Thursday, July 21, 2011

Free IF Derivatives Sdn. Bhd. Seminar Event @ Johor Bahru.

IF Derivatives Sdn. Bhd. Seminar Event @ Johor Bahru

Date:21 July 2011 (Thursaday)
Venue:Grand Paragon Hotel [Map]
18, Jalan Harimau, Taman Century, 80250,  Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.

06:30pm :Registration
07:00pm :Kick start of IF Derivatives by Chris Loh,
Executive Director, IF Derivatives Sdn. Bhd.
07:30pm :"Why Trade Futures ? How To Use Futures As An Investment Tools ?" by Alan Au Yong
09.00pm :Refreshments & Networking
09:30pm :End

Kindly call or SMS name to 016-6620881 for reservation.

Please scroll down for latest news and market study!

20110721 1814 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3130, changed : -23 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in control.
Support : 3100, 3070, 3050, 3020 level.
Resistance : 3150, 3200, 3250, 3270 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded loss with lower volume transacted while soy oil overnight closed recorded gain and currently trading firmer.
News wise, Reuters reported Indonesia palm oil associates estimates Indonesia palm oil year end stock to stayed at normal level of 1.5 to 2 millions tonnes, output seen to rose to 22.5 - 33 million tonnes in 2011 from 21.6 million tonnes in 2010 and Malaysia second half FCPO price to range between RM3,000 to RM3,500 per tonne.
FCPO price eased downward taking some breather after yesterday climb and a lower crude oil price.
Daily chart formed a small down bar candle closed below upper Bollinger band level after market opened unchanged, trade in tight 20 over point range bound market followed by second session selling activities pressed price to trade lower and closed near the low  of the day.
Chart reading still suggesting a side way range bound little upside biased market development doing small pullback correction testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110721 1730 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1563 changed : -1 point, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : falling, seller in advantage.
Support : 1550, 1540, 1530, 1515 level.
Resistance : 1565, 1570, 1580, 1590 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed marginally lower with slower volume changed hand doing 2.5 points discount compare to cash market that closed little higher while Asia markets ended mixed and European markets currently also trading mixed with overnight U.S. market closed slightly lower.
Full of uncertainty over U.S. debt limit and Greece bailout measure that has yet to form any solid decision lead regional markets to swing between gains and losses. News wise, Bloomberg reported that China’s manufacturing may contract for the first time in a year as output and new orders drop, preliminary data for a purchasing managers’ index indicated. Back home, Bumi Armada strong debut lead local index to ended higher.
FKLI daily chart formed the third down doji bar candle closed above lower Bollinger band level after market opened unchanged, traded range bound mostly in negative zone followed by second session testing effort at 1565 resistance level but still lower near opening price.
Chart study suggesting market to trade side way range bound for the near term testing support and resistance level awaits fresh lead or news on U.S. and Europe debt solution.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110721 1532 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Euro up before EU summit, stocks fall on China data
SINGAPORE, July 21 (Reuters) - The euro climbed for a third day, after news about a second Greece bailout made dealers trim positions ahead of a European summit, while Asian stocks and the Australian dollar fell after a China manufacturing gauge reflected contraction for the first time in a year.
"Judging from the current crop of headlines, the most negative outcome for the euro would be a debt rollover without additional measures," Todd Elmer, currency strategist with Citi, said in a note.

Corn falls as weather concerns ease, wheat dips on supply
SINGAPORE, July 21 (Reuters) - U.S. corn slid 0.4 percent after suffering its steepest drop in 2-1/2 weeks in the last session as the market lost some of the weather premium on forecasts of cooler temperatures next week.
"The worst seems to be over for corn, there are forecasts of cooler and wetter weather, that is why corn fell yesterday and it is coming under pressure today," said Adam Davis, a senior commodity analyst at Melbourne-based fund Merricks Capital.

Australia rain outlook mixed for wheat: weather bureau
SYDNEY, July 21 (Reuters) - Australia's key wheat growing regions are facing average or below average rainfall in the three months to October, the weather bureau said on Thursday, indicating some threat to crops during the critical growing period.
Grain regions in western New South Wales, northwestern Victoria and south western parts of Western Australia states are all seen receiving below-average rain while other grain areas are seen getting average precipitation.

Indonesia 2011 crude palm oil output seen at 22.5-23 mln T-assoc
JAKARTA, July 21 (Reuters) - Indonesia's crude palm oil output this year is estimated at 22.5 million tonnes to 23 million tonnes, from 21.6 million tonnes in 2010, executive director of the Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (GAPKI) said on Thursday.
"There is an increase in productivity and also the harvest has started," Fadhil Hasan told Reuters on the sidelines of a seminar. Indonesia is the world's largest palm oil producer.

Indonesia may still want to import white sugar in 2012 -agmin
JAKARTA, July 21 (Reuters) - Indonesia may still import white sugar in 2012 to cover shortages, the country's agriculture minister said on Thursday, adding that the country's sugar sufficiency drive was being hurt by land scarcity.
"It still seems possible. As long as we haven't been able to meet the demand yet," Suswono told reporters at a seminar, referring to imports of white sugar. He, however, pointed out that there were problems with land.

Brazil cocoa arrivals down 11 pct from yr ago
BRASILIA, July 20 (Reuters) - Cocoa deliveries to Brazilian traders' and grinders' warehouses so far this season are around 11 percent below the year-ago period, data from Bahia Commercial Association showed on Wednesday.
Deliveries recorded for the past week were inflated by the addition of cocoa purchases one large trader had not declared in the previous week due to technical problems.

Argentine food inspectors' union ends pay strike
BUENOS AIRES, July 20 (Reuters) - A union representing Argentina's food and animal health agency workers on Wednesday called off a three-day-old pay strike that delayed dozens of grains shipments in port, a union leader told Reuters.
Senasa agency workers, in charge of certifying goods for export, began the work stoppage on Monday.

POLL-Coffee rally over, but high prices here to stay
NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters) - The 2010/11 coffee rally that forced roasters like Starbucks to raise retail prices pinched connoisseurs' wallets and hurt many in the cash market, may be over.
But do not look for a cheaper cup of Java any day soon.
A bumper crop from Brazil and record harvest in Vietnam, the world's biggest growers, will keep arabica coffee prices relatively flat until the end of this year before they start to ebb next year, according to a Reuters poll of 33 analysts around the world. Analysts trimmed their end-2011 forecast slightly compared to a poll at the start of the year.

Brazil's Paranagua sugar exports rise sharply - port
PARANAGUA, Brazil, July 20 (Reuters) - Brazil's Paranagua port exported 1.58 million tonnes of sugar in the first half of 2011, up 22 percent from 1.29 million tonnes a year earlier, port authority figures show.
Paranagua port exported 4.76 million tonnes of sugar in 2010, up 24 percent year-on-year, the data showed.

China may turn top market for Brazil sugar-Datagro
SAO PAULO, July 20 (Reuters) - China could soon become the number 1 market for Brazilian sugar exports, possibly in 2011/12, the head of Brazil's biggest private sugar consultancy said on Wednesday.
Plinio Nastari, head of Sao Paulo-based Datagro, told Reuters in an interview that increasing urbanization in China and rising incomes had boosted demand for processed foods and soft drinks in the world's most populous country.

Brazil cane output seen sluggish until 2013
BRASILIA, July 20 (Reuters) - Brazil's cane sector will fail to achieve a badly-needed rise in output until at least 2013 as aging cane plants produce less and newly-planted areas take time to mature, a senior industry analyst told Reuters.
The urgency of investment in renewal of cane plants has been brought home to mills in the world's top sugar producer with an industry forecast of a production fall for the first time in years as under-investment bites into yields.

Brent reverses early gains after weak China data
SINGAPORE, July 21 (Reuters) - Brent crude reversed early gains to drop below $118 after news that China's factory sector contracted at its fastest  pace in 28 months, but hopes of solutions to sovereign debt woes on either side of the Atlantic could keep a floor under prices.    
"The knee-jerk reaction is to sell off assets like oil. Something is always going to take a bit of a hit, or a blow somewhere, and it looks like it is going to start in the manufacturing sector," said Ben Le Brun of CMC Markets in reference to the fall in PMI.

Global oil stocks release seen on halt for now
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Developed nations are unlikely to release more oil on to the market in coming days, a month after the first release failed to curb oil prices to help protect the global economic recovery, officials and analysts said.
The energy watchdog for industrialised nations, the International Energy Agency, shocked oil markets last month by announcing a release of 60 million barrels of oil and products to offset the loss of Libyan production.

Italy would not block emergency IEA oil release
ROME, July 20 (Reuters) - Italy will not formally oppose a release of emergency oil stocks by the International Energy Agency (IEA) though it is not convinced by the strategy, Junior Industry Minister Stefano Saglia said on Wednesday.
A French government source said last week Italy and Germany were expected to oppose any second release of emergency oil reserves by the IEA, which needs the backing of all 28 members if it is to pour more oil into a volatile crude market.

