Tuesday, May 31, 2011

20110531 1819 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3393, changed : -15 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : pullback correction upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : weakening, buyer taking profit.
Support : 3350, 3300, 3270, 3250 level.
Resistance : 3420, 3450, 3470, 3500 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded small loss with better volume participation after both ITS and SGS cargo surveyor reported better but slowing export data while soy oil overnight closed unchanged and currently trading little softer.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle with longer upper shadow closed in between upper and middle Bollinger band level after market opened unchanged, tested higher and fall lower to close near the low of the day.
Chart reading shows that market is having pullback correction within an upside biased market development testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with larger cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110531 1753 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1563 changed : +18.5 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased with possible pullback correction .
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in control.
Support : 1550, 1540, 1530, 1515 level.
Resistance : 1565, 1580, 1590, 1600 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded substantial gains with little higher volume changed hand and Jun 2011 contract closed doing less a point discount compare to cash market that also closed higher while regional(Asia & European) trading mostly higher and overnight U.S. market closed up slightly.
Government power taffic hike announcement lifted heavy weight counter Tenaga to gain as much as 9.05% pushing cash market to closed higher contributed to today's bullish market sentiment.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle with little upper and lower shadow closed above upper Bollinger band level after market opened little higher, took few steps downwards and surge upward all the way tested 4 months higher and retreat slightly to closed off the high of the day.
Chart reading suggesting a upside biased market development testing previous high near 1580 level but having said that market could possibly having pullback correction soon.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with larger cut loss and profit target or buy at breakout with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110531 1527 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Euro at 3-wk high vs dollar, Japan data lifts Nikkei
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - The euro hit a three-week high versus the dollar on Tuesday on a report that Germany could make concessions on efforts to put together a bailout for Greece, while Japanese shares rose on data suggesting industrial activity has begun to recover from the March earthquake.
"The euro zone problems appear to be subsiding for now. Or putting it another way, the market appears to have stopped looking at them as a factor for now," said Teppei Ino, a currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, adding the market could focus on upcoming U.S. data releases. Key numbers including ISM manufacturing and payroll data are due this week.

China's commodities imports to stage comeback
SHANGHAI, May 31 (Reuters) - There are early signs that China's appetite for overseas oil, copper, aluminium, iron ore and coal will recover in the second half of 2011, having been dogged for much of the first half by the government's campaign to put the brakes on growth and inflation.
Higher seasonal demand, shrinking stockpiles and a narrowing arbitrage between domestic and LME prices indicate that China's copper demand may be turning a corner, even if Beijing doesn't relax its tightening stance.

S.Korea should hike power price 15pct in 2011-thinktank
Uiwang, South Korea, May 31 (Reuters) - South Korea, heavily dependent on energy imports, should raise electricity prices at least by 15 percent this year to reflect higher fuel costs and reduce excessive demand, the head of the influential Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI) said.
Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) , the country's monopoly state-run electricity transmission and distribution company has been haemorrhaging cash as it has not hiked tariffs by as much as input price rises and it is likely to implement a rise early June after consultations with the government.

Brent rises above $115 on political chaos, weak dollar
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - Brent rose above $115 a barrel on Tuesday as the dollar weakened on improved prospects of a bailout for debt-laden Greece, but oil remained on track for a fall in May, snapping a record eight-month winning streak.
"The situation in Yemen seems to be deteriorating. The problem with Yemen is that it is next to Saudi Arabia, and it has been a source of terrorist attacks against Saudi Arabia," said Tony Nunan, a Tokyo-based risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp.

Wheat slides as Russia to resume exports
SYDNEY, May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures  slid in Asian trade on Tuesday, after Russia said it was ending its export ban and could ship up to 20 million tonnes of grain from this year's crop.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced at the weekend that the Russia, formerly the world's third-largest wheat exporter, would lift a grain export ban from July 1.

