Thursday, June 2, 2011

20110602 1833 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3403, changed : +43 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : weakening, buyer taking profit.
Support : 3350, 3300, 3270, 3250 level.
Resistance : 3420, 3450, 3470, 3500 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded gains with improved volume transacted while soy oil overnight closed recorded small loss and currently trading higher testing resistance level.
Daily chart formed an up bar bar candle with small lower shadow positioned near middle Bollinger band level after market opened 1 tick higher, tested lower support level and marching higher towards the end to closed near the high of the day.
Chart reading suggesting a correction range bound upside biased market development possibly resumed testing higher 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.

20110602 1814 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1557.5 changed : +0.5 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : turned downward, buyer taking profit.
Support : 1550, 1540, 1530, 1515 level.
Resistance : 1565, 1580, 1590, 1600 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed 1 tick higher with increasing but relatively low volume participation doing half point discount compare to cash market that closed little higher while regional(Asia & European) trading mostly lower and overnight U.S. market slumped severely lower after disappointing employment and manufacturing data.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle with small lower shadow still managed to closed near upper Bollinger band level after market opened gap down, tested little lower and recovered upward all the way closing the gap to closed at the high of the day.
Technical reading suggesting a correction range bound 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.

20110602 1714 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Equities down but not out on U.S. soft patch
SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - Asian stocks fell on Thursday, with a steady stream of weak U.S. data putting a damper on risk taking ahead of Friday's payrolls report, though valuations will probably in the near term limit a big decline in global share prices.
"U.S. shares needed a correction of their recent steep gains. Japanese shares will be capped for now but cheap valuations will give the market support," said Ryota Sakagami, strategist at Nomura Securities in Tokyo.

Brent oil falls on weak U.S. data, OPEC eyed
SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - Brent and U.S. crude oil declined for a second day on Thursday on a surprise gain in U.S. crude stocks, weak jobs data in the world's top crude importer and a report that OPEC will meet next week to discuss a 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) output increase.
"We have negative economic news of various types that led to not only to this fall (in prices) but also the stock market," said John Vautrain of consulting firm Purvin & Gertz.

China urges more coal imports to keep lights on
BEIJING, June 1 (Reuters) - China will encourage coal imports and urge miners to boost output to increase supplies to power plants, China's economic planning agency said on Wednesday, as the world's largest energy consumer tackles its worst power shortages in seven years.
Despite its massive electricity generating capacity, China is facing power shortages because power producers are forced to accept a low fixed price for the electricity they supply to the grid, economists say. With high coal costs, many power firms prefer to cut output rather than incur losses.

OPEC to consider up to 1.5 mln bpd output hike-EIG
NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - OPEC will discuss increasing oil output by up to 1.5 million barrel per day (bpd) when it meets next week, industry publisher Energy Intelligence reported late on Wednesday, citing OPEC sources and delegates.
A formal production hike would run counter to expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would hold fire at its June 8 meeting, opting not to bow to Western pressure to officially raise output even as some of its members have acted independently to pump more crude.

US bill would allow $500 mln emergency oil sale
WASHINGTON, June 1 (Reuters) - A request by the Obama administration to sell $500 million in crude from the U.S. emergency oil stockpile was included in a spending bill released on Wednesday by the House Appropriations Committee, with a spring 2012 deadline to sell the crude.
The Energy Department has to inspect and possibly repair some of the underground caverns that hold the 727 million barrels of oil in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Part of the oil has to be removed from the caverns so the inspections can be carried out, according to the department.

Corn dips on planting hopes, wheat steady after selloff
SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - Chicago corn fell around half a percent on Thursday, while soybeans were little changed on forecasts of dry weather boosting prospects for U.S. Midwest plantings, which have been delayed by excessive rains.
"Limiting gains in corn was a dry weather outlook for the corn belt which should boost the pace of sowing this week to close to 97 percent," ANZ said in a report.

China 2011 cotton planting area seen up 6.6 pct on yr -assn
BEIJING, June 2 (Reuters) - China's cotton planting area this year is expected to rise 6.6 percent from 2010, said China Cotton Association on Thursday.
Total cotton area is estimated at 5.472 million hectares, said the association in a statement published on its website, adding that cotton planting is nearly complete.

Brazil soy exports rise in May vs April - govt
SAO PAULO, June 1 (Reuters) - Brazilian exports of soybeans rose in May from April, contributing to the strongest monthly trade surplus so far in 2011, trade ministry data showed on Wednesday.
Brazil finished harvesting a record soybean harvest of roughly 72 million tonnes in May.

Brazil CS sugar output view may fall more -Raizen
PIRACICABA, Brazil, June 1 (Reuters) - Sugar and ethanol output in Brazil's center-south could fall from current forecasts unless cane's sugar content picks up as the harvest advances, the country's largest cane group, Raizen, said on Wednesday.
Raizen said sugar output could fall to as low as 31.1 million tonnes compared with a current industry estimate of 34.6 million. Ethanol production could fall slightly to 25.2 billion liters, below the current industry estimate of 25.5 billion.

Linn Group lowers US corn, soy plantings f'casts
CHICAGO, June 1 (Reuters) - The Linn Group on Wednesday lowered its forecast of U.S. 2011 corn plantings to 87.233 million acres, from its May 18 estimate of 89.538 million.
The Chicago commodity research and brokerage firm also cut its estimate of U.S. 2011 soybean plantings to 74.894 million acres, from its mid-May estimate of 75.094 million.

Russia, grains lobby urge export limits
MOSCOW, June 1 (Reuters) - Russia should consider introducing export limits on grain linked to domestic prices through a system of floating import duties, its central bank governor and an industry lobby said on Wednesday.
"To soften the effect on domestic prices of the end of the ban we could temporarily, say for one year, introduce a mechanism of floating" tariffs, RIA quoted central bank governor Sergei Ignatyev as saying.

LME copper extends losses on dimming US economic outlook
SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - London copper fell on Thursday, extending the previous session's losses, under pressure from disappointing manufacturing and jobs data from the United States, which heightened anxiety that the global economic recovery may hit a soft spot.
"It's the usual story -- people get a bit wobbly when they think China is slowing. But these numbers are right in the sweet spot for a perfect soft landing, and should be seen as positive," a trader in Singapore said.