S.Africa coal industry, unions meet for wage talks
JOHANNESBURG, July 20 (Reuters) - South African coal miners started wage talks with unions and a mediator on Wednesday in a bid to prevent stoppages that could threaten supply to power plants and limit exports, while a fuel sector strike threatening the economy entered its tenth day.  
Africa's largest economy relies on coal for almost all its power, but state-owned utility Eskom has said it has enough coal in stock to last 41 days, so a strike would have to be lengthy to affect its operations.

Copper falls for 2nd day on weak China PMI data
SINGAPORE, July 21 (Reuters) - London copper dropped for a second day, erasing modest gains, as poor manufacturing data on top copper consumer China countered optimism about progress in resolving debt woes in Europe and the United States.
"It's not a good number, no doubt about that. A number like that will put pressure on copper as well as oil because it suggests that the Chinese economy is slowing down," said Jonathan Barratt, managing director at Commodity Broking Services in Sydney.

Indonesia says India's NALCO in talks to invest in smelter
JAKARTA, July 21 (Reuters) - India's state-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO)  is in talks to invest in an aluminium smelter in Indonesia's Kalimantan province, an official at Indonesia's investment agency said on Thursday.
Indian firms are also interested in investing in geothermal power, railways and cement production in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, the official said, declining to give names of companies or potential investment figures.

Metorex H1 copper output up 1 pct to 26,562 T
JOHANNESBURG, July 20 (Reuters) - South African miner Metorex , the takeover target of China's Jinchuan group, said on Wednesday that first-half copper output rose 1 percent compared with the preceding six-months, while production of cobalt fell 6 percent.  
Metorex said production of copper during the six months to the end of June rose 1 percent to 26,562 tonnes, while the production of cobalt fell 6 percent to 1,890 tonnes.

Asian steelmakers saw tough Q2; gains seen capped in Q3
SHANGHAI, July 20 (Reuters) - The double whammy of high input costs and weak demand is expected to have squeezed margins of Asian steelmakers in the June quarter, but the fall in profits could bottom out in the third quarter as seasonal demand picks up.
Analysts expect Asian steelmakers to post lower profits for April-June and the hardest hit will be Japanese companies as the devastating earthquake and ensuing power shortages hit demand for key consumers such as carmakers and shipbuilders.

China leads June global steel output to new record
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Global steel production rose again in June, led by record crude output in China, and U.S. steelmakers also made more, despite slow growth in the world's largest economy, data showed on Wednesday.
But production may ease later this year as steelmakers, facing softer demand in the last few months, could reduce output to defend profitability, some analysts said.

Gold hovers around $1,600/oz; euro zone summit eyed
SINGAPORE, July 21 (Reuters) - Spot gold hovered around $1,600, with investors waiting for a euro zone summit on Greece's debt crisis while concerns around the U.S. debt ceiling talks continued to support sentiment.
"A positive resolution to either the Greek debt problem or a deal by U.S. lawmakers, or both, will likely undermine gold, targeting $1,550 and $1,500 in the short term," said a Singapore-based trader.

20110721 1358 Local & Global Economic Related News.

The  consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.5% yoy in Jun (3.3% in May). Economists had  projected for a 3.6% gain.  On a mom basis, it perked 0.3%. For the first six months, the  CPI was up 3.0%. (Bernama, BT)

Malaysia: Inflation quickens, adding pressure for higher rates
Malaysia’s inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in more than 2 years in June after power tariffs were raised, adding pressure on the central bank to resume interest rate increases to contain price gains. Consumer prices rose 3.5% from a year earlier after climbing 3.3% in May. (Bloomberg)

Malaysia and Japan will invest RM750m to set up the Malaysia-Japan International  Institute of Technology (MJIIT), said Japan’s ambassador to Malaysia Shigeru  Nakamura. The investment, which spans seven years until 2017, includes operational cost,  laboratory equipment, and infrastructure.  
  • Of the total, Malaysia contributed 67% while the rest was financed by the Japanese  government.   
  • The  institute is located at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Jalan Semarak  international campus, which scheduled to take its first batch of 130 students by Sep this  year. (BT)    

The income gap between urban and rural Malaysians is bigger today than before the  country gained independence, a trend that could lead to social instability, said Dr  Muhammed Abdul Khalid, a Fellow with the Institute of International and Strategic Studies  (ISIS). The income gap between the top 20% and bottom 40% widened from RM659 in  1970 to RM8,547 in 2009. He also warned that high inequality trend could also affect  economic growth. (BT)

The government has extended the deadline for utilisation of the  Working Capital  Guarantee Scheme (WCGS) for Bumiputera companies until end-2012, from the end of  2011. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the  one-year extension would be sufficient for Bumiputera companies to fully utilise their  RM1.5bn allocation under the scheme. So far, only RM300m have been utilized by them.  (BT)  

A total of 909,518 transactions valued at US$76.5m  were undertaken by  MasterCard  cardholders from Malaysia and overseas during the first weekend of the 1Malaysia Mega  Sale Carnival 2011 (1MMSC) from 17 Jun to 19 Jun. Mastercard Worldwide Inc in a  statement said the amount was an increase of US$2.3m compared with US$74.2m spent  during the first weekend of MMSC last year from 30 July to 1 Aug.  
  • Malaysian cardholders' spending increased to US$68.4m from US$67.1m previously  with 854,776 transactions made.  
  • The spending of cardholders from overseas increased by 14% to US$8.1m from  US$7.1m with 54,742 transactions made. (Bernama)    

Malaysia has become the third largest investor in Cambodia with its investments in the  country amounting to US$3.4bn from 1980. Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia, Datuk  Pengiran Mohd Hussein Datuk Pengiran Mohd Tahir Nasruddin said Malaysia'a third  placing comes after China and Korea. The investment opportunities for Malaysia are still  plenty especially in the agriculture sector considering the availability of large areas of land  which are yet to be developed in the country, he said. (Bernama)

Malaysian ports handled 10.5% more containers in the first six months of the year, said  Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha. 9,856,859 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs)  containers were handled between January and June against 8,921,113 TEUs registered in  the same period last year. (Bernama, BT)  

U.S. home mortgage applications surged last week, racking up the biggest increase in  four months on a flood of refinancing demand as interest rates remained low, an industry  group said. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of  mortgage application activity spiked up 15.5% in the week ended 15 Jul. It was the largest  increase since early Mar. The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications  soared 23.1%, but the gauge of loan requests for home purchases dipped 0.1%. Fixed 30- year mortgage rates averaged 4.54%, easing from 4.55%. (Reuters)  

US: Obama huddles with leaders on debt deal
President Barack Obama met separately with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday, keeping up efforts to try to strike a deficit reduction deal and head off default by the US government. Obama would also support a short-term extension in the debt ceiling if it allows time for a broader agreement to be enacted, the White House said Wednesday. (

Sales of previously owned US homes dropped in Jun for the third straight month amid  an unexpected spike in contract cancellations, an industry group said. Existing-home sales  slipped 0.8% mom to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77m in Jun (4.81m in May),  the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said. Economists had estimated sales would  rise to a 4.93m rate. (AFP, NAR)  

Eurozone consumer confidence eroded more than generally expected in Jul after a  recovery over the past two months, according to the European Commission's preliminary  estimate released. The index dropped to -11.4 in Jul (-10.3 in Jun). Economists expected a  reading of -10.5. (MNI, Bloomberg)  

Japan’s leading composite index, which measures the state of the economy three  months ahead: May 99.6, posting the first mom rise in three months. (MNI)  

A Chinese leading indicator climbed for the third straight month, adding to evidence that  the world’s second-biggest economy is withstanding Europe’s debt crisis and faltering  growth in the U.S. The index rose 0.5% to 155 in May (+0.1% in Apr), The Conference  Board said, citing a preliminary reading. The gauge is designed to capture prospects over  the coming six months.  (Bloomberg)  

China said that it can allow more yuan moves without jeopardizing its foreign-exchange  reserves after letting the currency rise today to a 17-year high against the dollar. “The  changes in the yuan’s exchange rate against the U.S. dollar causes changes in the paper  value of the reserves when valued in yuan,” the State Administration of Foreign Exchange  said. “This is not a real loss and will not affect the real overseas purchasing power of the  foreign-exchange reserves.” (Bloomberg)  

The Thai automotive industry is likely to miss its export target of 1m units this year  because of a shortage of car parts over the past two months resulting from the earthquake  and tsunami in Japan, the Automotive Industry Club under the Federation of Thai  Industries (FTI) says. (The Nation)

Taiwan: Export orders rose the least in 4 months in June
Taiwan’s export orders increased at the slowest pace in 4 months in June as sales to Japan slumped and demand from Europe moderated. Orders climbed 9.2% from a year earlier, after an 11.5% gain in May. (Bloomberg)

Brazil: Raises key rate to 12.5%
Brazil's central bank raised the country's benchmark rate by 25bps to 12.5%, meeting widely held expectations. The central bank has raised the key rate at six consecutive meetings from the 10.75% level. (