China expects bumper wheat harvest despite drought -ag ministry
BEIJING, May 31 (Reuters) - China, the world's top wheat producer, is likely to reap a bumper wheat harvest in 2011 despite drought earlier this year in most of its wheat-growing areas in the north, the agriculture ministry said.
China's winter wheat, accounting for more than 90 percent of the country's total wheat harvest, may increase for the eighth year, agriculture minister Han Changfu was cited as saying in a report posted on the ministry's web site. Han did not give any figures.

Argentine economy thrives as grain, soy prices soar
ROSARIO, Argentina, May 30 (Reuters) - High grain and soybean prices have driven global food inflation to the point of causing  riots in Africa, but no one is complaining on the banks of the Parana River in Argentina's central farm belt.
In the port city of Rosario, profits from grains exports have funded construction of some of Argentina's tallest skyscrapers over the last year, helping to make Argentina's devastating 2001/02 financial crisis a distant memory.

Ivorian cocoa arrivals hit 1,103,166 T by May 22
ABIDJAN, May 30 (Reuters) - Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast increased by over 14 percent compared with a year ago, but exporters said they were worried about the size and quality of beans coming out of the bush.
Data from Ivorian Coffee and Cocoa Bourse (BCC) seen by Reuters on Monday showed arrivals had reached 1,103,166 tonnes in the season to May 22, up from 966,194 tonnes in the same period a year ago.

Indonesia issues 224,200 T raw sugar import permits to Nov
JAKARTA, May 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia has issued import permits for 224,200 tonnes of raw sugar until November, trade ministry official Deddy Saleh told Reuters on Monday.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest sugar consumer, has previously said it would import 226,000 tonnes of raw sugar from May until the end of 2011 in order to fill idle milling capacity, and the permits were meant to be issued in April.

Russia may export 20 mln t of grain in 2011-12 -lobby
MOSCOW, May 30 (Reuters) - Russia may export up to 20 million tonnes of grain from this year's crop if the harvest reaches 85-90 million tonnes, the head of the Russian Grain Union industry lobby said on Monday.
"The export potential is 15 million. Maybe we can even export 20 million if the harvest reaches 85-90 million tonnes," Arkady Zlochevsky said.

Indonesia to lead thermal coal export growth through 2020
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 31 (Reuters) - Indonesia will lead global growth in thermal coal exports in the next decade with producers Bumi Resources  and Adaro Energy  becoming two of the top three coal exporting companies worldwide by 2015, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian country, already the world's top thermal coal exporter, will make up 39 percent of global increases in coal exports, with Australia coming in a close second, accounting for 36 percent of export growth.

Australian business groups warn strike plans threaten investment
SYDNEY, May 31 (Reuters) - Australia is facing what employers say is its worst period of industrial unrest in decades, with disputes hitting airlines, ports and mines as unions use an unprecedented resources boom and labour shortage to fight for a greater share of profits.
Business leaders say the spate of disputes is threatening investment and exports and rekindling Australia's old reputation as an industrial relations minefield -- a claim unions reject as scaremongering.

China coal imports to double in 2015, India close behind
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 30 (Reuters) - Top coal consumer China should see import demand more than double in the next four years and India will be close behind as both hoover up supplies on international markets to feed rapidly growing power industries, industry executives said on Monday.
China's thermal coal imports could rise to 200 million tonnes in 2015 from around 90 million tonnes in 2011, Neil Dhar, executive vice president of trading house Noble Group , told the Coaltrans Asia conference.

Indonesia sees higher 2011 rice output, no need for imports
JAKARTA, May 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia sees higher unmilled rice paddy output of 70.6 million tonnes this year, leading to a greater surplus that means there is no need for further imports of the staple in 2011, said an agriculture ministry official.
This was up 2.6 percent from the ministry's previous December forecast, and the comments may weigh on regional prices since bumper purchases by the country surprised markets in the first quarter and had led to the possibility of more in 2011.