Philippines sees 2011 metallic mineral output value up 24 pct
MANILA, June 2 (Reuters) - The Philippines is forecast to produce 137.6 billion pesos ($3.2 billion) worth of precious and base metals this year, up 24 percent from 2010, with higher world prices encouraging miners to ramp up output, a state agency said.
Output volumes for most metals, excluding gold, were projected to rise by double digits the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said in a statement.

Gold steady on Greek crisis, US growth concerns
SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - Spot gold prices held steady on Thursday, after rising to a one-month high in the previous session when Moody's downgrading of Greece and weak U.S. economic data sent some investors to seek a safe-haven in bullion.
"We've recently seen a lot of worse-than-expected economic data," said Ong Yi Ling, an analyst at Phillip Futures, "The economic uncertainty will keep gold underpinned."

20110602 1130 Global Market & Crude Oil Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Equities fall as risk on hold, US dollar steadies
SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - Asian stocks dropped on Thursday, with investors spooked by a sell-off on Wall Street overnight and a steady stream of soft data from major economies that has put a damper on risk-taking ahead of Friday's U.S. payrolls report.
Readings of economies around the world from China to the United States have been for the most part undershooting forecasts, raising questions about how well risky assets will hold up once the Federal Reserve's $600 billion bond buying programme ends this month.

OIL: Crude stays weak after U.S. crude stocks build
TOKYO, June 2 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures extended declines on Thursday after an unexpected jump in U.S. crude inventories, also hurt by an industry report that OPEC may increase oil output at its meeting next week.
OPEC will discuss increasing oil output by up to 1.5 million barrel per day (bpd) when it meets next week, with a 1 million-bpd rise the most likely outcome, industry publisher Energy Intelligence reported late on Wednesday, citing OPEC sources and delegates.

NATURAL GAS: Natgas reverses two-session gain on weather forecast
NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures settled lower on Wednesday, reversing two sessions of gains as expectations for some moderation in hot weather forecasts cut the cooling demand outlook.
"Mother Nature's been very, very bullish in terms of the weather forecast," said Kyle Cooper, managing director with IAF Advisors in Houston. "The weather's still bullish, just not quite as bullish as last couple of weeks."

EURO COAL: Prices stable, watching for China import rise
LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Coal prices were stable on Wednesday, returning to the levels seen at the start of the week after oil prices fell, traders said.
"Coal's back to where it was on Tuesday now that oil has fallen again but everybody's watching for Chinese new buying - the sentiment from Bali was pretty bullish," one European trader said.

COMMODITIES: Oil, copper buckle under data, gold hits 1-mth high
NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - Most commodities fell on Wednesday, as surprisingly weak U.S. jobs and manufacturing data fed fears about the outlook for raw materials demand, but safe-haven buying of gold boosted the precious metal to a one-month high.
"The problem is, the economy in the U.S. is getting worse," said Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors in Florida.

OPEC to consider up to 1.5 mln bpd output hike-EIG
NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - OPEC will discuss increasing oil output by up to 1.5 million barrel per day (bpd) when it meets next week, industry publisher Energy Intelligence reported late on Wednesday, citing OPEC sources and delegates.
A formal production hike would run counter to expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would hold fire at its June 8 meeting, opting not to bow to Western pressure to officially raise output even as some of its members have acted independently to pump more crude.

POLL-U.S. crude stocks seen down on weaker imports
BANGALORE/NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories fell last week as imports declined, an expanded Reuters poll of analysts showed on Wednesday ahead of reports from the private and public sectors.
Crude stocks were forecast down 1.3 million barrels, on average, in the week to May 27. Ten of 13 analysts expected a drawdown, while two projected a build and one predicted no change.

20110602 1128 Global Economic Related News.

DJIA drops 279.65 on economic worry
US stocks suffered their biggest declines since the middle of last year, as several downbeat reports prompted fears the economic recovery is running out of steam. Stocks plunged on Wednesday, suffering their biggest drop in almost a year, as a slew of downbeat reports prompted fears the economic recovery was running out of steam. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 279.65 points, or 2.2%, to 12290.14, the biggest point drop since 4 June 2010. All 30 of the blue-chip components finished in negative territory. The Dow, which snapped a four-day winning streak, fell by more than 2% for only the second time this year. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 30.65 points, or 2.3%, to 1314.55, its biggest drop since 11 August.. Only 10 stocks in the S&P 500 finished in positive territory. The technology-oriented Nasdaq Composite fell 66.11 points, or 2.3%, to 2769.19. (Bloomberg)

Thailand: Raises rate fourth time in 2011 to fight inflation
Thailand raised interest rates for the fourth time this year to damp accelerating inflation, as parties contesting the general election next month pledge to counter the impact of higher costs. The Bank of Thailand voted unanimously to boost the one-day bond repurchase rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3%, it said in Bangkok today, adding to increases of the same amount each in January, March and April. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Democrats and the main opposition party have promised to raise wages and extend caps on food and diesel costs as they vie for votes. (Bloomberg)

Vietnam: Lifts dollar reserve ratio to damp prices, steady Dong
Vietnam’s central bank ordered lenders to set aside more dollars as reserves for the second time in less than two months, escalating the nation’s fight to steady the dong and quell the highest inflation in Asia. The reserverequirement ratio on U.S. dollar deposits will rise by 1 percentage point to a range from 4% to 7%, effective this month, the State Bank of Vietnam said on its website yesterday, without specifying an exact date. Earlier yesterday, it ordered state-owned firms to sell all the foreign currency they collect to banks from 1 July. (Bloomberg)

Australia: GDP shrinks on exports as spending buoys currency
Australia’s economy shrank in the first quarter by the most in 20 years as floods hurt exports, even as stronger business investment underscored the central bank’s forecast for a rebound in the second half of the year. Gross domestic product fell 1.2% from the previous three months, when it rose a revised 0.8%, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney yesterday. Exports slumped 8.7%, subtracting 2.1 percentage points from GDP growth, yesterday’s report showed, while machinery and equipment spending jumped 6%, adding 0.4 point. (Bloomberg)