20110721 1352 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Growth forecast may be lowered
Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) may revise downwards its gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 5.3% for the country this year. “The GDP growth number we are looking at, for the second quarter of 2011, is between 3.5% and 4%. If that materialises, then the overall picture for this year is not as robust as I initially thought it would be. But we should still have a GDP growth of 4% to 5% (for the full year),” MARC chief economist Nor Zahidi Alias said on the sidelines of the company’s 2011 CEO Breakfast Forum yesterday. (Source: The Star)

Genting : Genting Group and partner Vina Capital have the Vietnamese government's permission to  reclaim 1,555 ha of land in the Thang Binh district, paving the way for a US$4bn (RM12bn)  recreational resort project with gambling facilities for foreigners, said a Vietnam news  report. Genting and its partner have 12 months to reclaim the area or risk losing the project  site. The project, which was reportedly granted an  investment certificate last December,  will also house five-star hotels, resort villas as well as up to 2,500 houses for sale or ret,  said VietNamNet report, citing information from the Quang Nam People's Committee.  (Financial Daily)

UDA Holdings : UDA Holdings is terminating the proposed sale of a piece of land in Jalan Sultan Ismail in  the heart of Kuala Lumpur for RM215.5m to Nadayu Properties. Nadayu, formerly known  as Mutiara Goodyear Development, said that its solicitors had received a letter from UDA  about the unsuccessful land deal. UDA said it was “unable to obtain the approval of UDA’s  shareholder” for the disposal of the 3.56 acres and intends to terminate the sale and  purchase agreement with Nadayu. “UDA has also proposed that all the obligations and  liabilities of the parties under the SPA shall cease to have effect and none of the parties  shall have any claim against the other for cost, damage, compensation or otherwise.  (Financial daily)  

KLCC Property : KLCC Property expects its latest commercial development Lot C, to contribute about  RM100m to group revenue in the coming financial year.  The office tower portion will be  taken up by Petronas and named Petronas Tower 3. Petronas is expected to move in early  2012.  The retail portion already has 22 tenants, and full occupancy is expected by  September 2011. (BT)

CI Holdings : CI Holdings were suspended yesterday and will remain suspended until tomorrow, on a  strong chance that the company will announce the sale of its unit, Permanis Sdn Bhd. The  company told Bursa Malaysia that the request for suspension of trading was due to an  impending material announcement in relation to a substantial transaction involving its  subsidiary. Speculation has been rife of late that Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings Ltd is  looking to buy Permanis, driving up CI Holdings’ share price to new highs last seen since  2000. (Starbiz)    

SEB : Sarawak is expected to sell up to 230 MW of electricity, via  Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), to West Kalimantan by mid-2014, said State Public Utilities Minister Datuk Amar  Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. Tengah, who is also Second Minister of Planning and Resource  Management, said construction of the new line would commence early next year using a new 275 Kv transmission line that would connect Mambong, near here, to Bengkayang in  West Kalimantan. “The interconnection provides Sarawak the platform to become a  powerhouse in the region and will allow Indonesia to capture massive savings compared to  the cost of the oil-fired power that is mainly used today,” he said in  a statement in  conjunction with the signing of a team sheet for a  power purchase exchange agreement  between SEB and PT PLN Persero (PLN), the Indonesian power utility. (Bernama)  

YTL Communications : YTL Communications will put together a business plan to secure licenses to rollout its 4G  mobile Internet-with-voice service Yes in Sabah and Sarawak. CEO Wing K. Lee said it  had received acknowledgement from the Government fro the required license to start  operations in the two states and had been requested to submit its business plan. However,  the company has not yet been assigned any apparatus assignment. YTL Comm is also  expanding its footprint in Johor this week and is on track to introduce its Android-based  applications. (StarBiz)  

CPO : Malaysia’s palm oil exports rose 5.4% in the first 20 days of July from the same period in  June, independent market surveyor Intertek said.  A total of 1,021,729 metric tons of the  commodity were tracked from July 1 to 20, versus 969,804 in the same period last month,  Intertek said in an e-mailed statement in Kuala Lumpur. (Bloomberg)    

CPO : Indonesia could cut its  crude palm oil  export tax to 15% in August from 20% in July  because of a drop in international prices, an industry source said. “We expect the tax to be  capped at 15% next month because the average price of CPO was US$1,090 (RM3,270)  in the first 20 days of July,” said the source. (Reuters)    

MAS : Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd. Munir bin Abdul Majid will stand down as Chairman of Malaysian  Airline System  Berhad when his current term expires on 31 July 2011. (MAS press  release)     It is up to Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) to decide whether to install aerobridges at the second Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2), says Transport Minister Datuk Seri  Kong Cho Ha. Kong said the ministry has always tell the airport operator that the building  of any airport must be based on international best practices. He said KLIA2 would not only  be used by AirAsia but also other low-cost airlines. (Bernama, BT)  

TNB: TNB Integrated Learning Solution Sdn. Bhd. (ILSAS), a wholly owned subsidiary of  Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with  Persatuan Usahawan Tenaga Malaysia (PUTM) for the sharing of technical expertise and  collaboration on technological innovations with the aim to elevate the expertise of  bumiputera entrepreneurs. The duration of the MoU is for the period of three years. The  collaboration between ILSAS-PUTM encompasses the skill, knowledge and professional  development of bumiputera vendors in Malaysia. ILSAS and PUTM will also work together  towards developing technology innovations, product  improvement and development of  training, leveraging on each other’s expertise. (BMSB)

Cypark :  Cypark Resources has obtained the green light from the Negeri Sembilan government to  develop three integrated renewable energy (RE) parks, including one in Pajam. "With the  three sites, Cypark is poised to deliver its 50MW within its three year RE project delivery  plan with potential concession revenue of above RM60m annually," Cypark Chairman and  Founder Tan Sri Razali Ismail said. Cypark plans to develop RE with total generating  capacity of 100MW by 2015. If the project is implemented in full, the 100MW green energy  is expected to generate additional revenue of up to RM130m annually. (Bernama)

Singapore LTA director roped in for Klang Valley MRT project
Marcus Karakashian, a director of the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA), has been roped in to help oversee the multi-billion ringgit Klang Valley mass rapid transit (MRT) project, sources indicate. Karakashian is a project director for the civil aspects of Singapore’s latest MRT extension project – Downtown Line stage 1 – currently under construction. (Financial Daily)

20110721 1310 FCPO Breaking News.

Reuters :


20110721 1116 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Euro up on Greece deal hopes, gold off highs
SINGAPORE, July 21 (Reuters) - The euro climbed a third day on Thursday as a deal between France and Germany over a bailout of Greece raised hopes ahead of a major European summit, though investors barely moved from government bonds and precious metals.  
"Judging from the current crop of headlines, the most negative outcome for the euro would be a debt rollover without additional measures," Todd Elmer, currency strategist with Citi, said in a note.

OIL: Oil gains on U.S. debt hopes, slimmer stocks
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Oil rose over a dollar on Wednesday after weekly U.S. stockpiles data showed larger-than-expected drops in crude inventories, and on hopes of progress in debt talks on either side of the Atlantic.
"It looks as if the report is slightly bullish but the distillate build is weakening the report," said Gene McGillian, energy analyst at Tradition Energy, Stamford, Connecticut.

Global oil stocks release seen on halt for now
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Developed nations are unlikely to release more oil on to the market in coming days, a month after the first release failed to curb oil prices to help protect the global economic recovery, officials and analysts said.
The energy watchdog for industrialised nations, the International Energy Agency, shocked oil markets last month by announcing a release of 60 million barrels of oil and products to offset the loss of Libyan production.

Italy would not block emergency IEA oil release
ROME, July 20 (Reuters) - Italy will not formally oppose a release of emergency oil stocks by the International Energy Agency (IEA) though it is not convinced by the strategy, Junior Industry Minister Stefano Saglia said on Wednesday.
A French government source said last week Italy and Germany were expected to oppose any second release of emergency oil reserves by the IEA, which needs the backing of all 28 members if it is to pour more oil into a volatile crude market.

NATURAL GAS: Natural gas ends down, heatwave limits selling
NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended lower on Wednesday, as the market continued to correct after last week's gain and ahead of Thursday's inventory report despite a record heatwave this week that stirred demand.
"The heat has mostly been priced in, so the market seems to be struggling here, but it doesn't look like the weather is going to moderate anytime soon, which should keep prices somewhat supported," a Pennsylvania-based trader said.

COMMODITIES: Oil, gold, rally on overall weak day
NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday as worries about debt in Europe and the United States drove investors to seek a safe haven, but oil also rose because some investors were optimistic the debt problems would be resolved.
"The deal is not done, even it seems like everyone is somewhat optimistic about what is being implemented. And no one knows what's going to happen to Greece and Europe," said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist with Lind Waldock, a unit of futures broker MF Global.

20110721 1112 Renewable Energy Related News.

LISBON, July 14 (Reuters) - EDP Renewables , the wind energy subsidiary of Energias de Portugal , said on Thursday its power generation rose by 27 percent in the first half of 2011, helped mainly by output growth in the United States.
EDPR, the world's fourth-largest wind energy company in terms of installed capacity, said total power generation rose to 8,790 gigawatt hours (GWh), while its U.S output jumped by 39 percent from a year earlier to 5,105 GWh largely thanks to capacity additions.    