LME copper steadies amid thin trading, tracking euro
SHANGHAI, May 31 (Reuters) - London copper was steady amid thin trading on Monday, supported by a firmer euro after a report said Germany could make concessions on efforts to put together a bailout for Greece.
"The euro has an influence on copper's movements today. Overall, LME copper is in a stable situation. Trading volumes are low after the long holiday. It opened weaker but there have been some buying since then. So the Shanghai market is stable today as well," a Shanghai-based trader said.

Venezuela iron producer gets $900 mln China loan
CARACAS, May 30 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state-run iron company Ferrominera Orinoco will use a $900 million loan from China to increase output capacity, the firm said on Monday.
The loan is part of a long-term deal under which China has promised to provide OPEC-member Venezuela with $20 billion in financing in return for oil.

Gold steady near 4-week high; Greek crisis on focus
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - Gold rose to its highest in almost four weeks on Tuesday as lingering fears about a Greek debt default overshadowed a rebound in the euro, while silver was heading for its biggest monthly decline since 2008.
"It's crucial for markets to see whether Greece is actually sustainable and whether it can actually obtain the next 12 billion euros that is required for them to meet their funding needs in July," said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

20110531 1250 Global Commodities Related News.

OIL: Crude stays little changed, set for worst month in a year
TOKYO, May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures were little changed on Tuesday, still on course to mark their biggest monthly fall in a year as a rally last month above $110 per barrel intensified caution that high energy costs will hamper economic growth.
A weaker dollar often increases investor demand for dollar-denominated commodities such as oil.
The New York Mercantile Exchange did not issue a settlement price on Monday, when trading on the floor was closed for the Memorial Day holiday, with all trading registered for May 31.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Euro rises versus dollar, Japan data lifts shares
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the dollar on Tuesday, while Japanese stocks gained on news industrial and manufacturing activity was showing signs of rebounding after a devastating earthquake in Japan in March.
The euro rose to a three-week high versus the dollar in early Asian business, touching 1.4354 on technically driven trade and a Wall Street Journal report that Germany was considering ending its push for an early rescheduling of Greek loans.
The Nikkei average was up almost half a percent at 9547.27, boosted by positive industrial and manufacturing activity data in Japan, and MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan was up 0.44 percent.

Surge in oil could prompt India to adjust deficit target-source
NEW DELHI, MAY 30 (Reuters) - India has no plans to increase its fiscal deficit target for this fiscal year but that may change if oil prices rise to $130-$140 per barrel, a senior finance ministry official with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.
The official also said high federal bond yields were a concern, but downplayed the idea that New Delhi could  accelerate spending in order to address tight market liquidity.

Moody's: outlook stable for Russian oil & gas
MOSCOW, May 30 (Reuters) - A Moody's Investors Service vice president said on Monday the agency was keeping a stable outlook on Russian oil and gas companies, saying they looked strong relative to international players due to high output and low costs.
Most of Russia's oil and gas producers have posted strong income growth in the first quarter, thanks largely to a 36 percent rise in oil prices, while Rosneft  remained the holder of the world's largest hydrocarbon reserves, at 22.77 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

20110531 1012 Global Economic Related News.

Philippine: Growth slows in 1Q11, may recover on government spending. Gross domestic product increased 4.9% YoY based on 2000 prices, compared with a 6.1% YoY gain in the three months through December. (Source: Bloomberg)          

Thailand: May raise rate for fourth time this year ahead of vote
Thailand’s central bank will probably increase interest rates for the fourth time this year, as rising food and fuel prices become a pivotal issue for the 3 July general election. The Bank of Thailand will boost its benchmark oneday bond repurchase rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3%, according to all 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, adding to increases of the same amount each in January, March and April. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has pledged higher wages and capped food and diesel costs ahead of the poll, as the opposition faults his Democrat party for jumps in the cost of living. The central bank has said inflation risks exceed threats to growth, and predicts the economy will weather disruption from Japan’s earthquake to grow 4.1% this year. (Bloomberg)