Greece: Default risk raised to 50% at Moody’s as bond aid readied
Greece’s risk of default was raised to 50% by Moody’s Investors Service as European officials rushed to put together the second bailout plan in two years to stave off renewed financial turmoil in the region. Moody’s downgraded Greece to Caa1 from B1, putting it on a par with Cuba, according to a report published late yesterday. The move came after policy makers considered asking investors to reinvest in new Greek debt when existing bonds mature. Twelve years after the currency was started, European leaders are trying to prevent the euro area’s first sovereign default. A EUR110bn (USD158bn) rescue in 2010 failed to prevent an investor exodus from Greece, and the country now faces a funding gap of EUR30bn of bonds next year with yields on its 10 year bonds above 16%. (Bloomberg)

EU: ECB said to favor Greek bond rollover as EU fights crisis
The European Central Bank may back a plan encouraging investors to buy new Greek bonds to replace maturing securities, said two officials familiar with the situation, softening the ECB’s opposition to any restructuring to fix the country’s debt crisis. The ECB is examining that step because it could ease Greece’s funding squeeze without technically constituting a default, the officials said on condition of anonymity. The Frankfurt-based Executive Board is still opposed to any extension of maturities, said one of the officials. (Bloomberg)

US: Factories, employers pull back as costs climb
Manufacturing in the US grew at the slowest pace in a more than a year and employers added fewer jobs than forecast, sending share prices lower on concern a slowdown in the world’s largest economy will extend into the second quarter. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index fell more than projected to 53.5 last month, the lowest level since September 2009, from 60.4 in April, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said yesterday. Companies added 38,000 workers to payrolls, the fewest since September, according to ADP Employer Services. (Bloomberg)

E.U: Factory growth slows in May, adding to signs that momentum is weakening in a global economy facing headwinds from rising commodity costs and regional shocks. In the 17-nation euro region, a gauge of manufacturing slipped to 54.6 from 58 in April. Thats below an initial estimate of 54.8 released on May 23 with countries from Germany to Spain showing declines. (Source: Bloomberg)

China: Manufacturing in May expands at slowest pace in nine months as the government extended a campaign to cool inflation and the property market, a survey of companies indicated. The Purchasing Managers Index was at 52 from 52.9 in April. The index has a seasonal pattern of falling in May, economists said before the release. (Source: Bloomberg)

India: May manufacturing grows at slowest pace in four months as inflation above 8% and nine interest-rate increases since mid-March 2010 crimped output. The Purchasing Managers Index fell to 57.5 in May from 58 in April. A number above 50 indicates expansion. (Source: Bloomberg)

Indonesia: Inflation slows in May, easing pressure to raise rates. Consumer prices in Southeast Asias biggest economy rose 5.98% YoY last month compared with a 6.16% YoY gain for April. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110602 1126 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

 KLCI chart reading :
pullback correction upside biased.

Dialog signs RM1.9bn contract for Johor terminal
Dialog E&C SB, a wholly subsidiary of Dialog Group, yesterday secured an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract and an alliance agreement with Pengerang Independent Terminals SB (PITSB) worth RM1.9bn. The EPCC contract and alliance agreement entail the provision of EPCC services to PITSB for the first phase of an independent deepwater petroleum terminal at Pengerang Johor. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Dialog said the petroleum terminal comprise a harbor port, jetty and other marine facilities capable of handling ultra large crude carriers, very large crude carriers and other vessels, with tankage facilities for the handling, storage, processing and distribution of crude oil, petroleum, petrochemicals and chemical products. (Financial Daily) 

SEB has 50% utilisation rate
Sarawak Energy (SEB), which will have the rights to the Bakun dam’s power at rate of 6.25 sen per kwh, has a firm utilisation rate of 50% from its four customers. The electricity from Bakun, which is priced at 6.25 sen/kwh with an annual hike of 1.5% under a power purchase agreement (PPA) between Sarawak Hidro SB and Syarikat Sesco, confirmed a StarBiz report yesterday. StarBiz quoted sources as saying the rate represented the cheapest tariff in Asian history but would escalate at 1.5% per annum for 30 years. SEB chairman Datuk Hamed Sepawi said the four customers it had secured would utilise some 50% of capacity of the 2400MW to be produced from Bakun hydroelectric dam. (StarBiz)

Benalec monetizes reclaimed land in Melaka
Benalec Holdings yesterday entered into 2 separate deals, one on land disposal while another on JV, with Melaka-based developer Vista Selesa Development SB. The company expects to realize a net gain of RM22.13m from the land disposal and at least RM12.8m from the JV property development. The total net gain of RM34.93m from two exercises represents earnings per share of five sen. (Financial Daily)

Bina Puri secures RM110m worth of construction projects for 2011
Bina Puri Holdings has secured projects worth RM110m for this year and also expects to secure a few more by year-end. “For 2011, we have lined up property launches worth RM250m in GDV, while earnings contributions from the power supply division in Indonesia is expected to come by year-end after all power plants are fully operational,” executive director Mathew Tee Kai Woon said. For 2010, he said the construction division recorded a revenue of RM1.16bn. (Malaysian Reserve)

UDA says land disposal ‘to strengthen cash flow’
UDA Holdings, under pressure from some politicians with regard to contracts that the government controlled property developer has awarded, yesterday explained its reason for disposing of a plot of prime land in Kuala Lumpur. Among others, it said that it sold the 1.15ha land on Jalan Sultan Ismail to Mutiara Goodyear for RM215.5m to boost its cash flow position, which currently stands at RM90m. In a statement yesterday, its chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the disposal is subject to approval of the MOF as UDA is an agency owned by the ministry. (Malaysian Reserve)

EonCap: Primus to pay RM1.9m in court costs following dismissal. Following the dismissal of Primus (M) Sdn Bhd's petition against the sale of EON Capital Bhd (EON Cap) to Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB), Primus now has to pay RM1.9m in court costs. (Source: The Star)

