concerns over euro zone debt.
Fear Europe's debt crisis is spreading sent the euro to a two-month trough against the dollar and a record low against the Swiss franc on Monday, and traders said the currency's decline may not be over yet.

Brent crude rises on prospect of lower stocks
SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - Brent crude futures rose, rebounding from the previous day's sharp fall, as the prospect of strong oil demand trimming inventories overrode concerns about Europe's debt crisis.   "What we're seeing is some short covering or value buying after significant losses yesterday, but in the short term there are still risks from Europe's debt issues and softening economic data," said Ben Le Brun, market analyst with CMC markets in Sydney.

NATURAL GAS: Natgas breaks resistance to end up on weather, rigs
NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended higher on Monday, with warmer weather this week, firmer cash prices and recent declines in drilling for gas driving the front-month contract above key resistance.
"Given the fundamentals, if we see some heat coming in, then it could push us up another 20 cents or so but nothing too crazy," said Matt Smith, commodity analyst at Summit Energy, adding he expected good technical resistance at $4.49 and then at recent highs roughly in the $4.65-4.70 area.

EURO COAL: Euro Coal-Prices slip on weak demand, oil fall
LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - Prompt European and FOB coal prices fell by $2.00-$4.00 on Monday due to weak physical demand and oil's 3 percent fall as euro-zone woes hit commodity and energy markets.
"The seasonal adjustment is finally taking place," said Emmanuel Fages, analyst with Societe Generale in Paris.

COMMODITIES: Oil, copper dive as investors sell in May
NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - Oil and copper prices fell by as much as 3 percent on Monday as Europe's debt crisis and further signs of a slow-down in China hit investor confidence, deepening the commodity sector's biggest monthly decline since 2008.
"Bulls have to contend with a backdrop of a stronger dollar, weakening macro readings from a number of countries, and interest rate increases that still loom on the horizon," Meir wrote in his daily commentary.

U.S. corn steady on planting progress, soy rises
SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures were little changed after sliding in the last session as some progress in planting for this year's much delayed crop weighed on the market.   Weather remains in focus, with soggy spring weather raising questions about corn, soybean and spring wheat seedings and uncertainty about winter wheat crops on drought in the southern U.S. Plains, Europe and China.

China 2011 corn output seen up 2.4 pct at record 181.5 mln T
BEIJING, May 24 (Reuters) - China's 2011 corn output will rise 2.4 percent from a year earlier to a record 181.50 million tonnes due to increasing acreage, China National Grain and Oils Information Center, a government grain think tank, said on Tuesday in its first forecast of the 2011 harvest.
Output of soybeans, which compete with corn for acreage, will fall 7.9 percent to 14 million tonnes, 1.2 million tonnes down from 2010, as the soy acreage shrinks 6.8 percent to the smallest area since 1999, CNGOIC forecast.

Floods swamp 3.6 mln ac US farmland;farm group
WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) - Nearly 3.6 million acres of farmland in the Mississippi River valley, including 40 percent of U.S. rice area, have been affected by spring flooding, said the largest U.S. farm group on Monday.
The figure was larger than earlier reports of 3 million acres of flooded farmland and amounts to 1.1 percent of land usually planted in the two dozen principal U.S. field crops.

Colombia shifts from drugs to food in farm expansion
BOGOTA, May 23 (Reuters) - Colombia plans to nearly double agricultural land growing crops for food and biofuel, part of a new investment boom in the country as violence ebbs from a decades-long internal conflict fueled by drug profits.
The idea is to transform the vast eastern plains, dotted for years with illicit coca plantations, into the country's bread basket in a push to bring down food prices and boost revenues from agricultural exports.

Ivorian rains boost cocoa, disease a worry-farmers
ABIDJAN, May 23 (Reuters) - Good rains interspersed with hot weather last week in Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions are boosting the cocoa mid-crop, farmers said on Monday, but a lack of cash to pay for pesticides raised disease concerns.
Cocoa farmers in the bush said rains were adequate for the growth of a healthy April-September mid-crop as high moisture triggered new flowers that would turn into small pods in coming weeks and increase the size of the crop.

Copper rises as euro holds ground
SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - Copper recovered from a 3 percent fall in the previous session, with the euro edging up against the dollar after hitting a two-month low on Monday.    "I see this as a correction following yesterday's panic selling after the dollar rose strongly. The previous fall in China was also fuelled by rumours about a possible interest rate hike," Great Wall Futures analyst Li Rong said.