New Zealand: Trade surplus widens to record on dairy exports
New Zealand’s trade surplus widened in April to more than twice economists’ forecasts as surging commodity prices and Asian demand boosted dairy exports, strengthening the local currency to a record. Exports exceeded imports by NZD1.11bn (USD910m), the biggest ever, from a revised NZD578m surplus in March, Statistics New Zealand said. Sales to China were up 40%from a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

Greece: EU to decide on aid package by end of June, Juncker says. European Union leaders will decide on a new aid package for Greece by the end of June and have ruled out a "total restructuring" of the country's debt, said Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the group of euro-area finance ministers. Inspectors from the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are set to wrap a review of Greece's progress in meeting the terms of last year's EUR 110b (USD 157b) bailout in the coming days. The EU will then formulate its plan for additional aid to Greece, which remains shut out of financial markets a year after the rescue package. (Source: Bloomberg)

Russia: Central Bank signals rate pause after surprise increase. Bank Rossii, the central bank, raised its overnight deposit rate to 3.5% from 3.25%. It left its refinancing rate and overnight repurchase rates unchanged after a quarter-point increase in April, saying in a statement that borrowing costs may be at the level necessary to tackle inflation and promote growth "for the nearest months". (Source: Bloomberg)

EU: Drop in Spanish inflation rate in May raises hopes for economy
Spain’s May inflation rate was slightly lower than a month earlier, fueling hopes that prices will stabilize and support consumer spending. Consumer prices, based on European Union calculations, rose 3.4% from a year earlier, the National Statistics Institute said. Prices in April gained 3.5%, the most since Oct 2008. Inflation was 3.5% according to the Spanish measure of prices, the institute said. The European Central Bank is “carefully” monitoring inflation risks to avoid commodity prices affecting wage demands and other costs, President Jean- Claude Trichet said on 26 May. (Bloomberg)

Canada: 1Q economy growth quickens to 3.9% on business gains
Canada’s first-quarter economic growth accelerated to the fastest pace in a year, as outlays by businesses increased while consumer and government spending stalled. GDP in the world’s 11th-largest economy expanded at a 3.9% annualized pace from January through March after a previous 3.1% expansion, Statistics Canada said. The Canadian dollar and bond yields fell as the report reinforced investor bets that Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will keep his policy interest rate unchanged at 1%. The central bank predicts growth will slow to a 2% pace in the April-June quarter, and exports are threatened by a strong dollar and auto production curbed by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. (Bloomberg)

20110531 1002 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
pullback correction upside biased.

Gas and Electricity tariff increase
After several rounds of deferment and a long wait, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has finally gotten the green light to implement new electricity tariff rates which will help it mitigate the effects of higher gas prices. “As a result of the gas price increase, TNB’s gas bill will increase by about RM1.5bil per year; due to the gas price increase, TNB will have to increase the electricity tariff to cover for the additional cost”, TNB president and CEO Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohd Nor said at a briefing yesterday. The national power company announced yesterday that the average electricity tariff would be raised by 7.12% from June 1. (StarBiz)

Oldtown updates IPO prospectus In an updated prospectus draft, Oldtown Bhd is pricing its issue/offer price at RM1.25 per share for its initial public offering (IPO) of 96.4 million shares of RM1 each, instead of offering 59.5 million shares as stated in its first draft posted in February. The company, which owns and operates the Oldtown White Coffee chain, aims to list on Bursa Malaysia’s Main Market on July 11. (StarBiz)

Boustead, Prokhas in propellant plant deal
Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC), together with its joint venture partner Prokhas Manager Sdn Bhd, will set up a RM58 million plant to make propellants for the country's armed forces sector as well as the Asean market in future. Propellant is a solid chemical-based material used to propel projectile from guns, firearms, artillery, rockets and others. (BT)