SAO PAULO, July 19 (Reuters) - Copersucar, Brazil's largest sugar and ethanol trader, on Tuesday delayed a plan to sell shares for the first time, a source told Reuters, signaling that debt woes abroad are spoiling appetite for equity offerings in Latin America's biggest economy.
The source, who has knowledge of the situation but declined to be identified because the transaction is still in the works, did not specify when the initial public offering plans would be resumed. Under Brazilian law, companies can resume IPO plans within 60 days if basic terms of the deals are not modified.

LOS ANGELES, July 19 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners on Tuesday said it is expanding into China as it seeks to capitalize on that nation's growing appetite for green technology.
The move into China will allow Hudson to both invest in Chinese cleantech companies and help Hudson's existing portfolio of companies capture growth opportunities there, Hudson co-managing partner Neil Auerbach said in an interview.

MADRID, July 19 (Reuters) - Spanish energy and infrastructure company Acciona  said on Tuesday it had connected a 50 megawatt thermosolar power plant to the grid, bringing Spain's total thermosolar capacity to 850 MW.    
Acciona said the plant cost 247 million euros ($350.7 million) and would generate enough electricity to supply 35,000 homes.    

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - A $1.2 billion write-down by solar equipment maker REC  on Tuesday highlighted the pain being inflicted by aggressive Chinese competition and may herald wider consolidation in the sector and flattening of prices.
REC produces equipment across the supply chain from slices of raw, solar-grade silicon, called wafers, to finished solar panels.

LOS ANGELES, July 18 (Reuters) - Former First Solar Inc  Chief Executive Mike Ahearn launched a $300 million venture capital firm on Monday that will invest in startups in the energy, water, agriculture and waste industries.
True North Venture Partners has offices in Chicago and Phoenix and will be fully staffed by the end of 2011, the company said.

July 18 (Reuters) - Grupo T-Solar, a European solar photovoltaic power generator, said insurance group Munich Re  and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts  would buy a 49 percent equity stake in its operating assets.
Grupo T-Solar's total capital expenditure for the assets, comprising 42 solar PV plants in Spain and Italy with total installed capacity of 168 megawatt, has been 1.07 billion euro ($1.51 billion).

TEL AVIV, July 17 (Reuters) - Israel's cabinet on Sunday approved a plan to advance the production of energy from renewable resources, seeking 10 percent of electricity production from such methods by 2020.
"The aim of the plan is to reduce emissions and pollution in the electricity sector," the prime minister's office said in a statement.    

LOS ANGELES, July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. solar company Evergreen Solar Inc  warned on Friday it would not make $4.2 million of interest payments due on its senior convertible notes, citing its weakened liquidity.
The failure to pay the interest will trigger a default if unpaid for 30 days, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The interest payments were due on Friday.

20110721 1110 Biofuels Related News.

SAO PAULO, July 18 (Reuters) - Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has decided to reduce the amount of ethanol blended with domestic gasoline as part of her broader battle to subdue  inflation, a government official told Reuters on Monday.
Rising prices for sugar -- and therefore sugarcane-derived ethanol -- have been one of the leading factors pushing inflation above Brazil's official target range.

BRUSSELS, July 19 (Reuters) - Europe's energy chief announced seven green certification schemes for biofuels on Tuesday and promised in future to tackle the unwanted side-effects of turning food into fuel.
Guenther Oettinger said biofuels' indirect impacts were dangerous for the planet's carbon balance and food supply.    

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, July 18 (Reuters) - Ethanol appears almost certain to win the food-versus-fuel contest in the United States. But not just yet.
The Agriculture Department forecast that a tad more corn will be used to make ethanol than to feed livestock this year may be a false milestone: ethanol makers say they won't use that much corn while producing a record amount of the biofuel, hewing to a more efficient conversion rate.

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 15 (Reuters) - New rules requiring Brazil's sugarcane ethanol mills to commit to long-term supply contracts with distributors to guarantee supply should take effect in two weeks' time, Haroldo Lima, head of the Gas and Petroleum Agency overseeing the sector said on Friday.
The new rules will also require mills producing anhydrous ethanol to hold stocks by March 1 each year equivalent to 8 percent of the total amount of the biofuel they produced from  April of the previous year and February of the current year.

SAO PAULO, July 14 (Reuters) - Plans to end the U.S. ethanol import tariff could benefit Brazil's ethanol industry by preventing steep falls in ethanol prices at the height of the Brazilian cane harvest, Itau BBA said on Thursday.
"The elimination of the U.S. tariff on imported ethanol might translate into better ethanol economics in Brazil," it said in a Brazil agribusiness report.

FRANKFURT, July 15 (Reuters) - Lufthansa  became the first airline to use biofuels on regular commercial flights on Friday in a six month trial that it estimates will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1,500 tonnes during the period.    
European airlines are pressing ahead with biofuel plans in order to cut use of regular jet fuel. A pact signed last month with biofuel producers and the EU Commission aims to produce 2 million tonnes of biofuel for aviation by 2020.

CHICAGO, July 13 (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol production fell 3.5 percent to the lowest level in nine weeks while stocks climbed in the latest reporting week, despite profitable margins at many biofuel refineries.
Ethanol output totaled 872,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the week ended July 8, down 32,000 bpd from the previous week but 6 percent higher than the same week a year ago, according to the Energy Information Administration's weekly petroleum report released on Wednesday.

2010721 1109 Global Market Related News.

Earnings, U.S. debt hopes lift stocks, euro flat
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Strong company results and hopes for a settlement in the U.S. debt ceiling row boosted global equities  while currency markets remained on edge over the euro zone debt crisis.
Gold retreated from a record high of $1,609.51, but was still well towards the top of recent trading levels. It has been boosted by both the U.S. and European debt fears.

Asia Bank Stocks Rise as France, Germany Agree; Technology Shares Decline (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian bank stocks rose after France and Germany agreed on a joint position to solve Greece’s debt crisis ahead of a summit today, reducing uncertainty over the earnings outlook for financial companies. Technology shares declined after Hynix Semiconductor Inc. reported a fall in profit. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest public traded lender by market value, gained 0.8 percent in Tokyo. Hana Financial Group Inc., the South Korean lender that’s trying to buy Korea Exchange Bank, advanced 1.4 percent in Seoul after reporting second-quarter earnings more than doubled. Hynix fell 0.4 percent as slowing personal-computer demand drove down chip prices. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.1 percent to 136.91 as of 10:14 a.m. in Tokyo, headed for its highest close since July 8. About seven stocks declined for every five that rose on the gauge.
The measure dropped for the first week in four last week after European finance ministers declined to rule out a temporary default for Greece and as Moody’s Investors Service put the U.S. under review for a possible credit-rating downgrade.

Obama Open to Short-Term Debt Increase (Source: Bloomberg)
The Obama administration signaled it may accept a short-term increase in the U.S. debt limit only if lawmakers need a few days to finish work on a broader agreement to cut the deficit. President Barack Obama “must have a firm commitment to something big” on cutting the deficit before he would sign a short-term rise in the debt ceiling, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing. He released a written statement later saying Obama “does not support a short-term extension” unless “a few days” are needed “for a bill to work its way through the legislative process.” The president called congressional leaders to the White House today as the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit nears.

Existing-Home Sales in U.S. Unexpectedly Fall 0.8% to a 4.77 Million Rate (Source: Bloomberg)
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in June to a seven-month low as the industry struggled to overcome rising unemployment and foreclosures. Purchases dropped 0.8 percent to a 4.77 million pace, data from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median projection in a Bloomberg News survey called for a gain to 4.9 million. Inventories increased, more contracts were canceled and 30 percent of transactions last month were of distressed dwellings, the figures showed. Stricter lending rules, unemployment above 9 percent and delays in processing foreclosures mean it may take years to reduce the number of distressed properties on the market even as all-cash purchases have recently helped buoy demand. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week said the decline in confidence and lack of job growth that are impeding consumer spending are also keeping real estate “depressed.”

U.S. Stocks Retreat as Debt-Limit Concern Offsets Apple’s Earnings Beat (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks fell, a day after the best rally since March for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as concern the government will fail to increase the debt limit overshadowed higher-than-estimated earnings at Apple Inc. (AAPL) United Technologies Corp. (UTX) lost 1.8 percent as Boeing Co. (BA) picked a rival engine maker to upgrade its 737 jet. Yahoo! Inc., Altria Group Inc. and Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) slid at least 2.4 percent as results disappointed investors. Apple jumped 2.7 percent after record sales of iPads and iPhones lifted profit, helping the company join 89 percent of S&P 500 members topping estimates so far in the earnings season. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent to 1,325.84 at 4 p.m. in New York after yesterday surging 1.6 percent as President Barack Obama endorsed a bipartisan deficit-reduction plan from the so- called Gang of Six senators. The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 15.51 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,571.91 after surging 202 points yesterday in its biggest gain of 2011.

US June housing starts at 6-month high, permits up
WASHINGTON, July 19 (Reuters) - Groundbreaking for U.S. homes scaled a six-month high in June, partly reflecting growing demand for rental apartments, a government report showed on Tuesday.
The Commerce Department said housing starts increased 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000 units, the highest level since January, as ground breaking for multi-family units soared 30.4 percent.