Gold firms to 2-wk high as euro debt worries linger
SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - Gold firmed to its highest level in almost two weeks on worries that Europe's debt crisis was spreading out of control, sending euro-denominated bullion to a record above 1,081 euros an ounce.    "Gold will benefit as a result of its safe haven status ... Obviously, a very positive sign for gold at the moment," said Darren Heathcote, head of trading at Investec Australia. 

20110524 0950 Global Economic Related News.

US: Fed Focusing Increasingly on Inflation Expectations With Policy Unchanged
The cue for the Federal Reserve to start withdrawing its record monetary stimulus may be a measure of its own credibility: inflation expectations. Expectations for annual consumer-price gains have jumped by 43% to 2.10 percentage points since the central bank began its second round of asset purchases in November, as measured by the breakeven rate for five-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities. The measure is close to levels before the recession -- when the central bank’s benchmark interest rate was 5.25%, compared with about zero today. (Financial Daily)

EU: Greece to Accelerate Asset Sales as Bonds Drop
The Greek government endorsed an accelerated asset-sale plan and EUR6bn (USD8.4bn) of budget cuts to win extra aid and stem a market slide that threatens to swamp the most debt-laden euro-area nations. Belgium had the outlook on its AA+ investment-grade credit rating lowered to negative at Fitch Ratings yesterday as the cost to insure Greek debt against default rose to a record and the yield on its 10-year bonds increased to a euro-era high. Europe’s debt crisis has deepened as euro political leaders clashed with central bankers after floating the prospect of extending maturities on Greek bonds. That “soft” restructuring may also be accompanied by more loans to Greece, which received a EUR110bn bailout last year, now that the government has delivered the additional budget cuts and pledged to speed asset sales. (Bloomberg)

EU: Belgium’s Debt Outlook Revised to Negative by Fitch on Political Stalemate
Belgium had the outlook on its debt rating lowered to negative at Fitch Ratings, which joined Standard & Poor’s in saying that political deadlock complicates efforts to cut the euro area’s third-highest debt load. Fitch may cut Belgium’s AA+ rating, the second-highest investment grade, should the country fail to adhere to its deficit targets, it said in a statement today. Belgium needs to reduce its budget deficit to less than 3% of gross domestic product next year and balance its books by 2015, as agreed with the European Commission. (Bloomberg)

E.U: Services and manufacturing growth slowed in May, suggesting the region's economy is struggling to maintain momentum amid surging energy costs and tougher austerity measures. A composite index based on a survey of euro-area purchasing managers in both industries fell to 55.4 from 57.8 in April London-based Markit Economics said. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. (Source: Bloomberg)

China: Manufacturing may slow on tightening steps, PMI shows. A Chinese manufacturing index fell to its lowest level in 10 months, adding to signs that economic growth is cooling after the government raised interest rates and curbed lending to rein in inflation. The preliminary purchasing managers' index compiled by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics dropped to 51.1 in May from a final reading of 51.8 in April. A number above 50 indicates expansion. (Source: Bloomberg)

Taiwan: Industrial production increased at the slowest pace in 19 months in April, signaling the island's economic expansion is moderating. Output advanced 6.85% YoY, after gaining a revised 13.73% YoY in March. A separate report showed Taiwan's jobless rate was 4.35% last month, compared with 4.42% in March. (Source: Bloomberg)

Philippines: Reported a budget surplus in April as revenue rose and spending fell. The surplus was PHP 26.3b (USD 606m) last month, compared with a PHP 18.1b deficit reported earlier for March. Revenue climbed 11.1% YoY and spending declined 8.03% YoY, according to the statement. (Source: Bloomberg)

Thailand: Thailand Economic Growth Accelerates, Maintaining Pressure for Rate Rises
Thai economic growth accelerated in the first quarter to the fastest pace in a year, adding pressure for higher borrowing costs to contain inflation as the government prepares for a July 3 election. Gross domestic product rose 2% in the three months to March 31 from the previous quarter, when it climbed a revised 1.3%, the National Economic and Social Development Board said in Bangkok today. The median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 2.2% jump. (Bloomberg)

Singapore: Singapore Inflation Rate Slows to Less Than 5% for the First Time in 2011
Singapore’s inflation slowed to less than 5% for the first time this year in April as a strengthening currency reduced the cost of imported goods. Consumer prices rose 4.5% last month from a year earlier, the Department of Statistics said in a statement today. That was the slowest pace in five months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on previously released information, and compares with the 4.4% median estimate of 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. (Financial Daily)

20110524 0949 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
pullback correction little upside biased.