SapCrest: Acquires shipyard stake. SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd (SapCrest) has signed an agreement with Real Mild Sdn Bhd and Labuan Shipyard and Engineering Sdn Bhd (LSE) for the subscription of 25m new shares in LSE, representing 50% stake in LSE. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

Paramount: Has ambitious RM4b projects in pipeline. Paramount Corp Bhd will embark on several projects with a total GDV of RM4b over the next 12 years and will invest RM250m to set up its new university campus in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. (Source: The Malaysian Reserve)

Energy: Sarawak to pay 6.25 sen per kWh for Bakun power. Sarawak will pay federal government 6.25 sen kWh for the purchase of electricity generated by the Bakun hydro power plant under a power purchase agreement (PPA). The basic tariff of 6.25 sen comes with an annual increase of 1.5%. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Autos: Honda Malaysia to resume full production in August. Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhds Alor Gajah plant will resume full production on Aug 1, and will try to increase production by operating additional hours to catch up with shortage of supply from April through July. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily) 

20110602 1042 Renewable Energy Related News.

NEW YORK, May 31 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S.-listed solar companies jumped in early Tuesday trade after news that Germany, the world's leading solar market, would shut down its nuclear reactors by 2022.
American Depositary Receipts of China-based JA Solar Holdings  led the gains, climbing 8.8 percent to $6.15, followed by LDK Solar Co , up 8.7 percent to 7.63, and Yingli Green Energy , up 6.3 percent to $9.29.

May 31 (Reuters) - Canadian Solar Inc  said it formed a joint venture to build a 600 megawatt (MW) wafer plant in Suzhou in Eastern China, with a unit of polysilicon producer GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd .
The total cost for the first phase of the project will be $77 million and the majority will be financed through debt, while the rest will be financed through registered capital, the solar panel maker said.

MADRID, May 27 (Reuters) - Iberian wholesale prompt power bucked a pre-weekend tendency to decline and rose on Friday due to an expected drop in supplies of wind power and a lack of nuclear forcing costlier gas-fired plants to work harder.
The Iberian Electricity Market's (Mibel) spot exchange, Omel, fixed the day-ahead "pool" price for Spain and Portugal at 50.35 euros ($71.54) per megawatt-hour, advancing from 48.60 euros/MWh on Tuesday.
BRUSSELS, May 27 (Reuters) - EU ministers voted on Friday to exempt solar panels from a ban on toxic substances in electrical goods, enabling leading maker First Solar  to keep selling its products in the industry's biggest market.
The revised European Union law generally bans the use of six hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, including cadmium, which is used by U.S.-based First Solar -- the world's No. 1 solar company by market share -- in its panels.

LOS ANGELES, May 26 (Reuters) - China's Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd  on Thursday said it would supply up to 190 megawatts of solar panels this year to German project developer solarhybrid AG .
In a statement, Suntech said it will supply panels for five solarhybrid power plants in Germany as well as one project each in Italy and Slovakia.

KASSEL, Germany, May 26 (Reuters) - SMA Solar , the world's largest maker of solar inverters, is gearing up for a tough defence of its 20 percent-plus profit margins and leading market share as competition intensifies in the lucrative sector.
"We are looking very, very closely at our competition and don't get me wrong -- we're fighting for our customers every day," incoming Chief Executive Pierre-Pascal Urbon told the company's annual shareholders' meeting on Thursday.

PARIS, May 25 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged on Wednesday to boost renewable energy to at least 20 percent of Japan's electricity supply in the 2020s, as he reviews the role of atomic energy after the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.
Kan also assured world leaders the Japanese economy was recovering strongly two and a half months after the massive earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan and left some 25,000 people dead or missing.

PARIS, May 25 (Reuters) - French power company EDF  is preparing for a severe drought this summer, which could curb nuclear production from mid-July in plants located in the southwest, the utility and local authorities said on Wednesday.
So far, the drought has had no impact on nuclear power plant operations and supply to clients is not affected, an EDF spokeswoman said.

20110602 1041 Biofuels Related News.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 31 (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co.   has inked a deal with cellulosic ethanol start-up ZeaChem Inc to convert plant material and other biomass used for ethanol into chemicals for household products and packaging.
The multiyear joint development agreement between the world's largest household products maker and the biofuel company is keyed to a trend among top consumer products players to try to make packaging more environmentally friendly, and thus more appealing to consumers.

BRASILIA, May 31 (Reuters) - Brazil will make available loans of up to 4 million reais ($2.53 million) for each farmer to replant cane and raise yields on fields with aging plants, an official said on Tuesday.
Brazil's government is keen to raise output of cane-derived ethanol to maintain a steady supply during the three month inter-harvest period to avoid price spikes that have fed into a recent rise in inflation.

SAO PAULO, May 27 (Reuters) - Brazil has abruptly reversed the flow of ethanol trade with the United States, resuming its first major exports in years to U.S. companies anxious to meet advanced biofuel requirements, brokers said on Friday.
Brazilian firms have sold about 300 million liters (1.9 million barrels) to the U.S. over the past few months, some of it likely to transit Caribbean countries for tax reasons. Importers are ready to pay substantial premiums in order to meet their mandates, brokers said.

BRASILIA, May 27 (Reuters) - U.S. agribusiness company Bunge  will invest $350 million to grow more sugar cane to feed its sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil, financial daily O Valor Economico said on Friday.
Bunge has stepped up its presence in Brazil's huge cane sector in the last few years, including through acquisitions, and now has seven mills producing sugar and ethanol biofuel which Brazil's millions of flex-fuel cars burn.

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.

SAO PAULO, May 25 (Reuters) - Sugar and ethanol group Tereos Internacional  said on Wednesday it plans to raise 450 million to 600 million reais ($276 million to $368 million) through a share offering in Brazil.
Tereos Internacional, which made the announcement in a regulatory filing, has a controlling stake in Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Acucar Guarani.

20110602 1038 Global Market Related News,

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

 World stocks, euro rise on Greek progress
LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - World stocks hit a three-week high while the euro rose to its highest in a month on Wednesday in a return of risk appetite prompted by expectations of progress on austerity steps and financial aid for Greece.
"The mood does seem to be lifting over the Greek sovereign debt crisis and this is without doubt delivering some short-term cheer across the euro zone," said Cameron Peacock, market analyst at IG Markets.