Anything's possible if US debt downgraded to AA
NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) - For those who think a deeply indebted United States has begun its long, slow fade as the world's dominant financial power, the loss of the country's gold-plated AAA credit rating would seem poetic justice.
That's because characteristics blamed for volatile markets in countries like Italy -- high debt levels, slow economic growth, and government gridlock -- fairly describe the United States now.

China WTO row spotlights nations clamping down on resources
NEW DELHI, July 20 (Reuters) - Countries from India and Indonesia to Russia are tightening their grip on natural resources as they limit exports to build up domestic industry in a trend that will spawn many challenges to World Trade Organisation rules.
Export barriers are tightening on commodities ranging from food and coal to iron ore and coveted rare earths that have critical roles in high-tech devices as countries harden positions on what they see as a sovereign right to development.

China Signals More Yuan Moves Before Anniversary of Currency Policy Shift (Source: Bloomberg)
China said that it can allow more yuan moves without jeopardizing its foreign-exchange reserves after letting the currency rise today to a 17-year high against the dollar. “The changes in the yuan’s exchange rate against the U.S. dollar causes changes in the paper value of the reserves when valued in yuan,” the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said today. “This is not a real loss and will not affect the real overseas purchasing power of the foreign-exchange reserves.” Today’s jump in the yuan and the statement from the currency regulator came the day before the sixth anniversary of the government scrapping a peg to the dollar. Royal Bank of Canada said strength in exports and the need to tame inflation may encourage more gains.

China, Asean to Agree on ‘Incomplete’ S. China Sea Rules (Source: Bloomberg)
China and Southeast Asian nations are set to agree today on non-binding guidelines for keeping peace in the South China Sea, a diplomatic bargain that the Philippines said fails to address the root of recent tensions. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will meet with counterparts from the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations after the countries settled yesterday on a framework to implement a 2002 agreement on behavior in the sea, a step toward a legally binding code of conduct. “The necessary elements to make the guidelines succeed are still incomplete,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert F. del Rosario told reporters late yesterday in Bali, where he is attending a regional security forum. The failure to deal with competing territorial claims in the waters means “the problem hasn’t gone away,” he said.

Japan Exports Decline Less Than Expected (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s exports fell less than economists expected as the decline in auto shipments slowed, underscoring the recovery of the world’s third-largest economy from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Exports decreased 1.6 percent in June from a year earlier, the slowest fall in four months and following a 10.3 percent drop in May, the Finance Ministry said today. The median estimate of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 4.1 percent decline. Shipments are recovering as manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp. restore production damaged by a record temblor. Still, export growth may be threatened by the yen’s gain to a four-month high against the dollar, a U.S. economic deceleration and fallout from the European sovereign debt crisis.

Japanese Stocks Swing Between Gains, Losses Amid U.S. Debt-Deal Impasse (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks swung between gains and losses as lack of progress toward a U.S. debt deal eroded investor confidence in the world’s biggest economy and clouded the outlook for Asia’s exporters. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Corp., which count North America as their largest market, declined at least 0.5 percent. Sumitomo Chemical Co. lost 1 percent after Moody’s Investors Service said it may cut the company’s credit rating. NOK Corp., a maker of oil seals and rubber products, surged 11 percent after it forecast profit will jump this year. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.1 percent to 10,011.89 as of 9:50 a.m. in Tokyo, after earlier dropping as much as 0.1 percent. The broader Topix index was little changed at 860.48, with five stocks retreating for every three that advanced

Hong Kong Billionaire Fills Funding Gap in U.K.’s Low-Cost Housing Market (Source: Bloomberg)
Billionaire Cheng Yu-tung and two fellow Hong Kong investors, faced with soaring real-estate prices at home, are helping the U.K. plug a gap in funding for low-income housing after gaining control of a London-based property manager. Cheng’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd., developer Sammy Lee and businessman Peter Fung last month paid 30 million pounds ($48 million) for 61 percent of Pinnacle Regeneration Group Ltd., manager of 22,000 homes in the U.K. Cuts in social housing are part of the British government’s plan to trim a record deficit with the biggest spending reductions since World War II.

S. Korea $3.7B Olympic Train to Spur Construction (Source: Bloomberg)
South Korea’s hosting of the 2018 Olympics is triggering an $8.4 billion building boom that will expand the nation’s high-speed rail network and create a winter- sports destination targeting millions of Chinese tourists. Organizers will spend $3.7 billion on a train running from the central city of Wonju to host cities Pyeongchang and Gangneung in the east. Another $1.4 billion is earmarked for six athletics venues, accommodations and media facilities, according to International Olympic Committee documents. Those plans may benefit the largest Korean construction companies, which are grappling with weak home sales and tightening credit. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., the largest builder; Samsung C&T Corp. (000830), the second-biggest; and Hyundai Rotem Co., the nation’s biggest maker of train cars, all expressed interest in bidding for Olympic contracts.

Euro Bonds May Be the Best Bet to Resolve the European Debt Crisis: View (Source: Bloomberg)
The bond markets are sending Europe’s leaders an unmistakable message: The opportunity to contain the euro area’s debt crisis is slipping away. If they want to save the union and its currency, the leaders will have to consider something far more ambitious than what’s been spelled out so far. Perhaps the unspecified agreement French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly reached last night on Greek debt marks the beginning of a wider -- and bolder -- effort.
Only three weeks after Greece averted disaster by passing the harsh austerity measures needed for a second bailout, investors have refocused their concern on the much larger economies of Spain and Italy. The yield on the 10-year Italian government bond, for example, has risen almost a percentage point to 5.6 percent as creditors demand bigger returns to compensate for the perceived risk of default.

Merkel, Sarkozy Find Joint Position on Greek Debt (Source: Bloomberg)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed on a joint position to solve Greece’s debt crisis on the eve of a summit convened to stamp out contagion in European bond markets. Details will be released today when euro region leaders meet in Brussels, the governments said in a statement after seven hours of talks in Merkel’s Chancellery in Berlin. The discussions also included European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet and European Union President Herman van Rompuy, who participated by telephone. Merkel and Sarkozy “listened” to the views of Trichet, the statement said, without saying whether Trichet, who opposes any Greek default, shares their agreed stance. An ECB spokeswoman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Euro Rises to Week High on German-French Agreement on Greece Before Summit (Source: Bloomberg)
The euro rose to a one-week high against the greenback after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy reached a “joint position on Greece’s debt situation” before a summit today. The 17-nation currency also climbed to the highest level in a week versus the yen as Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement the joint Franco-German position will be presented at the meeting in Brussels. The dollar dropped to a one-week low against the Japanese currency on concern U.S. policy makers will struggle to agree on a plan to cut the nation’s deficit and increase the debt limit. “The report on the common position of Germany and France indicates their intention that they wanted some preparation for the summit,” said Yuki Sakasai, a currency strategist at Barclays Bank Plc in Tokyo. “It’s hard to sell the euro for the time being because of expectations for the region’s coordinated attitude.”

EU Said to Weigh Bailout Fund Use for Emergency Credit to Thwart Contagion (Source: Bloomberg)
European officials are considering steps previously rejected by Germany, including the use of precautionary credit lines, to prevent the spread of the region’s debt crisis, a person close to the talks said. Other options up for discussion at tomorrow’s Brussels summit include enabling the main 440 billion euro ($626 billion) rescue fund to lend to recapitalize banks, said the person, who declined to be named because negotiations are in progress. Nothing will be decided until leaders convene. Together with a second Greek aid package, the goal is to prove to markets that Europe has the will and the tools to prevent the 21-month sovereign debt crisis from engulfing Spain and Italy. The euro today rose against the dollar for a second day and Spanish and Italian bonds also gained as investors signaled optimism that policy makers are moving toward a deal. The cost of insuring against default on the sovereign debt of Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain declined.

ECB’s Stark Heaps Pressure on European Governments to Find Greek Solution (Source: Bloomberg)
European Central Bank Executive Board member Juergen Stark heaped pressure on politicians to find a solution to the sovereign debt crisis at a summit tomorrow that doesn’t involve any form of Greek debt default. Stark told Germany’s Boersen-Zeitung newspaper that governments agreed last month to avoid a selective default and urged them to stick to that commitment. He also said the Frankfurt-based central bank won’t change its rules or take on any more risk if the private sector is involved in a Greek bailout. The ECB confirmed the remarks. “I expect state and government leaders this week to stop fiddling and give a clear signal to markets -- you can rely on Europe,” Stark said. “Europe is at a crossroads. What the leaders decide at their summit will have a medium to long-term impact on the functioning of the currency union.”

Arctic Passage to Rival to Suez May Boost Asian Carriers: Freight Markets (Source: Bloomberg)
Russia plans to revive a Soviet-era Arctic sea passage to service energy projects and provide a shorter supply route to Asia for carriers such as OAO Sovcomflot as the shipping line prepares for an initial share sale this year. Opening the northern sea route may allow state-owned Sovcomflot to speed natural-gas deliveries to China and win cargos between Europe and Asia by offering a quicker alternative to the Suez Canal. “If Russia gives the green light to develop this as a full commercial transit route, it would make Sovcomflot’s whole investment case completely different,” said Chris Weafer, chief strategist at ING Bank NV in Moscow. “It would make it more attractive to potential investors.”