US STOCKS-Wall St ends at one-month low on euro-debt worries
U.S. stocks closed at their lowest levels in a month on Monday in a sign of increasing doubt that equity markets can weather recent weakness in global manufacturing and demand. Industrial, energy and technology stocks, closely related to growth, were among the day's top decliners. Poor manufacturing figures from Germany and China were a surprise and gave investors reason to shed positions in those industries. The drama surrounding the euro zone's debt crisis added to investor anxiety. It furthered a recent trend of selling commodities, the euro, and stocks in tandem. Negative ratings actions on Greece and Italy and regional election results in Spain raised concerns about the deepening of the euro zone's debt problems. Investors worry that voter rebellions against austerity plans could put some government debt at risk of default. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 130.78 points, or 1.05 percent, to 12,381.26. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 15.90 points, or 1.19 percent, to 1,317.37. The Nasdaq Composite fell 44.42 points, or 1.58 percent, to 2,758.90. (Reuters)

QL Resources’ 4Q profit up 14% on growth in eggs segment
QL Resources Bhd posted net profit of RM31.55 million in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2011, up 19.3% from RM26.44 million a year ago. It said on Monday, May 23 that revenue rose 21.6% to RM502.58 million from RM413.02 million a year ago. It said the increase in profitability was due to the higher growth in sales for the quarter compared with a year ago. (Financial Daily)

Prasarana holds MRT briefing for contractors
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, which recently announced a revision in pre-qualification criteria for the construction works package under its Klang Valley mass rapid transit (KVMRT) project, will organise a briefing for interested contractors at 11am at the MBPJ Civic Centre in Petaling Jaya today. (Financial Daily)

Puncak Niaga bags RM667m water project in Sarawak
Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, which is mired in issues related to its water business, has landed a RM667.32 million rural water supply project in Sarawak in a venture through its 60:40 unincorporated joint venture. On the water project, Puncak Niaga said its joint venture with Quality Concrete Holdings Bhd has been awarded the contract by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development to supply, construct and commission water facilities to the rural areas in Sarawak for a contract period of 28 months. (Malaysian Reserve)

Puncak Niaga: Forays into oil and gas, secure water supply project. Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd has acquired 40% equity in Global Offshore (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (GOM) and KGL Ltd (KGL) respectively for a cash consideration of USD8.4m (RM25.2m) and USD15.2m (RM5.6m) respectively. Separately, a consortium consisting of a 40:60 unincorporated JV between Quality Concrete and Puncak Niaga has secured a RM667.3m contract for a rural water supply project in Sarawak. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

Alliance Bank aims to raise non-interest income to 30%
Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd plans to increase its non-interest income to 30% of its total revenue within three to five years’ time. The bank’s group chief executive officer Sng Seow Wah said the bank had begun strategic plans at the beginning of 2011 to increase its non-interest income from fees, commissions, remittances, share trading commissions and treasury activities. (Malaysian Reserve)

Smartag to start RFID trial run at Customs points on June 1
Smartag Solutions Bhd stands to make a minimum RM70 million a year once its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solution to track container movements is made compulsory. Smartag, together with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, will undertake a trial run of the RFID system at the latter's checkpoints from June 1. Smartag chairman Datuk Abdul Hamed Sepawi said the pilot project will run for three months with major companies from the logistics and manufacturing sectors such as Western Digital, TNT, Federal Express Brokerage and Priority Cargo having signed up for the test run. (BT)

AirAsia: To go bigger and may place big order for Airbus. Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes signalled ambitious plans for AirAsia as he closed in on a potentially massive deal to buy Airbus aircraft, which could rival a recent USD16b, 180-plane deal as one of the world's largest. (Source: The Star)

TM: VADS partners Cisco in telepresence service. VADS Bhd, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), is hopeful of double-digit growth over the next few years for its upcoming telepresence service. (Source: Business Times)

TNB: Cabinet to decide on Wednesday on tariff increase for TNB. The Cabinet is expected to decide on Wednesday, May 25 if there should be a tariff increase for Tenaga Nasional Bhd. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

E&U: First block of Kimanis 100MW Plant to be completed in 2013. The first generation block of 100 MW of the proposed 300MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant in Kimanis is expected to be completed in Dec 2013. The power plant and its related projects, costing about RM1.6b is expected to supplement Sabahs increasing demand for electricity. (Source: Bernama News)    

20110524 0943 Global Market Related News.