Asia Stocks Drop as U.S. Jobs, Manufacturing Reports Disappoint (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks dropped for the first time in three days after U.S. manufacturing expanded at the weakest pace in more than a year and employers hired fewer workers than forecast, fueling concern the global economic recovery will slow.

Asia factories feel the chill as U.S., Europe cool
SINGAPORE, June 1 (Reuters) - Factory growth slowed in major Asian countries, surveys released on Wednesday showed, feeding concerns that the world's strongest economic engines are cooling down as the United States and Europe curtail orders.
China's official purchasing managers' index touched a 9-month low and a private survey hit its lowest mark in 10 months, held back by power shortages and a clamp-down on credit.

Manufacturing, Jobs Pull Back as Costs Climb (Source: Bloomberg)
Manufacturing in the U.S. grew at the slowest pace in a more than a year and employers added fewer jobs than forecast, sending share prices lower on concern a slowdown in the world’s largest economy will extend into the second quarter.

Fed’s Chief Counsel Says Faster Emergency-Loan Disclosure May Hurt Economy (Source: Bloomberg)
The Federal Reserve’s chief attorney said a two-year delay in identifying recipients of emergency loans from the central bank is appropriate and that a shorter lag may harm the financial system and U.S. economy.

Job Cuts Announced in U.S. in May Fell 4.3% From Year Ago, Challenger Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Employers in the U.S. announced fewer job cuts in May than a year earlier, signaling the labor market is improving. Planned firings dropped 4.3 percent to 37,135 last month from May 2010, according to figures released today by Chicago- based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Government and nonprofit agencies had the most cutbacks.

Manufacturing Growth Weakens from China to Europe as Global Economy Ebbs (Source: Bloomberg)
Manufacturing growth from China to the euro region and the U.S. slowed in May, adding to signs that momentum is weakening in a global economy facing headwinds from rising commodity costs and regional shocks. A purchasing managers’ index for China showed the slowest pace of expansion in nine months, while the equivalent measure for the euro area fell to a seven-month low. The U.S. gauge of factory growth was at its weakest in a year, Russia’s index signaled “near stagnation,” and reports from Poland to Hungary also showed a loss of manufacturing momentum.

QE3 Would Be ‘Excessively Bearish’ for Stocks, Oppenheimer’s Belski Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Stocks would suffer after an initial jump should the Federal Reserve decide to extend economic stimulus beyond the June expiration of its current quantitative easing program, Oppenheimer & Co.’s Brian Belski said. “We become excessively bearish if the Fed goes to QE3,” Belski said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu. “We do not want to see QE3,” the New York-based chief investment strategist said. “We think that only prolongs the inevitable when the Fed has to eventually sell these securities that they have been buying.”

China Lending-Binge Hangover Looms in 2013 as Wen Spurs Low-Income Housing (Source: Bloomberg)
China’s plan to rein in property prices with a record homebuilding program may worsen local debt risks even as it proves a boon to companies from domestic cement makers to Chilean copper exporters.

Toyota, Honda Lead Asia Carmakers’ U.S. Decline (Source: Bloomberg)
Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. , the automakers hardest hit by Japan’s record earthquake, led U.S. sales declines among Asia-based car manufacturers in May as supplies of some models ran low.

Japan Stocks Drop Most Since March as U.S. Manufacturing, Job Growth Slow (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks fell the most since March after U.S. manufacturing growth weakened and employers hired fewer workers than forecast, fueling concern the global economic recovery will slow.

Greek Aid Package Said to Include Incentives Without Triggering Downgrade (Source: Bloomberg)
European officials preparing Greece’s second bailout in two years may offer bondholders incentives to roll over maturing debt without triggering a credit-rating downgrade that would roil Europe’s banking system, two people with knowledge of the talks said.

EU to Urge Investors to Buy New Greek Debt (Source: Bloomberg)
Greece’s risk of default was raised to 50 percent by Moody’s Investors Service as European officials rushed to put together the second bailout plan in two years to stave off renewed financial turmoil in the region. Moody’s downgraded Greece to Caa1 from B1, putting it on a par with Cuba, according to a report published late yesterday. The move came after policy makers considered asking investors to reinvest in new Greek debt when existing bonds mature.

Periphery woes drag on euro zone factories
LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Fresh signs of decline among  factories in the euro zone's debt-laden periphery tugged  sharply on manufacturing growth across the region as a whole in  May, a survey measuring business activity showed on Wednesday.
The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index  slipped to 54.6 from 58.0 in April, revised slightly lower from a preliminary reading of 54.8 but achieving its 20th month above  the 50 mark that divides growth from contraction.

Dollar Falls to Lowest in 3 Weeks After Reports of U.S. Economic Slowing (Source: Bloomberg)
The dollar dropped to the lowest in three weeks against the currencies of its major trading partners as reports showed slower-than-forecast jobs growth and reduced factory output, adding to concern the U.S. economy is slowing. The U.S. currency weakened after a private survey showed employment increased by 38,000 last month, the smallest gain since September and a measure of manufacturing output in May declined more than forecast. Forecasters reduced estimates for May job growth before the June 3 Labor Department report. The Swiss franc rose against all of its 16 major counterparts, reaching a record against the dollar and the euro, as stocks and commodities dropped, spurring haven demand.

FOREX-Euro hovers near 4-week high on Greece hope; seen capped
LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - The euro hit a four-week high at one point on Wednesday, supported by hopes for a fresh aid deal for Greece, but concerns that any deal would only be a temporary fix kept the currency's gains in check.
The dollar slipped to a fresh record low against the Swiss franc, as deteriorating U.S. economic data put pressure on the greenback, contrasting with upbeat readings of the Swiss manufacturing and retail sectors, which boosted the franc.