Papandreou Sees Make-or-Break Time in Debt Crisis on Eve of Europe Summit (Source: Bloomberg)
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says Europe’s leaders need to show tomorrow that they can resolve the European Union debt crisis to avoid a contagion enveloping Italy and Spain. “It could be a make-or-break moment for where Europe is going,” Papandreou said during an interview in his Athens office at Parliament yesterday. “Markets are saying pretty much what I’m saying too: that Greece is doing what it can, but that Greece is not going to be able to carry the weight of all of Europe and the other problems that Europe has.” Papandreou plans to meet with EU leaders in Brussels tomorrow as officials struggle to agree on measures to restore confidence in the euro region’s creditworthiness after the last year’s financial rescue of Greece. Policy makers are divided on how to prod investors into financing a new bailout package and whether the 17-nation euro area should issue eurobonds to help debt-laden nations across the bloc tap markets.

BOE Voted 7-2 to Hold Rate as Majority Said Need for Increase Had Receded (Source: Bloomberg)
Bank of England officials voted 7-2 to keep the benchmark interest rate on hold this month as a majority of policy makers said recent developments meant there was less need for a near-term tightening. “It was likely that the current weakness in activity would persist for longer than previously thought,” the majority of the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee said, according to the minutes of the July 6-7 meeting published today in London. “That weakness, together with the continued subdued behavior of earnings, reinforced the case that inflation was likely to fall back once the temporary impact of the factors pushing up on it had waned.” At the meeting this month, there was a “range of views” among the majority of the MPC on the outlook for inflation. “Overall, however, recent developments had reduced the likelihood that a tightening in policy would be warranted in the near term,” the minutes said.

FOREX-Euro gains, but caution remains before euro summit
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the dollar on Wednesday, with investors hopeful European leaders will reach some kind of deal to ease the debt problems in Greece at this week's summit but doubtful that this would ease fears of contagion.
The euro was up 0.3 percent versus the dollar at $1.4198  but any gains were seen limited, leaving it in a range below last week's high around $1.4283 and vulnerable to signs the debt crisis could still spread to larger countries like Italy and Spain.

20110721 1108 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish lower as the market pulls back from a five-week high. Prices retreat on profit-taking after the most-active December contract, which represents the crop that will be harvested this autumn, climbed more than 22% since the beginning of the month on supply concerns. Weather conditions remain unfavorably hot and dry for the developing crop. "The overall market sentiment is we've lost some production potential already," says Shawn McCambridge of Jeffries Bache. CBOT December corn drops 9 1/2c to $6.77 3/4 a bushel.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures close higher as weakness in the dollar supports prices. Soft dollar fuels expectations for increased export demand, as it makes US commodities look more attractive to foreign buyers. Yet, the decline in USD won't make up for a gap in prices with wheat from the Black Sea region, traders say. Russian and Ukrainian exporters offer wheat at a sharp discount and are expected to steal more business from the US. CBOT September wheat rises 3 1/2c to $6.97 a bushel; KCBT September jumps 16c to $7.94; MGEX September gains 19 3/4c to $8.52 3/4.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures finish solidly higher on concerns about lower-than-expected output. Unfavorably hot, dry weather in the US exacerbates worries about reduced production potential following this year's sharp drop in plantings, analysts say. Strength in the wheat market and weakness in the US dollar add support, they note. Firm wheat prices boost rice because both grains are global food staples, while the declining dollar makes US grains more attractive to foreign buyers. CBOT September rice gains 22c to $16.77 1/2 per hundredweight.

Goldman stumbles in commodities, takes on more risk
NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs  on Tuesday blamed its commodities trading desk for much of the massive drop in trading profits in the second quarter, even after its own analysts correctly called for a pull-back in prices.
In a sign of how an abrupt slump in commodities and energy prices caught out many big players, Goldman said it had "significantly lower results" in its commodities and mortgage businesses.

Investor Q2 outflow from commodities $3.9 bln-Barcap
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - Investors worried about global growth and risky markets pulled out $3.9 billion of net investments in commodities in the second quarter, the biggest global outflow in over six years, Barclays Capital said on Tuesday.
"A shaky growth environment and the ratcheting up of financial market risks has hit returns and reduced investor appetite for commodities recently," a research report by Barcap said.

Wall Street banks' quarterly commodities trading risk
NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc  said Tuesday its commodities trading risk rose only slightly in the second quarter as it faced uncertain and less-liquid markets.
VaR is an industry measure for how much of a bank's money is at risk on a day for trading a particular asset class.

U.S. corn, wheat rise for 2nd day as heat threatens crops
SINGAPORE, July 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat rose 1.5 percent  and corn gained around 1 percent, both rising for a second straight day, on concerns over hot weather in the United States that is threatening crops.
"Commodity and equity markets are doing well because of positive U.S. housing data and there are expectations that the debt issues will be resolved," said Ker Chung Yang, analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Argentina says eyes corn exports to China next year
BEIJING, July 20 (Reuters) - Argentina, the world's second-largest corn exporter after the United States, hopes to be able to export corn to China by 2012 after it completes a market access agreement with the world's second-largest economy, a government official said on Wednesday.
Argentina's Agriculture Minister, Julian Dominguez, who is in China on a trade visit, told reporters that he hopes to wrap up the market access agreement with China by the year end.

India to add 6.5 mln T grain storage space this year
NEW DELHI, July 19 (Reuters) - India aims to raise grains warehousing capacity about 10 percent by March 2012, the head of its storage agency said on Tuesday,  as it tries to ensure its record 65 million tonnes of stocks do not rot.
Warehouses in India, the world's second-biggest rice and wheat producer, are overflowing after five bumper harvests and some grains are stored under tarpaulin, risking decay.

India produces record grains output in 2010/11
NEW DELHI, July 19 (Reuters) - India notched record grains output in the crop year ending June, helped by last year's well distributed monsoon rains, a top farm ministry official said on Tuesday and also predicted a record harvest for the second straight year in 2011/12 as well.
Bumper crops have meant overflowing warehouses in India, the world's second-biggest rice and wheat producer, and some grains are stored under tarpaulin, exposing the stocks to decay in the country with an estimated 450 million people living below poverty. The country is set to add 6.5 million tonnes of storage space by the end of this financial year.

Corn getting stressed by high heat
Well above normal temperatures during the day and night will put extreme stress on corn during the next 3 to 5 days, especially on reproductive corn and plants that are shallow rooted due to the heavy spring rains. Some relief from the high heat is possible by the weekend. Some showers may occur next week.
Very hot temperatures over the next few days will boost the harvest of the winter wheat crop, but the heat will stress the spring wheat crop in the northern Plains as it forms heads.

Italy 4-month soft wheat, maize imports up- Anacer
MILAN, July 19 (Reuters) - Imports of soft wheat and maize into Italy, a major grain buyer in Europe, rose in the first four months of 2011, driven by bigger supplies from Austria, France and Hungary, Italian cereals body Anacer said on Tuesday.
Imports of soft wheat rose to 1,598,412 tonnes in the first four months of 2011 from 1,541,518 tonnes in the same period of 2010, Anacer said in a statement.
Wheat Gains Most in Week as Export Demand May Rise on Dollar Drop, EU Rain (Source: Bloomberg)
Wheat futures rose for a second straight day on speculation that demand will increase for U.S. supplies as the dollar drops, while prospects diminish for crops in Europe. The dollar fell for a second-straight day against a basket of six currencies, boosting the appeal of U.S. grain exports. Crops in the European Union, which produces a fifth of the world’s wheat, have already been reduced by spring drought and now face harvest delays and declines in quality because of excess rains this month, according to French farm adviser Offre et Demand Agricole. “If rains would continue to persist, that would be a bad thing” for global wheat supplies, Jason Britt, the president of brokerage Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, said by telephone. “The weaker dollar is something that is obviously a net positive” for U.S. exports, he said.

Rice Prices Up 70% Make Asian Inflation Tough (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian cuisine may be too much of a good thing for some of the region’s central banks as policy makers grapple with the challenge of responding to spikes in the cost of staples from rice and pork to onions and chilies. Pork prices jumped 57 percent in June in China, leading Premier Wen Jiabao to vow to curb inflation even as growth slows. Rice, the staple food for more than half of the world population, has surged about 70 percent in the past year. A wider variety of diet and greater purchasing power for non-food items leave wealthier nations less vulnerable to food-cost spikes. Food makes up more than 30 percent of inflation indexes on average in Asia, compared with about 15 percent in Europe and less than 10 percent in the U.S., according to Rabobank Groep NV. The sensitivity of their economies to swings in meat and vegetable costs means emerging-market policy makers need to raise interest rates more to stem inflation when global agriculture prices soar.

Agricultural Groups Scramble To Save Critical Reports  (Source: CME)
Producers of cotton, wheat flour and livestock feed are searching for ways to avoid losing Census Bureau reports critical to their industries that are slated to be discontinued due to budget cuts. A coalition of agricultural trade associations is slated to meet Wednesday with the top economist of the U.S Department of Agriculture to discuss attempts to save the reports issued by the Census Bureau. Time is running out to find a solution, as some of the reports will be stopped after next month. The trade groups--including the North American Millers' Association, the American Soybean Association and the National Cotton Council--hope the USDA will start reporting some of the data in its releases. That looks unlikely, however, as the department has budget problems of its own. "There's no real magic bullet here. Everyone's facing tight budgets," USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber said. The Census reports include data on U.S. production of wheat flour and consumption of cotton.
They also estimate soybean meal and soybean oil production and how much soybean oil is being used to produce biodiesel. Within the USDA, federal forecasters use the data to calculate monthly supply and demand estimates that can have a dramatic impact on prices for agricultural commodities. Analysts warn loss of the data will add to volatility in agricultural markets. "We're very keen on having these reports continue," Glauber said. Industry groups will likely need to step up to cover more of the costs themselves if they want to save the reports. The millers association had a cost-sharing agreement with the Census Bureau to publish a quarterly report on flour production, contributing about $23,000 to $25,000 a year. But President Mary Waters said the group could not afford the estimated $80,000 to keep the report alive on its own. The data is important, she said, because it tracks flour consumption that indicates to millers and bakers what bread products they should produce.
"Any gap in reporting would be really harmful," Waters said. Industry members, however, were pessimistic about the chances for saving the reports due to budget cuts. The reports are headed for extinction this summer and fall, with the soy data going away after August.

Monetary Policy Not Driving High Ag Commodity Prices - Economist  (Source: CME)
A steep climb in agricultural commodities in the past year has been driven by supply and demand factors, not monetary policy, the U.S. government's chief economist said. Prices for a variety of commodities, from corn to livestock, have risen sharply in the past year, stoking fears of food inflation in the U.S. and around the world. Critics of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy have said its bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, has helped drive those gains, sending investors into risky assets such as equities and commodities. U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Joe Glauber said he's seen several studies on the influence of monetary policy, including quantitative easing, but that "I don't think I've seen convincing evidence that it's had much impact. "I think there are a lot of fundamentals in these markets than can explain why prices have been so high," he told reporters at a conference at the Kansas City Federal Reserve on agriculture.
Grain prices started to soar last summer, after a severe Russian drought decimated the wheat crop there. Concerns have since spread to other markets such as corn, which has doubled in price during the past year amid relentless global demand and disappointing crops. Those increases have drove the cost of livestock production, sending cattle and hogs prices higher as well. Glauber said monetary policy does have some impact on the market, and that a weaker dollar has helped drive export demand for U.S. products. He added that an increase in the Fed's core interest rate would hurt U.S. farmland values, which have soared roughly 20% in many areas in the past year, but that he doesn't see a "large crash" in prices.

USDA: Zimbabwe 2011-12 Corn Output Seen +50% At 1.4 Mln Tons  (Source: CME)
Higher plantings and better use of seeds and fertilizer are forecast to boost Zimbabwe's corn production by more than 50% in 2011-12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Pretoria attache said. Output is expected to reach 1.4 million metric tons, up from 900,000 tons the year before and more than double 2009-10 levels, the USDA said. Imports are expected to fall to 100,000 tons, down from 400,000 tons last season, to meet consumption of an estimated 1.5 million tons. Wheat output, however, is expected to continue its downward trend. The USDA's attache forecast wheat production in 2011-12 will fall more than 50% from the previous season as planted acreage almost halves. Much of this is down to the scarcity of long-term loans and high interest rates of between 14% and 30% making the crop unprofitable. Even a government facility of $10 million to assist farmers has not been enough to help, it said.
"Wheat area planted and production have been sharply declining over the last decade mainly due to low profit margins, funding challenges and unreliable power supplies," said the attache in a report. Wheat imports are expected to rise to 280,000 tons in 2011-12, up from 250,000 tons, it added.

Mexico Sugar Exports Triple From Previous Year  (Source: CME)
Mexico's sugar exports have more than tripled from a year ago, continuing their advance toward a forecasted record. Mexico exported 1.24 million metric tons (1.37 million short tons) of sugar between October and June, up from 367,836 metric tons in the same period of the previous season, the Agriculture Ministry said. The sugar season in Mexico runs October through September. The increase in the current season's exports reflects the tastes of Mexico's largest customer, the U.S. Americans have been cutting back on high fructose corn syrup and using more sugar, while in Mexico the opposite is true. Mexico's sugar industry chamber has said exports are likely to reach 1.4 million tons this season, up from an initial forecast of 1.3 million tons. According to the national committee for the sustainable development of sugarcane, exports might even approach 1.5 million tons. Analysts said Mexico's rising exports may have a slight cooling effect on sugar futures.
"The less sugar the U.S. has to buy from someone else, the better for price purposes," because there would be less competition for sugar, said sugar analyst Alex Oliveira of brokerage Newedge. Mr. Oliveira said the market's main concern right now is Brazil's disappointing sugar crop. Brazil is the world's largest producer of raw sugar by volume. Raw sugar for October delivery was up 0.8% at 29.04 cents a pound Wednesday on the IntercontinentalExchange. Futures have climbed about 40% from their lows in May, when data out of Brazil began to indicate a harvest that wouldn't meet expectations. Mexico produced 5.18 million tons of sugar this season, up 7% from the 2009-2010 season in spite of flooding and other weather problems. The harvest ended earlier this month. Most of the sugar came from Veracruz, which produced 1.89 million tons.
Production for next season doesn't look good. Although long-awaited rains began to fall recently, a dry spell that lasted for several months led the president of the National Union of Sugarcane Producers, Carlos Blackaller, to predict a 10% drop in output for the 2011-12 harvest.

Indonesia's 2011 coffee exports to fall a third
JAKARTA, July 19 (Reuters) - Coffee exports from Indonesia, the world's second-largest robusta producer after Vietnam, could fall about a third to 300,000 tonnes in 2011 as supply constraints lead to tight stocks at the end of the year, a senior industry official said on Tuesday.
Closing stocks at year end were estimated at 10,000 tonnes, down from a normal level of 60,000 tonnes as domestic consumption was also rising, said Rachim Kartabrata, executive director of the Indonesian Coffee Exporters Association. (AEKI)

Stabilise after risk aversion triggered losses
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Sugar, coffee and cocoa futures on ICE were little changed in early trade , after falling earlier in the week as investor appetite for riskier assets diminished on the deepening euro zone and U.S. debt crises.  ICE raw sugar futures edged higher, remaining at historically elevated levels, underpinned by uncertainty over the size of top producer Brazil's crop.

Indonesia 2011 white sugar output revised down to 2.58 mln T
JAKARTA, July 20 (Reuters) - Indonesia's white sugar production this year will reach 2.58 million tonnes, lower than a previous target of 2.7 million tonnes because of erratic weather, the Indonesian Sugar Council (DGI) forecast on Wednesday.  
The output forecast is still above last year's 2.3 million tonnes.

Cocoa 2011/12 global deficit seen at 50,000 tonnes
LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Less favourable weather in West Africa and a return to the long-term decline in Ivory Coast production are expected to switch the global cocoa market into deficit in 2011/12, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.
World 2011/12 cocoa demand is expected to outstrip production by 50,000 tonnes, according to the poll's median forecast.

Vietnam should import more sugar to cool prices -govt
HANOI, July 19 (Reuters) - Vietnam should consider importing more sugar to cool a probable rise in prices in October/November when stocks fall due to strong consumption during a mid-autumn festival, a government report said on Tuesday.
Vietnam has imported 93,000 tonnes of sugar so far this year out of an annual quota of 250,000 tonnes, the report said. Industry officials have said high sugar prices have stopped importers buying more of the sweetener.

Crude Oil Climbs for Third Day as Shrinking U.S. Stockpiles Signal Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil climbed for a third day in New York as investors bet that shrinking U.S. crude stockpiles indicate fuel demand will increase in the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity. Futures for September gained as much as 0.4 percent. The contract rose 0.6 percent yesterday after the Energy Department said inventories fell 3.73 million barrels to 351.7 million for a seventh week of declines. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast a decrease of 2 million. Refineries operated at 90.3 percent of capacity, the highest in almost a year. “The crude number was very strong,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago. “Refineries are operating at the highest rate this season, which suggests there is pretty strong demand somewhere. It looks like U.S. refineries are producing a great deal of fuel for export.”

Nickel mkt in 9,300 T deficit in Jan-May'11-INSG
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - The global nickel market was in supply deficit by 9,300 tonnes in the first five months of 2011, the latest monthly bulletin from Lisbon-based International Nickel Study Group (INSG) showed on Tuesday.
Latest figures show world primary nickel consumption totalled 641,400 tonnes in January to May 2011.

Japan crude steel output up but yen strength weighs
TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) - Japan's crude steel output inched up in June from May as carmakers raised production following a post-quake slump, but the yen's strength is hurting Japanese exports and clouding the prospects for further improvement in steel output, an industry body said on Wednesday.
Crude steel output totalled 8.88 million tonnes in June, down 1.8 percent from May, but up 1.5 percent on a daily production basis after adjustment for the number of days, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation said on Wednesday.

Asian steelmakers saw tough Q2; gains seen capped in Q3
SHANGHAI, July 20 (Reuters) - The double whammy of high input costs and weak demand is expected to have squeezed margins of Asian steelmakers in the June quarter, but the fall in profits could bottom out in the third quarter as seasonal demand picks up.
Analysts expect Asian steelmakers to post lower profits for April-June and the hardest hit will be Japanese companies as the devastating earthquake and ensuing power shortages hit demand for key consumers such as carmakers and shipbuilders.

China's Ji En Nickel to raise $928 mln via private placement
SHANGHAI, July 20 (Reuters) - China's Jilin Ji En Nickel Industry  said on Wednesday that it aimed to raise up to 6 billion yuan ($928 million) via a private placement.
Ji En will issue up to 300 million A-shares and the proceeds will be used to fund its nickel laterite smelting project in Indonesia, the company said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Iron Ore-China rebar futures at 2-month high, ore firm
SHANGHAI, July 20 (Reuters) - Shanghai rebar futures rose by around half a percent to their highest level in more than two months on Wednesday, bolstering iron ore prices as China's social housing construction programme continued to buoy investor confidence.
The most active October rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange reached 4,938 yuan ($764) per tonne during morning trade on Wednesday, its highest since May 4.

China July 1-10 daily steel output dips 3.1 pct
SHANGHAI, July 19 (Reuters) - Daily output of crude steel from Chinese mills fell 3.1 percent in the first 10 days of July to 1.955 million tonnes, data by the country's steel industry association showed on Tuesday.
The figure amounts to 713.6 million tonnes when calculated on an annual basis, nearly 14 percent higher than last year.

Credit Suisse expects aluminum prices to rebound in H2
BANGALORE, July 19 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse expects a rebound in aluminum prices in the second half of the year, saying the recent bearish price versus the rest of the metals complex is not justified.
Aluminum prices lost ground in June and were expected to drift lower on a seasonal softening in demand coupled with a possibility of supply surplus for another year.

China to add 1 mln tonnes of alumina capacity -NDRC
HONG KONG, July 20 (Reuters) - China will add 1 million tonnes a year of alumina capacity, the state planning agency said in a statement, adding to its status as world's largest producer.
The National Development and Reform Commission has approved Shanxi Tongde Aluminium Company's plan to build a 1 million-tonne-per-year alumina refinery in Baode county in Shanxi province in the north, a statement posted on the commission website showed. It did not provide the completion time.

Vietnam aims to start alumina production in September-report
HANOI, July 20 (Reuters) - Vietnam will produce the first alumina from a bauxite complex in the Central Highlands in September after months of delays caused by adverse weather, power shortages and slow equipment delivery, the official Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The country's first alumina plant in Lam Dong province is now due to get its first product on Sept. 20, the report said, quoting Tran Duong Le, deputy director of the complex's management board.

Metorex H1 copper output up 1 pct to 26,562 T
JOHANNESBURG, July 20 (Reuters) - South African miner Metorex , the takeover target of China's Jinchuan group, said on Wednesday that first-half copper output rose 1 percent compared with the preceding six-months, while production of cobalt fell 6 percent.  
Metorex said production of copper during the six months to the end of June rose 1 percent to 26,562 tonnes, while the production of cobalt fell 6 percent to 1,890 tonnes.

Copper Slides From Three-Month High as U.S. Existing-Home Sales Decline (Source: Bloomberg)
Copper fell from a three-month high after existing home sales unexpectedly declined in the U.S., the world’s largest user of the metal after China. Sales of previously owned homes dropped to a 4.77 million pace, the lowest in seven months, the National Association of Realtors said today. The median projection in a Bloomberg News survey called for a gain to 4.9 million. Builders are the biggest copper users in the U.S. Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange gained for the fifth time in six days. “The housing data basically stopped the rally for the time being,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview today. “We are starting to see supply building up at the LME.”

METALS-Copper dips on dollar; supported by supply, demand
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Copper fell on Wednesday on a firm dollar, but tight supplies and good demand prospects kept the metal within sight of a record high and helped counter investor concerns over a euro zone debt crisis.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange  fell 0.37 percent to $9,791 a tonne by 0935 GMT, less than 4 percent below the record high of $10,190 it hit in February. It touched $9,873.50 in the previous session, its highest since April 11.
PRECIOUS-Gold dips on hopes for progress on debt talks
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Gold eased further on Wednesday from the previous day's record high, as hopes for a positive outcome to Thursday's euro zone summit and signs that talks on raising the U.S. debt ceiling were progressing took some heat out of the market.
Spot gold  was down 0.1 percent at $1,586.56 an ounce at 0913 GMT. U.S. gold futures  for August delivery were down $13.90 an ounce at $1,587.20.

Gold Futures Fall for Second Day as Haven Demand Ebbs After Euro Rebounds (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold futures fell for the second straight day on optimism that policy makers in Europe are moving closer to resolving the region’s debt woes, cutting demand for the precious metal as a haven. The euro gained against the dollar as European Union officials prepared to meet tomorrow to seek a solution to the region’s fiscal crisis. Gold pared gains as John Taylor, the founder of FX Concepts LLC in New York, the world’s largest currency hedge fund, said the price will surge to $1,900 an ounce by October. “A lot of the flight-to-quality money is coming out of gold,” Adam Klopfenstein, a market strategist at Lind-Waldock, a broker in Chicago, said by telephone. “There haven’t been any flare-ups in the euro zone.”

Newedge Sees Gold at $1,800 in 2011, Silver at $70 by March on Asia Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold prices will surge to $1,800 an ounce by the end of this year, and silver will soar to $70 an ounce by March as physical demand climbs in Asia and investors seek a haven asset, Newedge USA LLC said. “Gold is an excellent hedge in troubled times” as European and the U.S. leaders struggle to resolve debt woes, Mike Frawley, the global head of metals, said yesterday in an interview in New York. Demand for gold and silver will be “very strong long-term from Asia, and the economic trend in the West is improving,” he said. The gold forecast indicates a 13 percent rally from current levels. The metal climbed to a record $1,610.70 on July 19. The silver estimate means prices will jump 77 percent from yesterday’s closing price. Newedge, based in New York, was the biggest futures-commission merchant by a measure of customer assets on deposit as of May.

Baltic dry rates drop despite record congestion
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, shed three quarters of a percentage point on Tuesday despite port congestion hitting a year-high.
The renewed fall means the index has fallen for six straight sessions to its latest settlement of 1,330 points, down 0.75 percent since Monday.

Dry freight congestion hits year-high - ICAP
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - Dry freight bulk vessel congestion at Australian, Brazilian, Indian and Chinese ports has risen to its highest level since the beginning of the year and is now equivalent to over 10 percent of the entire bulk fleet, ICAP brokerage said on Tuesday.
"The combined congestion of the dry bulk fleet at Australian, Brazilian, Indian and Chinese ports has risen above 59 million deadweight tones. This is the highest level we have seen since January and is equivalent to nearly 11 percent of the entire dry bulk fleet, marginally greater than the year-to-date average of 10.25 percent," ICAP said in a research note.

20110721 1102 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures end higher, underpinned by the sale of new-crop supplies to China. The combination of export demand, crop uncertainties and strength in world vegoil markets provided support to limit the negative impact of improved weather outlooks for the Midwest, says Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics. He notes current weather is less constrictive on soybeans than corn at this time as soybeans' critical-yield development period is still a few weeks away. CBOT November soy ended up 2c at $13.84/bushel while December.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Decent domestic-feed demand aided soymeal and soyoil got support from vegoil and higher crude-oil futures. CBOT December soymeal rose 0.7% to $367.50/short ton and soyoil added 0.2% to 57.70c/pound

Higher export demand lifts palm oil futures
KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose 0.8 percent  as firmer commodity markets and expectations of higher export demand lifted sentiment.
"It's an upbeat sentiment as commodity markets such as grains futures, crude oil and energy rallied overnight and at the same time Malaysia's palm oil exports are good," said a trader with foreign brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.

European feeds: Soymeal steadier on weather and dollar
ROTTERDAM, July 19 (Reuters) - Soymeal on the European meals and feeds market firmed a little on Tuesday following Chicago on worries that hot and dry weather could stress crops and because of a weak dollar, market sources said.    
"Chicago is a bit of a weather market at the moment and European cash dealers are wary of trading weather as it is as unpredictable as the weather itself," one broker said.    

Ukraine's 2011 rapeseed crop may fall - Oil World
HAMBURG, July 19 (Reuters) - Ukraine's 2011 rapeseed crop could fall to 1.3-1.4 million tonnes in 2011, down from 1.47 million tonnes harvested in 2010 in the key exporting country, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday.    
Ukraine's disappointing crop could further tighten rapeseed supplies in the European Union, where a major oilseed supply gap is looming after a poor rapeseed crop, it said.