DJIA chart reading : downside biased with possible pullback correction.
Hang Seng chart reading : downside biased.

Asian Stocks Drop on Global Recovery Concerns; Toyota, Canon, BHP Decline (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks dropped for a fourth straight day after reports signaled economic growth is slowing in the U.S. and Europe and as commodity prices declined.

Fed Focusing Increasingly on Inflation Expectations With Policy Unchanged (Source: Bloomberg)
The cue for the Federal Reserve to start withdrawing its record monetary stimulus may be a measure of its own credibility: inflation expectations. Expectations for annual consumer-price gains have jumped by 43 percent to 2.10 percentage points since the central bank began its second round of asset purchases in November, as measured by the breakeven rate for five-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities. The measure is close to levels before the recession -- when the central bank’s benchmark interest rate was 5.25 percent, compared with about zero today.

Risk Rally Ending for Currencies Turns Focus to New Least-Ugly Alternative (Source: Bloomberg)
The best-performing currencies of 2011 are falling out of favor as the Federal Reserve plans its exit from record monetary stimulus just as the global economy shows signs of slowing, buffeting commodities and stocks. A basket of nine currencies including Australia’s dollar and the Norwegian krone has dropped 4.2 percent in May against the U.S. dollar, after rising 7.3 percent in the first four months of 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Demand for contracts insuring against a drop in the euro versus the greenback are trading at about the highest levels of 2011.

China May factory growth hits 10-mth low -HSBC flash PMI
BEIJING, May 23 (Reuters) - China factories expanded in May at their slowest pace in 10 months while price pressures eased, a purchasing managers' index showed on Monday, adding to evidence that the economy is moderating as a tighter policy starts to bite.
Still, results to the HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed that China's vast manufacturing sector is gently easing rather than heading for a deep downturn as demand at home and abroad remained firm.

Chinese Stocks Not at Bottom: ICBC Credit Suisse (Source: Bloomberg)
China’s benchmark stock index may extend declines after erasing all of its gains for 2011 yesterday as higher interest rates slow economic growth without cooling inflation, ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management Co. said. The Shanghai Composite Index slumped 2.9 percent yesterday, the most since Jan. 17, after a preliminary reading of a purchasing managers’ index showed China’s manufacturing may expand at a slower pace this month. The guage has tumbled 9.3 percent from a five-month high on April 18 amid concern government tightening measures will slow earnings growth.

Japan Stocks Fall for Fourth Day on Global Recovery Concern, Commodities (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks fell for a fourth day as commodity prices declined and after reports signaled economic growth is slowing in the U.S. and Europe.

Singapore Inflation Rate Slows to Less Than 5% for the First Time in 2011 (Source: Bloomberg)
Singapore’s inflation slowed to less than 5 percent for the first time this year in April as a strengthening currency reduced the cost of imported goods. Consumer prices rose 4.5 percent last month from a year earlier, the Department of Statistics said in a statement today. That was the slowest pace in five months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on previously released information, and compares with the 4.4 percent median estimate of 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Thailand Economic Growth Accelerates, Maintaining Pressure for Rate Rises (Source: Bloomberg)
Thai economic growth accelerated in the first quarter to the fastest pace in a year, adding pressure for higher borrowing costs to contain inflation as the government prepares for a July 3 election. Gross domestic product rose 2 percent in the three months to March 31 from the previous quarter, when it climbed a revised 1.3 percent, the National Economic and Social Development Board said in Bangkok today. The median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 2.2 percent jump.

German Business Confidence Probably Dropped for Third Month on Debt Crisis (Source: Bloomberg)
German business confidence probably fell for a third month in May after a worsening debt crisis clouded the euro region’s growth outlook and rising energy costs threatened to sap earnings. The Ifo institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, dropped to 113.7 from 114.2 in April, the median forecast of 24 economists in a Bloomberg News survey shows. Ifo releases today’s report at 10 a.m. in Munich.

Greece to Accelerate Asset Sales as Bonds Drop (Source: Bloomberg)
The Greek government endorsed an accelerated asset-sale plan and 6 billion euros ($8.4 billion) of budget cuts to win extra aid and stem a market slide that threatens to swamp the most debt-laden euro-area nations.