20110602 1031 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish stronger on concerns plantings will fall far short of expectations due to poor weather. Linn Group, a brokerage firm, pegged corn plantings at 87.2M acres, down 2.5% from its May estimate and 5.4% from USDA's March estimate. The forecast indicate inventories would become extremely tight, assuming normal yields. The USDA's weekly crop progress report, issued Tuesday, had already raised red flags of how much corn will be planted. The government said 86% of the crop was in the ground, below the average of 95%. CBOT July corn jumps 11c to $7.58 1/2 a bushel

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures finish sharply lower for the second consecutive day on projections global supplies will rise as Russia ends its export ban July 1. US exporters are expected to lose business to Russia, which is known for selling low-cost wheat to buyers in Asia and Middle East. Rains in Western Europe add pressure as they ease concerns about crop losses due to drought, analysts say. CBOT July wheat sinks 23c to $7.59 1/4 a bushel; KCBT July loses 16 1/2c to $8.91 1/2; MGEX July drops 19 1/2c to $10.05 1/2.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures close down the daily 50c limit on spillover pressure from steep losses in the wheat market. Wheat drags down rice as both grains are global food staples. "When wheat sneezes, the rice catches a cold," says Bill Nelson, analyst for Doane Advisory Services. Improvements in US rice planting and condition ratings add pressure. Plantings were 94% complete as of Sunday, nearly on par with average, following earlier delays due to poor weather, according to federal data issued late Tuesday. CBOT July rice falls 3.3% to $14.56 per hundredweight. The daily limit expands to 75c Thursday.

Wheat Drops on Russia Exports, Europe Rain; Corn, Soybeans Gain (Source: Bloomberg)
Wheat futures fell to a two-week low as Russia prepared to lift an export ban next month and rains expected this week in Europe eased drought concerns. Corn and soybeans rose. Russia, once the world’s second-biggest wheat exporter, will allow shipments starting on July 1. The ban was imposed in August after drought slashed crops. This year, France, Europe’s top grower, is suffering from the driest spring in 50 years, forecaster France Meteo said. Showers were expected this weekend after rain helped crops in Germany, Telvent DTN said.

Argentina Wheat Area Seen At 5M (Source: CME)
Argentina's 2011-2012 winter wheat planting area is expected to reach five million hectares, up from 4.4 million hectares planted last season, the Agriculture Ministry said in a press release. The forecast represents the first estimate from the government for the 2011-2012 season. The ministry based its estimate on increased phosphorus imports. From January to April, imports of the key fertilizer rose 65% on the year to 348,181 tons, the ministry said. The Buenos Aires Cereals exchange has forecast winter wheat planting at 4.95 million hectares, and said planting conditions are good across the farm belt after recent showers. However, government export limits still have prevented some farmers from selling last season's wheat crop, causing some to have doubts about planting again, according to the exchange. The government tightly controls wheat and corn exports, only clearing shipments once domestic supply has been set aside.
Those limits infuriate farmers, who say that they cause them to lose a huge chunk of the value of their grains. Argentina is a major wheat producer, with last season's crop yielding 15 million metric tons. It is also a leading wheat exporter, with most shipments heading to neighboring Brazil.

US corn planting near average but rain threatens
CHICAGO, May 31 (Reuters) - Rainy weather in the eastern Corn Belt was slowing down farmers as they tried to finish up their corn planting tasks in areas east of the Mississippi River, analysts said on Tuesday.
Farmers were nearly in line with their historical planting averages but the damp field conditions in areas that have yet to be seeded would likely slow the final efforts to get the crop in the ground.

Russian wheat to ease Asia's tight feed supply
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - Russia's move to lift a ban on grain exports will ease tight feed supplies in Asia, but concerns over harsh weather in top exporters the United States and Europe will keep buyers worried about high-protein wheat production.
Additional volumes of lower-quality wheat from the Black Sea region flowing into Asia will heat up the competition for Australian and South American suppliers, a relief to animal feed producers suffering from record-high corn prices.

US Crop Progress: Eastern Midwest Plantings Lag, West Near Complete (Source: CME)
Planting of corn and soybeans remain a tale of east versus west in the Midwest, with Iowa and Illinois field work nearly done while farther east, seedings remain well behind historical averages. Corn planting nationwide was 86% complete as of Sunday, up from 79% last week and behind the five-year average of 95% for that time of year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data issued Tuesday. The progress fell just shy of traders' expectations. Plantings of spring wheat also advanced from last week but remained behind historical averages. In Illinois and Iowa, the country's top two corn-producing states, planting is nearly done. Planting was 99% complete in Iowa, and 94% complete in Illinois, just above their averages of 98% and 93% respectively. The corn crop also made solid strides in development. Sixty six percent of the crop had emerged as of Sunday, compared to 45% a week earlier and behind the average of 78% for that time of year.
Overall the plantings came in as expected, with traders now looking ahead to what farmers will get planted this week before dialing in the potential for acres shifting to soybeans or lost as farmers take prevent planting insurance, said Dax Wedemeyer, analyst with Iowa based brokerage U.S. Commodities. Farmers in the eastern Midwest continued to struggle to put the crop in the ground due to wetness last week. Nineteen percent of Ohio's corn crop was planted versus the average of 93% for this time of year, and Indiana plantings at 59% lagged the five-year average of 87% for this time of year. The crop progress numbers are critical for setting the table for this year's acreage debate with preventive plant insurance deadlines this week, Bryce Knorr, analyst with Farm Futures publication wrote in a market note. "Traders will try to figure out how many of the unplanted acres will still get planted, how many remain bare and how many are planted to an alternative crop such as soybeans," Knorr said.
Grain users are watching planting progress and crop development closely because corn prices reached record highs last month on concerns about tightening inventories. Soybean planting was 51% complete as of Sunday, up from 41% a week ago and behind the average of 71% for that time of year, according to the USDA. Traders had expected planting to fall in a range of 50% to 59% complete. The crop was 27% emerged, behind the average of 39% for that time of year. Progress in soybean planting mirrored the advances in corn, with western areas of the Midwest accelerating, while eastern areas lagged well behind. Planting was 87% complete in Iowa, in line with the average of 88%, while progress in Indiana and Ohio were only 25% and 7% complete, respectively. Soy plantings progressed well, with traders now focusing on weather conditions for a signal of how many acres will be planted to corn amid drier forecasts for the eastern corn-belt this week, said Wedemeyer.
Traders are eagerly watching the weather conditions to see if it will even allow those acres to be planted in a timely manner, particularly with many river valley acres likely not planted this year after record flooding, Knorr said.