MFM baking a RM200m financial recipe for expansion
Flour miller Malayan Flour Mills Bhd (MFM) is expected to raise RM200 million by undertaking six proposals which includes increasing their authorized capital to 500 million from 200 million shares. The proceeds from the proposals will be utilized for the company’s expansion plans, including construction of factory buildings and purchase of plants and machinery. (Malaysian Reserve)

Telecommunication: To pass service tax to prepaid users. Prepaid mobile phone users may have to pay more for airtime from July as telecommunication companies (telcos) work out a plan to pass down to consumers the 6% service tax imposed by the government. Most telcos are currently absorbing the tax, which had been increased from 5% to 6% from 1 Jan 2011 due to competitive reasons. (Source: The Sun)

Broadband: Measat In broadband deal with Thaicom. Measat Global Berhad has signed a 10-year deal with Thailand's sole private satellite operator, Thiacom Public Company Ltd, to provide bandwidth capacity and related broadband services in Malaysia, to be called Measat 5. This project will allow Measat to expand its support to local telecommunication companies in providing connectivity to all areas of Malaysia. (Source: The Star)

20110531 0955 Global Market Related News.

  DJIA chart reading : pullback correction downside biased.
Hang Seng chart reading : correction range bound little downside biased.

Asian Stocks Rise on Optimism Over Greece Aid Package; Billabong Advances
Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index paring the biggest monthly decline in a year, amid speculation European officials will sanction more assistance for Greece.

China Raises Non-Residential Power Prices in 15 Provinces to Ease Shortage
China will raise electricity prices for non-residential users from June, the first increase in more than a year, to curb demand and boost power generation as the nation battles a shortage that may be the worst on record.

Japanese Stocks Advance for First Time in Three Days on Greece Optimism
Japanese stocks rose for the first time in three days, paced by exporters, amid optimism European officials will sanction additional assistance for Greece, potentially easing the region’s debt crisis. Sony Corp., which gets more than a fifth of its sales from Europe, advanced 1 percent as the region’s currency rose against the yen and the dollar. Elpida Memory Inc., the world’s third- largest maker of computer memory, climbed 0.9 percent. Sharp Corp., which gets almost half its revenue outside of Japan, gained 2.8 percent. Tokyo Electric Power Co. fell 2.8 percent after its credit ratings were lowered to junk status by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Japan Industrial Production Rose 1% in April
Japan’s industrial production rose less than economists forecast in April and unemployment climbed, increasing the likelihood that the economy will contract for a third quarter.

South Korea’s Slower Output Growth Bolsters Case for Keeping Rates on Hold
South Korea’s industrial production expanded at the slowest pace in seven months in April, bolstering the case for the central bank to keep interest rates on hold in a decision due June 10.

Thailand May Raise Rate Ahead of Vote
Thailand’s central bank will probably increase interest rates for the fourth time this year, as rising food and fuel prices become a pivotal issue for the July 3 general election. The Bank of Thailand will boost its benchmark one-day bond repurchase rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3 percent, according to all 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, adding to increases of the same amount each in January, March and April. The decision is due at 2:30 p.m. in Bangkok tomorrow.

Euro Rises to 3-Week High on Speculation Germany to Support New Greek Aid
The euro rose to a three-week high against the dollar on speculation European officials will approve additional assistance for Greece, increasing demand for the region’s assets.

Drop in Spanish Inflation Rate in May Raise Hopes for Nation’s Economy
Spain’s May inflation rate was slightly lower than a month earlier, fueling hopes that prices will stabilize and support consumer spending. Consumer prices, based on European Union calculations, rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier, the National Statistics Institute said today. Prices in April gained 3.5 percent, the most since October 2008. Inflation was 3.5 percent according to the Spanish measure of prices, the institute said.

Russia Lifting Grain-Export Ban May Fail to Alleviate Global Crop Shortage
Russia, once the second-biggest wheat exporter, will let a grain-shipment ban expire on July 1, a move that may fail to ease a global shortage caused by drought and flood damage to European and U.S. crops. Futures climbed 79 percent in the past year in Chicago, the global benchmark, helped by Russia’s export ban in August after the worst drought in at least 50 years. Poor weather from Canada to Europe destroyed harvests and Ukraine imposed shipment quotas. Rising prices drove global food costs tracked by the United Nations to a record in February.

Greek Aid Package to Be Decided by June
European Union leaders will decide on additional aid for Greece by the end of June and have ruled out a “total restructuring” of the nation’s debt, said Jean-Claude Juncker , head of the euro-area finance ministers’ group.

Australia GDP Likely Shrank for First Time Since 2008
Australia’s economy probably shrank last quarter for the first time since 2008 as floods inundated coal mines and farmland, a contraction the central bank sees as temporary before growth rebounds in the second half of the year.

Dollar struggles near 2-week lows; stocks steady
HONG KONG, May 30 (Reuters) - The dollar hovered near a two-week low against a basket of currencies on Monday and stocks were pinned in tight trading ranges as weak data and the escalating Greek debt crisis kept  market players on the sidelines. 
"In the past these (Southeast Asian) markets were very susceptible to inflationary pressures, but due to better economic management, they are not so much of a hot potato for investors nowadays," said  Khiem Do, chairman of Asia multi-asset team at Barings Asset Management in Hong Kong.

20110531 0951 Global Commodities Related News.

Spring wheat ends at highest since 2008; corn rises
KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 27 (Reuters) - Spring wheat rose for a third day, posting its highest close since 2008 as wet weather delayed seeding of the high-protein crop, while strong demand boosted corn, and the feed grain ended the week flat.
"We're basically still in a weather market," said The Price Futures Group analyst Jack Scoville, who predicted Minneapolis spot July could easily run to $11.00 or $11.25 a bushel.

China's "land of fish and rice" parched by drought
LAKE HONGHU, China, May 30 (Reuters) - The drought gripping stretches of central and eastern China has dried Lake Honghu into an expanse of exposed mud, stranded boats and dying fish farms, threatening the livelihoods of residents in Hubei Province who call this their "land of fish and rice."
Dry spells and floods blight various parts of China nearly every year, and officials are prone to call each the worst in 50 years or longer.

Russia to make announcement on grain export ban-source
MOSCOW, May 27 (Reuters) - Russia will make an announcement on Saturday about its grain export ban, an industry source told Reuters on Friday, but the source did not specify what the decision would be.
"Russia will make an announcement tomorrow," the source said. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, refused to comment.

Drought to cut EU barley yields, malting quality
PARIS, May 27 (Reuters) - Continuing drought is harming the prospects for this year's barley harvest in France and Germany, with spring crops that provide most of the malt used by brewers likely to suffer in both volume and quality, analysts said.
The damage to the overall barley crop in the European Union may be moderated by better conditions in other major producers like Spain and an rise in spring barley area after some growers switched to the crop after losses to winter grains.

Italy 2010 milled wheat products output up 0.4 pct
MILAN, May 27 (Reuters) - Italy's output of milled wheat products, including flour, semolina and bran rose 0.4 percent to 10.3 million tonnes in 2010, industry body Italmopa said on Friday without giving forecasts for this year.
Output value rose 1.2 percent to 2.59 billion euros ($3.68 billion) in 2010, helped also by increased grain prices, but Italian millers struggled to pass on costs to final consumers and saw margins hit last year, Italmopa Chairman Umberto Sacco said in a statement.

Putin says Russia to lift grain export ban from July 1
MOSCOW, May 28 (Reuters) - Russia will lift a grain export ban from July 1, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Saturday, bringing what was formerly the world's third-largest wheat exporter back to world grain markets.
Russia expects the grain harvest to be "quite good" this year and sowing is better than last year, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who oversees government agricultural policy, told Putin.

Argentina wheat area to fall 10 pct-Rosario exchange
BUENOS AIRES, May 27 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2011/2012 wheat area is seen shrinking by more than 10 percent from last season, the Rosario Grains Exchange said in a report released on Friday.
The exchange did not specify the total number of hectares it predicted would be planted with wheat this season.

Philippines says may export more sugar, eyes Asia buyers
MANILA, May 30 (Reuters) - The Philippine Sugar Regulatory Administration said on Monday it was considering exports of sugar on top of quota shipments this year to the United States, although it did not say how much it was looking to sell.
In a brief statement, the industry regulator said it was looking to export locally produced sugar, most likely to Asian countries but was open to discussions with any potential buyer.

German sweets industry cannot buy sufficient sugar
HAMBURG, May 27 (Reuters) - European sugar supplies remain tight and German manufacturers cannot buy enough despite European Union moves to get more of the sweetener on the market, the German chocolate and confectionery industry association BDSI said on Friday.
"Supply tightness on the European market has not been solved despite EU action," the BDSI said in a statement. "On the contrary, confectionery manufacturers are faced with supply gaps and dramatic price rises."

Thailand sees record 2011 sugar exports
BANGKOK, May 27 (Reuters) - Thailand expects to export a record 7 million tonnes of sugar in 2011, a senior official said on Friday, though demand from traditional buyers in the Middle East and new Russian and EU markets could help ease pressure from the global surplus.
The 2010/11 crushing season had almost ended and a total 9.62 million tonnes of sugar was likely to be produced, the highest ever, Prasert Tapaneeyangkul, secretary-general of the Office of Cane and Sugar Board (OCSB), told Reuters.

Ghana cocoa main crop tops 900,000 T - Cocobod
ACCRA, May 29 (Reuters) - The provisional tally for Ghana's 2010-11 cocoa main crop purchases reached a record 904,000 tonnes, some 55 percent above last year's levels, the head of Ghana's Cocoa Board (Cocobod) told Reuters on Sunday.
Chief Executive Tony Fofie, who dismissed reports the tally was padded by large amounts of beans being smuggled into Ghana from Ivory Coast, said the light crop would produce "at least 80,000 tonnes".

German drought threat to biodiesel producers
HAMBURG, May 27 (Reuters) - Drought will sharply cut the rapeseed harvest in Germany, which produces about a quarter of the European Union's crop, and is likely to force biodiesel producers to cut output.
About 75 percent of Germany's rapeseed is used by its  biodiesel industry, the largest in the EU.

Crude falls as OPEC pumps more in May
SINGAPORE, May 30 (Reuters) - Brent crude edged below $115 a barrel on Monday on expectations that OPEC's oil output in May would come in higher than April, with investors also focused on demand from top consumer the United States as the summer driving season begins.
"There are expectations of prices picking up purely because of the drive time in the U.S.," said Jonathan Barratt of Commodity Broking Services managing director in Sydney. "We feel that might actually support crude prices."

Fuel subsidies, SE Asia's "opium" habit, hard to break
SINGAPORE, May 30 (Reuters) - Governments in Southeast Asia have a narrow window of opportunity to pare back politically popular fuel subsidies on their own schedule before budgets or bond holders force their hands.
The wild card, as always, is oil prices. If crude climbs back toward 2008's record highs, as many private economists predict, Indonesia and Malaysia look particularly vulnerable as subsidies consume a bigger share of public spending.

China sees tight fuel supply amid ongoing power shortage
BEIJING, May 30 (Reuters) - China's fuel supplies are expected to remain tight in June due to strong seasonal consumption coupled with additional demand from diesel-fired power generators amid ongoing power shortages, a report by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) showed on Monday.
"Even though falling crude oil prices in May lowered operational costs for refiners ... (We) are not optimistic about domestic fuel supply in the second quarter," the commission said in the report on its website (www.ndrc.gov.cn).

Pricey gasoline took bigger toll March US demand
WASHINGTON, May 27 (Reuters) - U.S. oil demand in March was slightly stronger than previously estimated, up almost 1 percent year-on-year, though high prices curbed gasoline use by more than initially thought, government data showed on Friday.
The latest estimates of domestic consumption, considered more reliable than initial weekly statistics since they take additional data such as exports into account, suggest prices took a bigger toll on gasoline consumption that first realized, while demand for distillate fuel was surprisingly strong.

Shanghai base metals fall; global economy worries weigh
SHANGHAI, May 30 (Reuters) - Shanghai base metals fell on Monday, with copper on track for a nearly 1 percent loss in May under pressure from European debt worries, the expiry of the second U.S. quantitative easing program at the end of June and fears of further monetary tightening in China.
"Investors are hesitant today as the global economic picture hasn't been very encouraging with euro zone debt problems and as the U.S. approaches the end of QE2," said Shanghai CIFCO Futures analyst Zhou Jie.

Japan April rare earths imports from China up 2.6 pct m/m
TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - Japan's imports of rare earths from China inched up 2.6 percent in April from March but some market players say demand may slow in the third quarter, partly because stocks were likely to be unused in the wake of the March earthquake.
Imports of rare earths from China stood at 1,646 tonnes in April, finance ministry data showed, up from 1,603.6 tonnes in March. China accounted for about 73 percent of Japan's rare earths imports in April.

Japan April zinc exports plunge 40 pct yr/yr
TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - Japan's refined zinc exports for April plunged 40 percent from a year earlier to 5,047 tonnes, widening from March's year-on-year decrease of 34.6 percent, Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday.
The wider year-on-year drop in April reflected the impact from a March 11 earthquake which devastated northeast Japan and shut nearly 65 percent of the country's production capacity of  zinc, used in automotive steel sheet and construction materials.

Japan April copper exports plunge 51 pct yr/yr
TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - Japan's refined copper exports plunged 51 percent in April from a year earlier to 23,582 tonnes for a seventh straight month of year-on-year declines, partly reflecting weak demand from China, the world's top consumer of the metal.
The Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday that of total copper exports, 29 percent went to China, down sharply from 48.5 percent in March, while Taiwan was the top importer of refined copper from Japan accounting for 32 percent, up from 21 percent in March.

World copper demand growth to slow in '11, cautious on
SHANGHAI, May 29 (Reuters) - Global demand growth for copper is expected to slow to 8.4 percent in 2011-12, slowing substantially from the average growth of 16.4 percent between 2005-2010, the International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) said.
China's demand for the red metal, used extensively in the electrical manufacturing, construction and power sectors, is expected to grow by 7 percent this year, down from a double-digit growth in 2010, the general secretary of the International Wrought Copper Council Mark Loveitt said on Sunday.

Gold steady on Greece debt fear; Shanghai margin weighs
SINGAPORE, May 30 (Reuters) - Gold held steady and silver extended gains from the previous week on Monday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and the ongoing debt crisis in the euro zone, while a hike in margins by the Shanghai Gold Exchange will kept sentiment in check.
"The margin hike in Shanghai Gold Exchange is adding pressure to prices," said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong.

China crude steel output seen at 680 mln T in 2011-planning official
SHANGHAI, May 29 (Reuters) - China, the world's largest steel producer, is expected to produce a record 680 million tonnes of crude steel this year, a senior official at an industry planning institute said, as demand remains strong in the investment-driven economy.
"Steel production will still see high growth, despite that Beijing may make further tightening moves in the second half of this year," Li Xinchuang, head of the China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute, told a conference. 

20110531 0950 Palm Oil Related News.

ITS CPO export up 7.9% to 1,354,516 tonnes for the period of 1~31 May 2011.
SGS CPO export up 2.5% to 1,353,895 tonnes for the period of 1~31 May 2011.

Palm oil at over 2-mth top on demand hopes
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures hit the highest since March 21 on Monday buoyed by expectations that export data due this week will show solid demand, though talk of stronger production capped gains.
"Traders took positions on expectations that exports would show better growth. We're looking at 1.45 million tonnes at least," said a trader in Kuala Lumpur.