Euro Falls for Third Day on Sovereign Debt Concern, Slowing Growth Outlook (Source: Bloomberg)
The euro weakened for a third day against the yen on speculation Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis is worsening as the region’s industrial expansion slows. Europe’s common currency was 0.6 percent from its lowest in two months against the dollar before a report that economists said will show the region’s industrial orders fell for the first time in six months in March. The pound weakened against 15 of its 16 most-traded counterparts after Sky News reported that Moody’s Investors Service will place 14 of the 18 British banks and building societies it covers on review for downgrades, citing people familiar with the matter.

BOE’s Dale Says Uncertain Recovery Shouldn’t Stop Rising Interest Rates (Source: Bloomberg)
Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale said that monetary policy makers should boost interest rates to control inflation, even if Britain’s economic recovery isn’t yet guaranteed.

Australian Dollar Trades Near Five-Week Low as Stocks, Commodities Tumble (Source: Bloomberg)
The Australian dollar was 0.3 percent from a five-week low on speculation mounting concern that Europe’s debt crisis will deepen will extend a slump in stocks, sapping demand for higher-yielding assets. The so-called Aussie traded near the weakest level in a week versus the yen as tumbling prices for commodities, which account for a majority of exports, damped demand for the nation’s assets. New Zealand’s dollar held onto yesterday’s decline before reports today forecast to show European industrial orders fell for the first time in six months and U.S. new home sales stalled, stoking concern that the economic recovery is losing steam.

FOREX-Euro hurt by debt woes, could see more losses
LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - The euro fell to a two-month low versus the dollar and a record trough against the Swiss franc on Monday, as investors unwound bullish bets on mounting worries about the region's debt with many expecting more losses.
The euro  fell to as low $1.3968 on trading platform EBS, its weakest since mid-March, on doubts about Spanish austerity measures after Madrid's ruling Socialist party was defeated in regional elections, while Italy suffered a credit outlook downgrade and speculation mounted over some sort of Greek debt restructuring.

Debt worries hit euro, stocks; govt debt, gold up
HONG KONG, May 23 (Reuters) - The euro fell to a record low against the Swiss franc as worries about euro-zone debt sapped demand for riskier assets such as Asian stocks and prompted investors to shift funds into U.S. government debt, gold and the dollar. European shares are set to take their cue from Asia, with financial spread betters calling major indexes to open between 0.8 percent and 1.2 percent lower.

20110524 0937 Global Commodities Related News.

US corn futures end mixed as the strong dollar weighs on nearby while new-crop rises. July corn "went into this coma" and could only focus on external markets, says Jerry Gidel at North America Risk Management Services. Deferred contracts finished firmer as persistently wet weather delayed planting, fueling supply concerns. Rains in Indiana and Ohio are expected to keep farmers out of their fields this week. CBOT July corn falls 5 1/2c to $7.54/bushel while December rises 4c to $6.70 1/2.

US wheat futures finish mixed as rising US dollar weighs on nearby CBOT wheat. Worries about tightening supplies of high-quality grain due to unfavorable weather in US and Europe help support deferred contracts and other markets, analysts say. Excessive rains delaying planting of spring wheat in the northern US Plains boost MGE wheat. CBOT July wheat falls 3 1/2c to $8.03 a bushel; KCBT July slumps 2 1/4c to $9.31; MGE July adds 1 1/4c to $10.01.

US rice futures end weaker in a slight pullback from 3-month highs. The market retreated as the firmer US dollar applied pressure to commodities, analysts say. Traders will digest weekly federal data updating planting progress, which has been delayed by rains. A week ago, 69% of the crop was planted, below the 5-year average of 83% for that time of year. CBOT July rice dips 2c to $15.08/hundredweight.

Commodity bulls pull $12 bln as prices fall again-data
NEW YORK, May 20 (Reuters) - Big speculators in commodity markets cut their bullish bets by some $12 billion in the week to May 17, a second week of heavy liquidation as fear gripped energy markets in particular, data showed on Friday.
The so-called "managed money" funds cut their overall net long holdings in 22 U.S. futures markets by some 171,000 contracts or 11 percent in the week to Tuesday, taking the reduction in contracts over the past two weeks to nearly 23 percent, according to Reuters calculations based on Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly Commitment of Traders.

Corn jumps to 1-month top, wheat up on supply worries
SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose 1.2 percent 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 be 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."