US corn 0.7 pct higher as weather slows plantings
SINGAPORE, June 1 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures rebounded on Wednesday, rising by 0.7 percent, driven higher by concerns of slow crop planting due to wet weather, but the risk of rising supplies from Russia kept wheat prices under pressure.
"The worrying thing is that we are holding near highs  , a  nd price ex  p  ectations remain positive with
a rise  of another 10 percent if planting conditions don't improve."

US corn planting slows due to wet eastern fields
CHICAGO, May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers struggled to plant their corn crop last week, with the pace the slowest in three weeks due to wet weather, and the first condition ratings of the crop lagging last year.
For some farmers, the delays mean having to decide soon on whether to push ahead with corn seeding despite reaping lower yields, or claiming insurance, analysts said.

Canada to end wheat, barley monopoly together -CWB
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 31 (Reuters) - Ottawa plans to end the Canadian Wheat Board's marketing monopoly on spring wheat, durum and barley crops simultaneously in August 2012, the board's chairman said after meeting with Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on Tuesday.
Ritz made his first-ever visit as minister to the Wheat Board's Winnipeg head office for a brisk 30-minute meeting to directly inform the marketing agency of the government's plans to scrap its monopoly on western Canadian grain.

Thai prices gain on fresh demand; rising supply weighs
BANGKOK, June 1 (Reuters) - Fresh demand from Africa and the Middle East helped support Thai rice prices this week, but rising supply capped gains, traders said on Wednesday.
The benchmark 100 percent B grade Thai white rice  was offered at $500 per tonne, up from $490 last week, they said.

Brazil mid crop cocoa arrivals stutter early on
BRASILIA, May 31 (Reuters) - Deliveries of Brazil's mid-crop cocoa to warehouses in the last week continued to rise as the harvest gathers speed, but it only slightly bettered the previous week which raised doubts about its performance ahead.
Arrivals from top cocoa state Bahia rose to 64,115 60-kg bags in the week through May 29 compared with 61,774 bags in the previous week, a meager jump given the harvest is still in its first weeks, data from Bahia Commercial Association showed.

Cameroon cocoa exports up 18 pct y/y by end-April
YAOUNDE, May 31 (Reuters) - Cocoa exports this season from Cameroon, the world's No.5 grower, reached 188,587 tonnes by the end of April, up 18 percent year-on-year, figures from the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (NCCB) showed on Tuesday.
About 2,282 tonnes were shipped in April, down from 5,591 tonnes for the same month of the previous season, the official data showed.

Ivorian cocoa export tax to remain at current level
ABIDJAN, MAY 31 (Reuters) - The Ivorian government will maintain the current level of export tax on cocoa at 210 CFA francs ($0.46) per kilogram next season and would continue discussions to reform the sector, the World Bank said on Tuesday.
The bank had been putting pressure on the Ivory Coast to cut taxes, which it partly blames for low investments in the sector and lower prices paid to farmers.

Colombia growers raise 2011 coffee crop view
SAO PAULO, May 31 (Reuters) - Colombia's coffee crop this year is seen at 9.5 million to 10 million bags, up from 8.9 million bags in 2010, the technical manager of the National Federation of Growers, Ricardo Villaveces Pardo, said on Tuesday.
Pardo speaking with reporters at the Fourth Coffee Dinner and Forum in Sao Paulo, said that good weather and the replanting of trees was helping to improve yields.

Indonesia's Sumatra coffee bean exports in May rise 12 pct y/y
BANDAR LAMPUNG, Indonesia, June 1 (Reuters) - Indonesia's robusta coffee bean exports from the main growing area in southern Sumatra rose 12 percent to 20,363.25 tonnes from the same month a year ago, data from the government's trade office showed on Wednesday.
Indonesia is the world's fourth largest coffee producer after Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam, and the world's number two robusta coffee producer after Vietnam.

Vietnam coffee prices to rise on tight supply
HANOI, June 1 (Reuters) - Domestic coffee prices in Vietnam, the world's second-largest producer after Brazil, could rise more than 6 percent in the second half of this year due to tight global supplies, the Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday. Rising prices may prompt Vietnamese growers to further expand their planting area or invest more to raise yields on the current trees in coming years, while roasters may have to pass on additional costs to coffee drinkers worldwide.

Heavy rain could hurt Ivory Coast cocoa quality
ABIDJAN, June 1 (Reuters) - Good rains fell in Ivory Coast's cocoa regions last week boosting the mid-crop crop but the weather could also weigh on the quality of beans in other parts of the world's top grower, farmers and analysts said on Tuesday.
Heavy rains are expected to continue in the first weeks of June, starting around the coastal region of the country and moving inward towards the centre and north.

French watchdog sees G20 commodities deal this year
PARIS, May 31 (Reuters) - The world's top economies will agree a framework this year to help dampen commodity speculation and price swings by identifying who is behind large positions that influence markets, France's market regulator said.
France, as president of the world's 20 leading economies (G20), steps up a gear in June with its push to shine a light on commodities where surging food and oil prices have triggered social unrest, bumped up inflation and cooled economic growth.

Oil Drops a Second Day as Global Manufacturing Slows; U.S. Supplies Rise (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil declined for a second day in New York after reports showed U.S. crude supplies rose, companies added fewer jobs than forecast and global manufacturing slowed, stoking speculation fuel demand may falter. Futures fell as much as 0.7 percent after the biggest drop in three weeks yesterday. Crude stockpiles climbed the most in more than a month, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Employment rose by 38,000 in May, the smallest gain since September, ADP Employer Services said. A 175,000 increase was forecast, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Manufacturing in China, Europe and the U.S. slowed in May.