More rain to further delay U.S. Midwest corn, soy seeding
SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soy planting is likely to be further delayed with forecasts of more rains in the U.S. Midwest, while beneficial rains are expected for the drought-hit winter wheat crop in the southern Plains, a forecaster said.
"Wet weather this week will continue to cause significant delays to corn and soybean planting in Indiana and Ohio where some corn acreage will likely not get planted," said Mike Palmerino of Telvent DTN weather service.   

EU wheat largely recoups losses, weather stays dry
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - Wheat markets in western Europe were mostly weaker in late trade on Friday but well above the day's lows with no sign of rainfall relieving the European Union's parched wheat belt in coming days, traders said. Rising worries about the irreversible damage dire dry weather may have inflicted to wheat crops in the United States and in the European Union's basket bread continue to provide firm support to the market. "Crops are at risk in the Atlantic region. We are vulnerable with temperatures close to 28 degrees celsius," said a French trader.
The Atlantic region is traditionally the first region harvested in France, the EU's biggest grain producer. "We are seeing a slight consolidation on international markets after the sharp rises yesterday but worry about dryness damage is keeping prices supported," a trader said.

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.

Drought in EU and U.S. stressing crops and farmers
PARIS/CHICAGO, May 20 (Reuters) - Drought from Paris, France to Paris, Texas has farmers and grain dealers looking upwards. The farmers are looking to the skies for rain and the dealers are wondering where rising grain prices are going to stop.
U.S. wheat prices are on their way to their biggest weekly gain and European benchmark wheat futures have jumped just under 30 percent in the past nine weeks as wheat belts on both sides of the Atlantic show signs of irreversible drought damage.

France May Tap Relief Fund To Aid Farmers Drought Worsens
The French government may use part of a EUR100 million relief fund to aid farmers as a record drought in the country worsens, France's Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire said. The Agriculture ministry will evaluate the damages suffered by each farmer with local authorities and set up support for them, using an existing relief fund created to help farmers hit by natural disasters, Le Maire said in an interview with French radio Europe 1. Last week, the weather agency said the spring season has been the driest since 1959. "The levels of drought in May are close the levels normally registered in July," the agency Meteo France said in its most recent report. Earlier this month, the government's agency for agriculture and fisheries, France AgriMer, said the country's wheat harvest for the period spanning from July 2011 to June 2012 is unlikely to be very good as some areas of the country already suffered irreversible damages. Concerns over the drought have already pushed up wheat prices to three-month highs.

China April Corn Imports 7,215 Tons, Double On Year
China's corn imports in April nearly doubled from a year earlier to 7,215 metric tons, the General Administration of Customs said. Total imports in the January-April period fell 34% to 12,431 tons, the data showed, approximately in line with semi-official data. China is expected to post larger corn import volumes in coming months, as state stockpilers bought 1 million tons of corn in March which began coming in only this month.

Farmers Suffer Floods Near the Mississippi While Drought Ravages Higher Ground
Both flood and drought areas have been declared in parts of Louisiana on the banks of the Mississippi River as spring runoff from northern states inundates some spots and rain remains elusive. Drought is parching states from New Mexico to Georgia, threatening vegetable and grain crops in some areas, while leaving cattle ranchers short on feed. No Southeastern state is suffering a worse drought than Louisiana, even as the Mississippi begins cresting here and giant spillways divert floodwaters to protect levees in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. A nine-mile stretch of the Mississippi River remained closed to shipping near Baton Rouge Sunday after three barges sank Friday. North of Baton Rouge, the Morganza floodgates were diverting about 115,000 cubic feet per second of Mississippi floodwaters into the neighboring Atchafalaya River Basin.
In West Feliciana Parish, Julius "Moochie" Metz and Carl "Dump" Metz have moved their 40 cows to higher ground as the Mississippi River flooded their house and two lower pastures late last month. Now the brothers are dealing with the opposite problem: the higher pasture is too dry. "The grass is boning up. There ain't no grass," said Moochie Metz, 83 years old, as Black Angus cattle foraged in short scrub less than 10 miles from the swollen river. Some areas of Louisiana are suffering from "exceptional drought," the worst classification, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Almost 70% of the state's agricultural land is low or very low on moisture. But some low-lying areas of West Feliciana Parish, just north of Baton Rouge and on the Mississippi state border, are under several feet of water. That includes Cat Island, a swampy area on the eastern bank of the Mississippi that flooded the Metz brothers' cabin and about 400 acres of land they own.
Most of the parish is expected to remain dry, though, because it is on high ground. It normally receives about two feet of rain by this time of the year, but has gotten a third less in 2011. Some farmers haven't seen rain in weeks. Many cattle ranchers and produce farmers in West Feliciana Parish don't have irrigation systems, which are costly. Most of the land is higher than the Mississippi River, making it difficult to channel the surging waters toward crops and grazing areas. The largest farm in West Feliciana Parish is Angola, Louisiana's state penitentiary, which has crops and about 1,800 head of cattle spread across 18,000 acres bordering the Mississippi. Earlier this month, it moved 2,000 of its 5,200 inmates to other prisons ahead of floodwaters. Some of the crops are now under water, while others are withering. Danny Hoover, who directs agricultural operations, said the prison moved some cattle behind the levee and now "the pastures are getting short a little faster than they should."
Jarrod Neal and his family moved a bit more than a week ago to their hunting cabin in a dry part of West Feliciana Parish, fearing their house could flood. The house is across the Mississippi in Pointe Coupee Parish, where the giant Morganza spillway has been opened. Mr. Neal also is concerned about the 1,300 head of cattle he raises with his father and brother on about 5,000 rented acres in West Feliciana Parish. The 10 pastures haven't gone under water but the sorghum they planted about a month ago to feed their Brangus -- a mix of Black Angus and Brahman -- hasn't taken hold because of the lack of rain. "Basically, we're going to drown in a drought," said Mr. Neal, 36, as dust swirled on a pasture under a cloudless sky. A 100-by-200-foot pit recently dug for a pond sat empty.

Fungus Poses Threat to Cocoa Crop
Cocoa farmers from Brazil to Mexico are scrambling to protect their crops from a potentially devastating fungus that could crimp supplies of the chocolate ingredient. Frosty pod rot, spread by spores carried by wind and human contact, is making its way through Latin America, bringing back memories of a blight that devastated Brazil's cocoa industry two decades ago. The spread of the disease could add to worries about the supply of cocoa and send futures prices even higher. Futures touched $3,826 a metric ton on IntercontinentalExchange earlier this year when political turmoil in Ivory Coast, which provides one-third of the world's cocoa, threatened global supplies. The cocoa bean is native to Latin America, but the nexus of cocoa production shifted to West Africa in the early 1900s as infestations such as frosty pod rot devastated Latin America's cocoa horticulture. In 2005, the disease arrived in Mexico, the sixth-largest producer in the region.
Before the advent of frosty pod rot, "the trees were so filled up with cocoa fruit that I could stand behind one and you couldn't see me," says Felicito Dominguez-Sanchez, owner of 37 acres of cocoa trees in the southern state of Tabasco. Now, Mr. Dominguez-Sanchez enters his plantation daily with his machete to hack off "sick" plants, which he identifies by the fine, white powder coating their surfaces, and buries them underneath damp leaves covering the ground. International researchers and Latin American governments say the best defense against the fungus would be the use of cocoa varieties resistant to the disease. Governments and food companies such as Nestle SA and Mars Inc. have invested heavily in researching cocoa's genetics and breeding, but the research has yet to produce disease-resistant varieties.

Speculators Cut Bets Food Prices Will Keep Rising as Supply Concern Eases (Source: Bloomberg)
Funds cut bets on rising prices for wheat, cocoa and other food commodities on easing concern about shortages and on speculation higher costs will curb demand. Speculators reduced their net-long position in wheat by 54 percent to 11,206 futures and options contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade in the week ended May 17, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission show. The position in cocoa slumped 39 percent, in lean hogs 33 percent, in coffee 31 percent and in soybean oil 15 percent.

Sugar falls, slow demand weighs, coffee steady
LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - ICE sugar futures were lower in early trading, as physical buyers delayed purchases in the hope of prices falling further. ICE raw sugar fell after Egypt cancelled a tender on the weekend and world crop prospects continued to improve.

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.  

Kenya 2012 coffee exports seen up 6 pct-attache
WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Kenya: "Kenya's Arabica exports will likely increase by 6 percent for marketing year 2012 (October 2011 to September 2012) from the previous MY due to better crop husbandry practices, government support initiatives, and anticipated good weather. With the launch of Batian, a new coffee variety, Kenyan coffee growers may boost exports in coming years."

Thousands of Ivorian cocoa farmers fear going home
DUEKOUE, Ivory Coast, May 20 (Reuters) - Thousands of cocoa farmers who fled their fields during five months of conflict in Ivory Coast are too afraid of ethnic reprisals to go home, and many fear their plantations are either looted or rotting.
Villages around Duekoue, a town encircled by rolling hills and tropical forest in western Ivory Coast, normally produce around 250,000 tonnes of cocoa a year -- more than a fifth of total output from the world's top grower.

Oil Declines for Second Day on Concern European Debt Crisis to Cut Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil dropped for a second day in New York as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis stoked speculation that economic growth will falter, slowing demand for fuels.

China April refined copper imports drop 16.6 pct m/m on tight credit
HONG KONG, May 23 (Reuters) - China's refined copper imports dropped 16.6 percent in April from the previous month due to tight credit and cheaper domestic stocks, although arrivals were higher than February's 27-month low.
Imports into the world's top copper buyer in April fell to 160,236 tonnes and declined 48.3 percent from April 2010, data from the General Administration of Customs on Monday showed.

Mine output drops in Q1, supply gap could widen
NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - Global copper mine production hit speed bumps last quarter, interrupting a growth trend that the copper industry counted on to meet strong global demand and justify aggressive expansion plans.
The drop in copper output from the world's biggest listed mining companies in the first three months of 2011 could temporarily exacerbate a supply deficit that contributed to the rise in copper prices to record highs this year.

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.

China gripes about Indian iron ore but trade to continue
BEIJING/NEW DELHI, May 20 (Reuters) - Beijing is complaining about the quality of iron ore imported from its number three supplier India, but with China desperate to secure raw materials for its steel mills, the trade is unlikely to slow.
The country's steel output, already more than half the world's, continues to power ahead despite worries about monetary tightening, hitting a record daily high of 1.95 million tonnes in the first 10 days of May.

METALS-Copper down on dollar, euro zone debt woes
LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - London copper fell on Monday, as part of a broad decline across the base metals complex, weighed down by a stronger dollar and euro zone debt worries.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange  dropped to $8,825 per tonne by 0931 GMT from $9,071 at the close on Friday. The metal used in power and construction fell to its lowest in nearly a week at $8,803.

PRECIOUS-Greek ratings cut helps gold to near 2-week high
LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - Gold rallied to its highest in nearly two weeks on Monday as investors seeking safety bought the precious metal after a barrage of bad news on debt and ratings from euro zone countries such as Greece.
Spot gold  hit $1,517.49 a troy ounce, its highest since May 11. It was bid at $1,509.19 an ounce at 1135 GMT from $1,507.39 late in New York on Friday. Gold priced in euros  hit a record high of 1,080.04 euros an ounce.

Gold Advances to One-Week High as European Debt Crisis Spurs Haven Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold futures rose to the highest in more than a week as the European sovereign-debt crisis spurred demand for the precious metal as a haven. Standard & Poor’s last week cut Italy’s credit-rating outlook to negative from stable, citing slowing economic growth and “diminished” prospects for a reduction of government debt. Fitch Ratings lowered Greece’s long-term debt ranking to four notches below investment grade. Today, gold priced in euros climbed to a record.

20110524 0936 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

  Soy Oil chart reading : side way range bound.

US soybean futures ended mostly lower, under pressure from broader-based commodity weakness amid a rising US dollar, which is a negative influence on price as most raw materials are dollar denominated, making it more expensive for foreign buyers to import. Slower export and domestic demand also lent pressure, with freshly harvested, cheaper South American supplies an attractive alternative to US supplies, an analyst said. Yet, soybeans did find price support as a tight supply scenario places increased pressure on US farmers to produce bumper crops in 2011. CBOT July soy settled down 6 1/2c at $13.73 3/4 a bushel while November ended up 1/4c at $13.50 3/4.

Soybean Meal/Oil
Soy-product futures end lower in unison with soybeans. The influence of broader-based commodity selling added to the lower theme, with sharply weaker crude-oil futures a negative feature for soyoil. The July contract settled 0.24c lower at 57.22c/pound while July soymeal ended down $1.80 at $358.80/short ton.

Palm oil down as euro debt worries hit sentiment
JAKARTA, May 23 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell almost 1 percent, as renewed worries about euro-zone debt weighed on risk sentiment to help push prices lower. "It is a sentiment thing -- there is a lot of uncertainty in Europe, so this is hitting equity markets which is spewing over in palm oil," said a trader.

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.