Crude Oil Declines the Most in Three Weeks as U.S. Employers Curb Hiring (Source: Bloomberg)
Crude oil dropped the most in three weeks after data showed that U.S. companies added fewer jobs than forecast last month and the expansion of manufacturing slowed, bolstering concern fuel demand growth will weaken. Oil fell 2.4 percent after ADP Employer Services said employment rose by 38,000 in May, the smallest gain since September. A 175,000 increase was forecast, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index decreased to the lowest level since September 2009, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today.

Gold Declines on Speculation Greece to Get Funds, Avoid Sovereign Default (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold may decline for a second day in New York as speculation that Greece’s debt crisis is closer to being resolved curbs demand for the metal as a protection of wealth. Greece’s next aid package may include incentives for bondholders to roll over maturing debt without triggering a credit-rating downgrade that would roil Europe’s banking system, two people with knowledge of the talks said. The dollar was little changed against six major currencies after dropping to a three-week low. Bullion typically moves inversely to the greenback.

PRECIOUS-Gold eases as Greek debt worries recede
LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Wednesday after receding worries about Greece's debt crisis suppressed some of the appetite among investors for safe havens, while the rise in the single European currency dented the euro price of bullion.
Gold came off a four-week high of $1,540.50 hit in the previous session, as European officials met to sketch out options for a second bailout package for Greece.

Global miners may cut Q3 iron ore prices as spot drops
SINGAPORE, June 1 (Reuters) - Global miners may trim iron ore contract prices by around 1 percent in the third quarter following a drop in the average index price from a record high in the second quarter, Reuters calculations showed.
Based on Platts index prices for March to May, to which top iron ore miners Vale  and Rio Tinto   peg third-quarter contract prices, the 62-percent grade averaged $176.96 a tonne, cost and freight, down 1.3 percent from a record $179.24 in December-February.

Vale sees strong China iron demand, shares rising
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 31 (Reuters) - Demand for iron ore from China, the world's largest consumer, has not slackened despite a slowdown in other parts of that economy, an executive with Brazilian mining company Vale  said on Tuesday.
Although the Chinese government has clamped down on credit to fight inflationary pressures, infrastructure and major construction works appeared to be unaffected, said Vale's chief financial officer, Guilherme Cavalcanti.

METALS-Copper steady after China data, soft dollar supports
LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Copper was steady on Wednesday as signs of slowing factory activity in China and Europe constrained prices and attention turned to pending U.S. figures, while a weak dollar against the euro cushioned prices.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange  traded at 9,210.25 at 0959 GMT from a close of $9,220 a tonne on Tuesday.

20110602 1029 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

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

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures climbed, with prices jumping amid the uncertainty of acreage in the face of tight supplies. Lagging planting progress in eastern Midwest is keeping a cloud over the market, with traders factoring in the risk of acreage shifts from corn to soy or idled land as seedings lag well behind historical averages. Outlooks for insatiable demand to return to the market through the 2011-12 marketing year that ends August 2012 places increased pressure on farmers to produce bumper crops in 2011. CBOT July soy ended up 0.7% at $13.86 1/4/bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy product futures end mixed, with soymeal rising in step with soybeans. The uncertainty of 2011 soy production and supplies increase fear of shorter supply availability of soy for crushing into soymeal, analysts said. Soyoil futures inched lower, unable to sustain early advances amid the negative influence of lower crude oil futures. Crude oil influences soyoil due to its use in making renewable fuels. CBOT July soyoil settled down 0.1% at 58.43 cents/pound, and July soymeal ended up 1.5% at $360.70/short ton.

India Eyeing Bumper Oilseeds, Pulses Crops Again In 2011-12 (Source: CME)
With the forecast of a normal monsoon and the timely arrival of rains, India will likely maintain record oilseeds output and increase its pulses crop to cut imports during the crop year beginning July 1, Farm Secretary P.K. Basu said. Oilseeds output is estimated to have jumped to 30.25 million tons in 2010-11 from 24.88 million tons a year ago, while pulses production is expected to rise to 17.5 million tons from 14.66 million tons during the same comparative period. "Even if we can maintain the output [of oilseeds] next year, it will be very good," the farm secretary said. "For pulses, next year we will aim for a production of 18 million tons plus [in 2011-12]." Following the rise in output, the country's edible oil imports during November-April decreased 15% to 3.5 million tons, while pulses imports may fall to between 1.5 million tons and 1.75 million tons in the fiscal year started April 1, from 2.75 million tons in 2010-11, officials said.
India is the world's largest edible oil importer after China, meeting more than half its requirements through imports. The country is also the world's largest buyer of pulses, and meets around a fifth of its annual needs through imports. It is largely self-sufficient in foodgrain staples such as wheat and rice as well as other food crops such as sugarcane. "Timely arrival of monsoon will facilitate timely sowing, although there are other factors. If all goes well, foodgrain production will cross 240 million tons in 2011-12," Basu said. "Even this year, foodgrain output will be more than the last estimate [of a record 235.88 million tons]." He said the government is also gearing up to increase foodgrains output, mainly rice, from the eastern region by 20%-30% as the area's full potential is yet to be tapped.
Weather officials are optimistic that the country will receive normal monsoon rains, particularly after the seasonal rains entered India's mainland through the southern state of Kerala two days earlier than the forecast date of May 31. The seasonal rains gradually progress to cover the rest of the country by July, including the grainbowl northern region, as well as sugarcane- and oilseeds-producing western and central region. Basu said all signs are positive and the monsoon is even expected to hit the western city of Mumbai two to three days ahead of the usual June 10. "Both the sugarcane and cotton areas will be more than 2010-11," the farm secretary said. India's sugar output is estimated at around 24.2 million metric tons during the marketing year that began Oct. 1, leaving it a surplus of around 2 million tons.
The country is estimated to have produced 31.2 million bales of cotton in the crop year through September, up from 29.5 million bales last year. India allowed exports of 5.5 million bales during 2010-11 amid a worldwide shortage.

Palm oil firms on exports, sluggish markets weigh
KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures held firm on Wednesday in choppy trading as strong export growth boosted sentiment while sluggish external markets discouraged position-taking.
"The market is getting support from crude oil and exports data, although agriculture markets are not moving in a definite direction," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage.