FOREX-Euro hits 1-month low, crisis threatens more EU members
TOKYO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The euro slipped to a fresh one-month low against the dollar and the yen on Wednesday as the euro zone debt crisis threatened to engulf top-rated members such as France, as government bonds of core countries came under pressure.
The common currency fell as far as $1.3460 , its lowest level in more than a month, after the French bond yield spread over benchmark German bunds hit euro-era highs.
Asian shares fall on euro zone contagion fears
TOKYO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Asian shares and the euro fell as signs that rising borrowing costs were affecting AAA-rated France stirred fears that even core euro zone members may not escape contagion from the region's debt crisis.
"Markets are clearly expecting a circuit breaker to alleviate pressure on periphery bond yields," said David Scutt, a trader at Arab Bank Australia in Sydney. "If no announcement is forthcoming in the days ahead, one suspects that situation could unravel fairly quickly."
U.S. economy shows signs of momentum in 4th qtr
WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy showed signs it maintained speed into the fourth quarter as retail sales increased in October and a gauge of manufacturing in New York state rose this month for the first time since May.
Other data on Tuesday showed muted price pressures at the wholesale level. That should provide the Federal Reserve scope to give more aid to the economy in the face of an increased threat to the recovery from Europe's debt crisis.
Soy drops from 1-wk top on euro zone fears, wheat down
SINGAPORE, Nov 16 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans slid from a one-week top, while corn lost ground as fears of the euro zone crisis spreading to top-rated members such as France weighed on the agricultural markets.
"Soybeans have been reasonably well supported but they are down today and everything is a little bit weaker, which is not surprising, given the stronger dollar," said Adam Davis, a senior commodity analyst at Merricks Capital in Melbourne.
Indonesia buys 250,000 tonnes Indian rice-sources
NEW DELHI/JAKARTA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Indonesia has bought 250,000 tonnes of rice from Indian suppliers at $483 per tonne on a delivered basis, an Indian trade source with direct knowledge of one of the deals and a rice trader in Indonesia said on Tuesday.
The deals, from three suppliers, follow talks earlier in November between Indonesia's state procurement agency Bulog and India's food ministry where government-to-government arrangements were also discussed.
Philippines cuts 2011 farm growth forecast to 3-3.5 pct
MANILA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Philippine farm output in 2011 is now seen rising between 3.0 and 3.5 percent from last year, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said on Wednesday, revising down his growth forecast from 4 percent to 5 percent, due to typhoon damage to crops.
The agriculture sector, which accounts for a fifth of the southeast Asian country's overall domestic output, posted annual growth of 4.28 percent in January to September, reversing a contraction of nearly 3.0 percent a year earlier.
Mexico coffee exports increase 71.5 percent in Oct
MEXICO CITY, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Mexico coffee exports jumped 71.5 percent last month amid high international prices, the producer group Amecafe said on Tuesday.
The country exported 177,792 60-kilo bags in October, the first month of the 2011/12 season, compared to 103,641 bags last October, the association said in a notice on Monday evening.
Wheat Board urges Canada lawmakers to keep monopoly
Nov 15 (Reuters) - Supporters of the Canadian Wheat Board took their protest to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, in a last-ditch effort to sway legislators to keep the world's last major agricultural monopoly.
Several Wheat Board directors, as well as a few Prairie grain farmers, urged the Conservative government to drop plans to end the CWB's marketing monopoly on Western Canadian wheat and barley destined for milling or export.
EU biodiesel plants fear closure as imports surge
HAMBURG, Nov 15 (Reuters) - A number of European biodiesel refiners are likely to go under, and the EU will be under pressure to erect barriers to imports in the coming year as low demand in Europe for the green fuel combines with stiff competition from abroad.
"Many biodiesel companies are already in a critical situation, and there is a risk that this will be transformed into companies closing in the next months," said Raffaello Garofalo, secretary general of the European biodiesel industry association EBB.
Brent slips below $112 on EU contagion worry, higher stocks
SINGAPORE, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Brent crude slipped below $112, reversing some of the previous session's gains on worries that new governments in Greece and Italy may fail to muster political clout to impose unpopular reforms and contain the region's debt crisis.
"It is true that concerns over Iran have been around for some time, but you cannot ignore the fact that Iran is a major supplier," said Le Brun.
Europe stainless steel industry faces big cuts-SMR
LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Europe's stainless steel industry will see major curtailment of production between this year and next as private equity and other new investors get involved, the managing director of steel consultancy SMR told Reuters.
The European stainless steel industry has been suffering due to overcapacity and stiffer competition from Asia in the past few years, but production cuts and shutdowns have been slow to come.
London copper up on arb trades, U.S. data
SHANGHAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - London copper drifted up , boosted by arbitrage trading and positive economic data from the United States, but prices are expected to be reined in by lingering worries about the euro zone debt crisis.
"There are fresh short positions in Shanghai copper today, with sentiment dragged down by the performance of the euro and equities. Chinese investors feel that Shanghai copper is at the right technical point for selling and are bearish about prices going forward," the trader added.
Indonesia tin smelters must plug export leaks-analysts
JAKARTA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia's monthly tin exports increased in October to meet contractual sales agreed before smelters imposed a shipment ban, but analysts say production shutdowns and stricter enforcement to plug the leaks will be needed to achieve higher prices.
Data last week surprised tin investors, showing Indonesia's refined tin exports rose 4 percent last month to 5,441.58 tonnes, versus September's 5,233.06 tonnes, though shipments fell 38 percent versus a year ago.
Gold tracks euro down on contagion fear
SINGAPORE, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell more than half a percent, tracking a lower euro on fears the euro zone debt crisis could spread to France, the bloc's second-largest economy, while Greece and Italy struggle to save their economies.
"The dollar strength has weakened local currencies, which has tempered buying interest," said a physical dealer in Singapore.
METALS-London copper up on arb trades, U.S. data
SHANGHAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - London copper drifted up on Wednesday, boosted by arbitrage trading and positive economic data from the United States, but prices are expected to be reined in by lingering worries about the euro zone debt crisis.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.2 percent to $7,698.50 a tonne by 0357 GMT, after rising 1 percent previously.
PRECIOUS-Gold tracks euro down on contagion fear
SINGAPORE, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell more than half a percent on Wednesday, tracking a lower euro on fears the euro zone debt crisis could spread to France, the bloc's second-largest economy, while Greece and Italy struggle to save their economies.
Gold is a popular buy in times of economic and political turmoil because of its safe haven allure, although bullion has moved in close correlation with riskier assets, as harried investors at times liquidate gold positions to cover losses elsewhere.
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares sluggish on euro zone contagion fears
TOKYO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Asian shares struggled on Wednesday as signs that rising borrowing costs were affecting AAA-rated France stirred fears that even core euro zone members may not escape contagion from the region's debt crisis.
"Markets are clearly expecting a circuit breaker to alleviate pressure on periphery bond yields," said David Scutt, a trader at Arab Bank Australia in Sydney. "If no announcement is forthcoming in the days ahead, one suspects that situation could unravel fairly quickly."
COMMODITIES-Oil leads drop as markets turn volatile
NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday after new governments in Italy and Greece failed to assuage fears about Europe's debt crisis, threatening to put commodities on a renewed path of volatility.
"The markets are realizing there are real economic problems in Europe," Christophe Barret, oil analyst at Credit Agricole, said as the weak industrial data, political woes and the euro-era high price for Italy's 5-year bonds combined to pressure global markets.
Japan Buys 800,000 Tons of Corn From Ukraine as Cheaper U.S. Alternative (Bloomberg)
Japan, the world’s largest corn importer, bought about 800,000 metric tons of the grain from Ukraine as a cheaper alternative to U.S. supply after the European nation removed a tax on exports last month. The purchase, made by five Japanese trading companies, was for shipments in November to March at about $20 a ton cheaper than U.S. corn, Nobuyuki Chino, president of Continental Rice Corp. in Tokyo, said in an interview today. Chino, who has traded grains for three decades and worked for Continental Grain Co. of the U.S. before establishing his company in 1999, declined to identify the companies as the information is not open to the public. Ukraine’s corn exports in October may have climbed to a record as export demand spurred prices and farmers sold the grain after a 12 percent tax was removed last month, researcher UkrAgroConsult said Nov. 8.
Oil up on economic data despite EU contagion worry
NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Tuesday on supportive data that pointed to continued economic growth in the fourth quarter, sending U.S. crude to a 16-week peak and offsetting concerns that the euro zone debt crisis will keep spreading.
"The U.S. data helped, especially the retail sales, the Germany and France growth wasn't so bad and the expiration of December Brent and U.S. crude options will add to the volatility even as everyone worries about Europe's debt problems," said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
POLL-US crude stocks seen down on lower imports
Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories were expected to have fallen last week for the second straight time on lower imports and slightly higher refinery runs, an expanded Reuters poll of analysts showed on Tuesday.
On average, U.S. crude stockpiles were forecast down 1.2 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 11, the poll of eight analysts showed. In the week to Nov. 4, crude stocks in the United States fell 1.37 million barrels to 338.09 million barrels, Energy Information Administration data showed.
Natgas ends down for 5th day, front hits 1-yr low
NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended lower on Tuesday for a fifth straight day, with concerns about growing supplies and fairly mild weather this month driving the front-month contract to a one-year spot continuation chart low.
"People are looking at the inventory level, and that's spooking some of them, and it looks like it's going to be pretty mild for the next couple of weeks," a West Coast trader said.
Euro Coal-Prices stable despite oil rise
LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Prompt physical coal prices moved a marginal 25 cents higher on Tuesday despite a rise of over $1.00 in oil after solid German and French growth data.
"The market's been fairly flat, no real change in prices with barely anything trading, it's just following oil and the euro not fundamentals, not yet," one major European trader said.
Radiant Spendour Sdn Bhd, the purchaser of Sunway's on-bloc tower B of Palazzio is serving Sunway a writ of summons worth RM92.3m. The charges are in relation to the purchase of the on-bloc tower. Subsequent to the purchase, Radiant Spendour had raised some complaints relating to Palazzio Tower B mainly on the quality of the marble flooring. A dispute settlement committee was proposed but the matter was not resolved. Sunway is currently seeking the advice of its solicitors on the matter. (BMSB)
Tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun plans to launch a new retail concept which could instantly make him the pharmacy industry’s leader. Vincent wants to set up a venture called eCosway Pharmacy, which will incorporate pharmacies within Cosway stores, Berjaya Group’s direct-selling business. According to sources, this 2-in-1 concept is expected to take off by year-end. It is understood that an existing Cosway store can add a pharmacy within its premises or an existing pharmacy may have a Cosway store. Alternatively, a new branch that incorporates both can also be set up. Malaysia now has over 2,000 retail pharmacies which include Guardian, Vitacare and CARiNG. For Tan, this is not the first pharmacy venture. In January this year, the tycoon, in his personal capacity, bought a minority stake in home-grown CaRiNG Pharmacy. It was reported that this will enable CARiNG Pharmacy to expand faster. A check on CARiNG's website shows that it has about 60 local pharmacies. (BT)
Amkor Technology Inc will delay its purchase of a Toshiba Corp semiconductor assembly plant in Malaysia due to Thai flooding, which has forced the Japanese company to divert some production to Malaysia, the companies said yesterday. The companies had said in September they expected to complete the transaction by early January 2012. Toshiba will move production of discrete components at a flood-hit Thai factory to the Malaysia plant in the first quarter of 2012, after it has secured the necessary equipment, Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Omori said. (BT)
Petronas makes ‘significant’ oil discovery offshore Sabah
Petronas Carigali SB, yesterday announced that it had made a “significant” oil discovery offshore Sabah. In a press release, Petronas said the discovery was made via the Wakid-1 well within Block 2G-2J, about 100km northwest of Kota Kinabalu. “The well was spudded on 30 May and was completed on 4 July. It reached a total vertical dept of 3,330m and confirmed the presence of significant oil and some gas-bearing reservoirs”, said the state-owned oil major. (Malaysian Reserve)
Naim denies problems in Fiji road project
Naim Holdings claimed that the company was not facing problems due to delays for the road upgrade works in Fiji as reported by some local media there. Its head of engineering and construction Sivakumar Ramasamy commented that the company is “on track” with the upgrading and rehabilitation project of Fiji’s national roads. (Malaysian Reserve)
REDtone invests RM20m to boost sales
REDtone International has invested nearly RM20m for new projects to boost its sales and revenue for the current financial year ending 31 May 2012. Its MD Datuk Wei Chuan Beng said that the new projects involve the expansion of its prepaid card business in China to other parts of the country. Currently, the prepaid cards are sold in Shanghai. (Malaysian Reserve)
AirAsia chief calls off PC on tax hike
AirAsia’s group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, has called off a press conference (PC) on airport tax which was scheduled yesterday. However, he used social media, Facebook, to vent his frustration at the issue, saying airport taxes should be lower to make them affordable to the common people. (Malaysian Reserve)
SP Setia to kick-start RM6bn project early 2012
SP Setia will kick-start the first phase of the RM6bn KL Eco City project by as early as next year. The first involves the building of RM2bn worth of high-rise residential units. The company’s plan for the project received a boost after it managed to secure RM460m financing facilities. The project, which has a total gross development value of RM6bn, is expected to take 10 years to complete. The first phase will take about three to four years. (BT)
500-channel digital cable TV
The new digital cable TV network, known as Asian Broadcasting Network or ABN which is set to take off by the second quarter of 2012, promises to offer a new viewing experience to Malaysians and will have over 500 channels, including football. At the point of launch, ABN expects to offer over 100 channels comprising a variety of content including free-to-air channels and video-on-demand. (StarBiz)
Harvest designation poser
The designation of Harvest Court Industries’ securities is likely to cool down the exuberant rise of penny stocks over the last few weeks. On Monday night, Bursa Malaysia said it was designating the shares of timber-related Harvest Court, which essentially means that trading in the counter will now require payment upfront. (StarBiz)
AP Land gets nod
The majority of Asia Pacific Land’s voting shareholders approved the disposal of assets and liabilities to Low Yat Holdings SB for RM302.5m or 45sen a share. The resolutions passed at the company’s EGM yesterday brings a long-awaited closure to the Low family’s privatisation bid, with 95.28% of the voting shareholders representing 28.86% of the company’s total share base voting in favour of the sale. (StarBiz)
Maybank: Launches USD500m clean energy fund. Maybank has launched a USD500m (RM1.57b) private equity fund to invest in the wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro, biomass, biofuel and energy efficiency sectors in the region. The 10-year private equity fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of clean energy projects in the Asia-Pacific, with focus on China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. (Source: The Sun)
SP Setia: RM460m funding for KL Eco City. SP Setia signed a RM460m syndicated Islamic financing yesterday with three Islamic financial institutions in conjunction with the official launch of its RM6b KL Eco City project. The RM460m syndicated loan will be utilized to provide infrastructure such as ramps and bridges. SP Setia will invest more than RM150m to link the project to all major highways surrounding the area. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)
Utilities: RM3b power investment. First Solar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which has invested RM2.9b in its plant in Kulim expects to produce 1.62 GW of solar panels by year-end. The wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based First Solar Inc, currently has six thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturing plants in Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah. (Source: The Star)
While most economies across the board will experience growth moderation due to the prevailing uncertain global financial landscape, their strong domestic economies are expected to mitigate the drop, said Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. Domestic economic activities have remained strong in emerging economies, including Malaysia which is buoyed by the restructuring and economic transformation as well as the strengthening of its regional trade and investment activities, she said.
"We have a resilient financial sector that is still providing credit. Other macro economy fundamentals are low unemployment and we are not over leveraged," she added. Meanwhile, on the new blueprint for the financial sector, Zeti said it would be unveiled next month by PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The blueprint will set the course for the development of the Malaysian financial sector from 2011 to 2020. (Bernama)
Inflation in Malaysia has peaked and stabilised although there is still food inflation which has to be addressed by other measures besides interest rates, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz said Tuesday. She said there would always be risks on the horizon for both inflation and growth as Malaysia was such an open economy. “If there is a sudden shortage of commodities or energy as we saw earlier, this causes energy and commodity prices to rise sharply and if they do, it will affect our rate of inflation. Or if there are disruptions in supply of food, it will cause food prices to rise. So there is always a risk of higher inflation,” she said. “Given the on-going financial crisis, if it were to deteriorate beyond the current circumstances, yes it is going to be a risk to our growth," she said. On another note, Zeti said Malaysia already has a resolution framework in place should conventional or Islamic financial institutions in the country, including foreign banks, come under stress. “Islamic finance is insulated by the first-round effect because it is more resilient. It is totally linked to the real economy and there are built-in checks and balances in profit- sharing, therefore more responsible lending. But of course, if companies slow down and financial markets get corrected, this will affect financial institutions,” she noted. (Bernama, BT)
Malaysia's bilateral trade with the South Korea amounted to RM36.91bn with exports valued at RM19.25bn and imports RM17.65bn for Jan to Sep this year. International Trade and Industry Ministry's senior director of Economic and Trade Relations Division, Wong Seng Foo, said Korea continues to be one of Malaysia's main sources of foreign direct investment since 1980. To date, a total of 296 projects have been implemented with total investment of US$2.72bn, he said. (Bernama)
The increased focus on financial stability, especially fundamental changes in the regulatory environment, is the central aspect of the new Islamic financial landscape in an increasingly more challenging environment, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said yesterday. These include changes to institutional arrangements for oversight of the financial system -- both at the international level and within national borders in a number of countries. The two institutional arrangements, the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM), were established for overall stability of the global financial system in a way that better serves households and businesses. (Bernama)
China: Central bank sells bills at lower rate for second week
China’s central bank sold one-year bills at a lower rate for a second week, pushing government bond yields lower on speculation policy makers will keep pumping cash into the economy. The People’s Bank of China issued the bills at 3.49%, beneath its benchmark deposit rate for the first time since January and compared with 3.57% at a 8 Nov sale, according to a trader at a primary dealer required to bid at the auctions. The monetary authority yesterday issued CNY52bn (USD8.2bn) of the securities, the most in six months. (Bloomberg)
Indonesia: Bank Indonesia cuts GDP forecasts as global slowdown hurts Asia
Indonesia’s central bank cut growth forecasts for Southeast Asia’s largest economy, adding to signs Europe’s debt crisis is hurting expansion in Asian nations from the Philippines to Singapore. Bank Indonesia lowered its 2012 economic growth forecast to 6.5% from a previous estimate of 6.7%, Perry Warjiyo, director of economic research and monetary policy, said in Jakarta. The bank cut its fourth-quarter forecast to 6.6% from 6.7%, he said. Indonesia led Asian economies in cutting interest rates last month while the government has said it is preparing a fiscal stimulus package that may be implemented in the first half of 2012. (Bloomberg)
New Zealand: English says Asia-Pacific exports ‘critical’ to economy
New Zealand’s exports to Asia Pacific nations will be “critical” to rebalancing the nation’s economy away from consumption and debt as bigger free-trade blocs emerge, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said. English, also the finance minister, is relying on exports to fan an economic recovery that has been hurt by a slump in spending and confidence after devastating earthquakes that struck Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-biggest city. The country faces a NZD20bn repair bill and expects rebuilding to stoke expansion from 2012. (Bloomberg)
UK: Inflation may have slowed ahead of King forecast cut
UK inflation probably eased from a three-year high in October and may slow further as Europe’s debt crisis depresses the economic outlook. Inflation slowed to 5.1% from 5.2% in September, according to the median estimate of 33 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Because the rate exceeds the government’s 3% upper limit, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King will be required to write a letter of explanation to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. The Bank of England is in the second of a four-month program of bond purchases aimed at supporting the recovery. (Bloomberg)
E.U: Italian yields reach 7%, French debt slides as bond rout deepens. Italian bonds led a slump in euro-area government debt as investors abandoned all but the safest assets amid rising borrowing costs at auctions and concern the region's financial woes are deteriorating. German two-year rates dropped below 0.3% for the first time, while the extra yield investors demand to hold 10-year bonds from France, Belgium, Spain and Austria instead of bunds all increased to euro-era records. (Source: Bloomberg)
Germany: Investor sentiment fell to three-year low in November on concern the sovereign debt crisis will push Europe's largest economy into recession. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany, said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict developments six months in advance, declined to minus 55.2 from minus 48.3 in October. (Source: Bloomberg)
Spain: Underlying inflation rate was unchanged in October as the economy stalled and unemployment surged. Core consumer prices, which exclude energy and fresh food, gained 1.7% YoY, the same as in September, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said. Headline inflation, based on European Union calculations, held at 3.0% YoY. (Source: Bloomberg)
Italy: Monti says he’s confident Italy can overcome current crisis
Mario Monti, Italy’s prime minister designate, said he is “convinced” the country can overcome the current crisis as he prepares to meet with President Giorgio Napolitano tomorrow to present his new government. Two days of talks seeking support from political parties, unions and employers were “intense and useful,” Monti said at a briefing in Rome. The former European Union Competition Commissioner has been under pressure to announce his new team, with the yield on Italy’s 10-year bond exceeding the 7% threshold yesterday. (Bloomberg)
US: Sales rise more than forecast, driving growth
Retail sales rose more than projected in October as American shoppers gave the economy a boost at the start of the fourth quarter. The 0.5% gain, helped by the biggest jump in electronics purchases in two years, followed a 1.1% increase for September, Commerce Department figures showed in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise of 0.3%. Stocks rose, propelled by technology shares, as the sales figures and separate figures showing New York-area manufacturing expanded in November for the first time in six months tempered concern about Europe’s debt crisis. (Bloomberg)
U.S: Wholesale prices declined 0.3% MoM as the cost of energy and automobiles decreased, pointing to waning inflation. The so-called core measure, which excludes volatile food and energy, was unchanged, marking the first time without an increase since November 2010. (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian Stocks Swing Between Gains, Losses Amid Europe Concern (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as U.S. retail sales beat estimates while Italian bond yields rose amid concern Italy’s new government will struggle to trim its debt and prevent Europe’s crisis from spreading. Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, fell 1.3 percent. Hyundai Motor Co. (005380), South Korea’s biggest carmaker by market value, rose 0.9 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the Australian oil producer, rose 0.9 percent after oil approached $100 a barrel. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent to 117.51 as of 9:20 a.m. in Tokyo, after swinging between gains and losses at least six times. The measure fell 0.9 percent yesterday.
“The U.S. seems to be back on the recovery path, which is very helpful because it’s the biggest economy in the world and it fixes sentiment in a big way,” said Prasad Patkar, who helps manage about $1 billion at Platypus Asset Management Ltd. in Sydney. “Investors around the world would be happy if Europe doesn’t export its toxicity.”
U.S. Stocks Rise on Italy Optimism as Retail Sales Top Estimates (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, rebounding from earlier losses, on speculation Italian Prime Minister designate Mario Monti will succeed in forming a new government to battle the debt crisis and after growth in retail sales beat estimates. Technology and industrial shares had the biggest gains among 10 groups in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, rising at least 0.5 percent. Intel Corp. (INTC) spurred a rally in semiconductor companies, climbing 2.9 percent, after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said it invested in the world’s largest chipmaker. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) slumped 2.4 percent as profit at the world’s biggest retailer trailed analysts’ forecasts. The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to 1,257.81 at 4 p.m. New York time, rebounding from a loss of 0.6 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 17.18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,096.16. About 6.3 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 24 percent below the three-month average.
European Stocks Drop as Monti Struggles to Win Backing in Italy (Source: Bloomberg)
European stocks declined as Italy’s premier in waiting Mario Monti struggled to get political parties to help form his new Cabinet and the country’s biggest defense company forecast an unexpected loss. Finmeccanica SpA (FNC) sank 20 percent, saying it will sell 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in assets after predicting a loss for this year. UniCredit SpA (UCG) slid 4.5 percent as banks posted one of the worst performances of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Cable & Wireless Worldwide Plc (CW/) plunged 26 percent as the company suspended future dividend payments and named a new chief executive officer. The benchmark Stoxx 600 fell 0.6 percent to 237.03 at the close of trading. The gauge has declined 19 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 17 as policy makers struggle to contain a debt crisis that has Greece on the edge of a default.
Japanese Stocks Swing Between Gains, Losses on Europe, BOJ (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks swung between gains and losses ahead of the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy decision today, and amid concern Italy’s new government will struggle to secure enough support to ease Europe’s debt crisis. The Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average rose 0.1 percent to 8,550.45 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo, after declining as much as 0.1 percent. The broader Topix index slipped 0.1 percent to 730.45, with about six stocks falling for every five that advanced.
Electronics Boost U.S. Retail Sales (Source: Bloomberg)
Retail sales rose more than projected in October as American shoppers gave the economy a boost at the start of the fourth quarter. The 0.5 percent gain, helped by the biggest jump in electronics purchases in two years, followed a 1.1 percent increase for September, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise of 0.3 percent. “Another recession is pretty unlikely,” said Samuel Coffin, an economist at UBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut, who correctly predicted the gain in retail sales. The report “suggests a very strong start to the quarter. We’ll continue expanding at a better pace.”
Democratic Lawmakers Said to Consider $800 Billion in New U.S. Tax Revenue (Source: Bloomberg)
Democrats on Congress’s supercommittee are weighing whether to reduce to about $800 billion their demand for new tax revenue as part of a deficit- reduction agreement, according to a Democratic aide. Last week, Democrats proposed a plan that would include $1 trillion in new revenue, $1 trillion in spending cuts and $300 billion from interest savings. A second Democratic aide said the spending cuts in any new proposal also would be smaller, without giving an amount. Both aides weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Republicans offered a plan for $300 billion in tax increases, which some lawmakers hailed as a breakthrough demonstrating new Republican support for tax increases. After Democrats rejected the plan, talks have been in a stalemate as Republicans called on Democrats to make a counteroffer.
Fed’s Evans Calls For More Economic Stimulus Steps to Address Unemployment (Source: Bloomberg)
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said he is calling for “increasing amounts of policy accommodation” to reduce a 9 percent unemployment rate that’s far above the Fed’s objectives. “We ought to be behaving as if there’s a very big problem out there,” Evans said in New York today at the Council on Foreign Relations. Evans, 53, voted against the Federal Open Market Committee’s November decision to maintain its level of stimulus, casting the U.S. central bank’s first dissent in favor of further easing since December 2007. He said today that his position is “unusual” among policy makers. “I’m finding myself sufficiently outside” of the “consensus that I thought I had to publicize that,” Evans said. His vote contrasted with those by three of his colleagues. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, Charles Plosser of Philadelphia and Narayana Kocherlakota of Minneapolis earlier this year dissented against further easing in August and September.
Wholesale Prices in U.S. Declined by Most in Four Months, Core Unchanged (Source: Bloomberg)
Prices paid to U.S. wholesalers fell in October by the most in four months as the cost of energy and automobiles decreased, pointing to waning inflation. The producer price index declined a more-than-projected 0.3 percent after a 0.8 percent gain in September, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists forecast a 0.1 percent decrease, according to the median of 74 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The so-called core measure, which excludes volatile food and energy, was unchanged, marking the first time without an increase since November 2010. The report showed cheaper raw materials and partially finished goods, indicating companies are under less pressure to raise prices. Cooling inflation gives Federal Reserve policy makers more room to spur the recovery should the world’s largest economy falter.
Goldman’s Blankfein: Growth to ‘Snap Back’ (Source: Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the fifth- biggest U.S. bank, is preparing for a faster global economic rebound than most forecasters expect, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein said. “I don’t think that we can conclude that this slowdown is secular rather than cyclical change,” Blankfein, 57, said today at an investor conference in New York hosted by Bank of America Corp. (BAC)’s Merrill Lynch unit. “The world will snap back and it will be a surprise and it will be faster than people think. I don’t know when that will be and we will gear ourselves accordingly.” Goldman Sachs, which was the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history before converting to a bank in 2008, last month reported its second quarterly loss in 12 years as a publicly traded company. The stock dropped 41 percent this year through yesterday to $99.29, below the company’s $120.41 tangible book value per share at the end of September.
Treasuries Hold Gain on Speculation Report to Show Cooling Consumer Prices (Source: Bloomberg)
Treasuries held gains from yesterday before a government report that economists said will show the cost of living in the U.S. stopped rising for the first time in four months, adding to signs inflation is cooling. The difference between yields on 10-year notes and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, a gauge of trader expectations for consumer prices over the life of the debt, has narrowed to 2.03 percentage points from a 2011 high of 2.67 percentage points in April. The 12-month average is 2.26 percentage points. “Demand is very soft in the U.S.,” said Zeal Yin, a money manager at Taipei-based Shin Kong Life Insurance Co., Taiwan’s second-largest life insurer with the equivalent of $39.7 billion in assets. “A moderate slowdown in inflation was within expectations. It’s good for Treasuries.”
Temasek in Talks With BofA to Buy CCB Shares (Source: Bloomberg)
Temasek Holdings Pte., Singapore’s state-owned investment company, is in talks to buy shares of China Construction Bank Corp. (939) that Bank of America Corp. (BAC) is selling, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Bank of America will sell 10.4 billion shares this month in private transactions for a profit of about $1.8 billion, leaving the second-biggest U.S. lender with a 1 percent stake in Construction Bank, according to a statement Nov. 14. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America said the buyers were a group of investors, without providing names. Stephen Forshaw, a spokesman for Temasek, declined to comment on “market speculation.” Mark Tsang, a Bank of America spokesman in Hong Kong, had no comment.
Temasek bought shares in the Beijing-based lender in September for as much as HK$21.7 billion ($2.8 billion), about eight weeks after paring its holdings.
Euro Falls as Spain, France Prepare Bond Sales (Source: Bloomberg)
The euro declined for a third day against the dollar as Spain and France prepare to sell notes tomorrow after Italy led a slump in euro-area debt. The 17-nation currency was 0.2 percent from a one-month low versus the yen after the extra yield investors demand to hold bonds from France, Belgium, Spain and Austria instead of German bunds climbed to euro-era records on concern the region’s debt crisis is spreading. The dollar rose against the majority of its most-traded peers as investors sought safer assets. “France, Spain, they’re all seeing yields move out so you get the impression that we’re at some sort of juncture where banks, investors and corporations are starting to prepare for the worst-case outcome,” said Greg Gibbs, a currency strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Sydney. “The euro will remain under pressure.”
Monti Confident Italy Can Overcome Crisis as He Prepares Cabinet Unveiling (Source: Bloomberg)
Italian Prime Minister-designate Mario Monti will announce his new government today as he strives to convince investors he can trim Europe’s second-biggest debt and fend off contagion from the euro-area sovereign crisis. Monti concluded two days of talks with political leaders yesterday in a bid to gain broad support for a Cabinet tasked with pushing through an overhaul of the currency region’s third- biggest economy. “Tomorrow morning I’ll be able to present a synthesis of this work” to President Giorgio Napolitano, the former European Union commissioner said last night in Rome. Monti, 68, is due to meet with Napolitano at 11 a.m. to officially accept the post and possibly present his ministers. He said his consultations with parties, unions and employers have left him “convinced” that Italy can overcome the crisis.
No Stopping Technocrats Rule as Debt Crisis Brings Down Europe Governments (Source: Bloomberg)
The European debt crisis has toppled four elected governments with the last two, in Greece and Italy, falling last week without a shove from voters. The appointment of prime ministers in Athens and Rome to push through unpopular austerity measures echoes efforts in the past five decades by European leaders to control policy-making when democratic means fall short. “The euro zone would never have been created if voters had been given a say,” Fredrik Erixon, head of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels, said in a telephone interview. “It’s an elite project but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad project.” Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, a former central banker, and Italian Prime Minister-designate Mario Monti, an academic and former European commissioner, were chosen by each nation’s president after their elected predecessors were abandoned by political allies, making them unable to pass legislation demanded by the other members of the euro region.
Midwest Farmland in Third Quarter Rises 25%, Most Since 1977, Fed Reports (Source: Bloomberg)
Farmland values in the U.S. Midwest surged 25 percent during the third quarter, the most since 1977, as higher grain and livestock earnings boosted demand for acreage, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said. Rising net income for corn and soybean growers and improved cattle, hog and milk earnings supported higher land prices from a year earlier in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, the Fed said today in a report. Land values rose 7 percent from the second quarter, and 39 percent of the 216 bankers surveyed forecast higher values in the fourth quarter. “There has continued to be very strong increases in land values this year,” David B. Oppedahl, a business economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said in a presentation today at the bank.
Nationalism Replaces Crisis as Biggest Threat to Metal Supply: Commodities (Source: Bloomberg)
Rising government demands for higher taxes and royalties are becoming a bigger threat to mining companies and their production than the financial crisis that’s wiped $6 trillion off stock market values since July. “You can’t ignore it and the problem is it’s gathering pace,” David Russell, a director at Ernst & Young LLP’s mining and metals team in London, said Nov. 14. “It’s almost like a contagion. The key risk is an inability to plan.” Resource nationalism, as the push by states is known, jumped to being the number one concern among mining executives this year, replacing capital allocation, Ernst & Young said in its annual risk survey published in August. At least 11 countries from Australia to Ecuador have this year raised or revealed plans to increase taxes or royalties on sales of resources such as gold and coal, according to Deutsche Bank AG.
Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures settled at a three session high, buoyed by spillover support from a spike in soybean prices and renewed optimism about global demand. News of South Korea buying U.S. corn provided a fundamental lift for prices, says Terry Reilly, analyst with Citi in Chicago. The sales were first new sales for corn in a while, and with strong domestic demand, limited farmer selling, and sharp gains in beans, sellers were reluctant to press prices, he added. CBOT Dec corn corn ended up 12c at $6.45 1/2/bushel.
Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures end higher, recovering from prior declines on spillover strength from soybeans and some technical buying. Traders exited some previously sold positions after recent declines took investment-fund positions near record short levels, analysts say. The market bounced today on short-covering, but without some significant export demand, analysts say it will be hard to sustain rallies. CBOT December wheat rose 17c to $6.32 3/4 a bushel, December KCBT ended up 13c at $7.05 and December MGEX added 3 3/4c to $9.31 1/4.
Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures recover from early losses by the close thanks to spillover support from rallying grain and soybean futures. Rice is showing some stability after falling more than $2/hundredweight in recent weeks, with poor export demand pressuring prices and outweighing worries about Asian crops damaged by floods. January CBOT rice ended up 1/2c at $15.22 1/2.
EU's 2011-12 Grain Crop Seen At 282.5M Tons, Above Expectations - USDA (Source: CME)
The European Union's 2011-12 grain crop is now expected to reach 282.5 million metric tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's London attache said, 2.5 million tons above previous expectations. Wheat production is estimated at 137.5 million tons, the USDA said, just over 1 million tons above previous estimates and largely due to reduced concerns over the French harvest. Corn production is expected to reach the record figure of 62 million tons, the USDA said, 1 million tons above previous expectations, while the barley crop is pegged at 52 million tons. The total grain crop of 282.5 million metric tons is an increase of 7 million tons over 2010-11, the USDA said, but nearly 31 million tons below the record crop of 2008-09. The USDA cautioned that even though the total grain crop is above previous expectations, the European nations have carried around 27.5 million tons of stocks into the current marketing year, so supply remains tight.
A lack of rain in the major producing countries of France, Germany and the U.K. through most of the spring months caused considerable concern, the USDA said, yet downfalls came in time for the wheat crop in Southern France and the barley crop in Germany. Dry weather has seen challenging planting conditions in much of the European Union for the 2012 grain harvest, the USDA said, particularly for the U.K., Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. However, the USDA said recent rainfall has assuaged producers' concerns about water availability for the late running winter plantings, particularly in the north and west of Europe. Increased industrial use of wheat in Germany is expected to result in varying intra-EU trade, the USDA said, with French wheat instead being imported into Belgium and the Netherlands, while French exports to Spain, Italy, and Greece are likely to decline due to competition from Bulgaria and Romania.
The return of low-priced Black Sea origin wheat in 2011-12 will mean more competition for EU exports, the USDA said, but exports are forecast to fall just 6 million tons from the very high level seen last season.
East Australian Grain Quality Little Affected By Rain (Source: CME)
Rainfall that has delayed harvesting of winter crops including wheat in eastern Australia hasn't had much impact on grain quality, GrainCorp Ltd. said, though concerns persist about grain quality in Western Australia. Widespread concern has been voiced in the industry about the possibility of a downgrading of grain quality due to wet weather at harvest in eastern and western Australia. Heavy and widespread rainfall and flooding in eastern Australia during the previous harvest forced a downgrading of wheat quality, resulting in an unusually high percentage of the crop being graded suitable only for livestock feed. In a typical year, nearly all the crop is graded as milling wheat fit for human consumption. Another La Nina climate event in the Pacific this year has raised industry concerns about a repetition of last year's rains, floods and grain quality downgrades.
On Monday, Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd. reported that wet conditions in Western Australia are frustrating, raising grain quality issues, but it will be some time before the industry has an accurate idea about the rain's impact. Commonwealth Bank of Australia said that the price premium for Western Australian milling wheat over New South Wales milling wheat has widened a little in the past week "because of downgraded grain quality." GrainCorp reported that the harvest is already nearly over in central Queensland but is in full swing in southern areas of the state, while storm-related rainfall has disrupted harvest across Victoria and New South Wales, slowing crop maturation. "Rainfall [is] not of an intensity or amount to have a marked effect on grain quality to date," the company said. It operates eastern Australia's biggest upcountry grain storage network. In the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, GrainCorp has already received 3.04 million metric tons into its upcountry storages as of Nov. 15.
Most forecasts for this crop year peg wheat production in a range of 25 million-26 million tons, compared with a record 26.3 million tons produced last year ended March 31. Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said that growing conditions over winter and spring were broadly favourable in Australia's major winter-cropping regions and crops were generally reported to be in good condition. World wheat and coarse grain prices are forecast to remain relatively high in 2011-12 due to relatively low availability, while world oilseed prices are forecast to increase as a result of higher imports by China, greater oilseed crush and growth in feed demand from livestock industries, Ludwig said in a statement.
US soy up on forecast of harvest rain, wheat slides
SINGAPORE, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Chicago soy rose 1 percent, gaining more ground as the market was supported by rains delaying the last leg of the U.S. harvest and expectations of strong demand led by China, the world's top buyer.
"Demand destruction remains at the forefront of the market's mind as we are seeing relatively sluggish export results out of the United States," said Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Philippines sees 2011 rice output below goal
MANILA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The Philippines' unmilled rice production this year is expected to reach 16.68 million tonnes, below a target of a record output of 17.3 million tonnes, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) said on Tuesday.
Rice production in October to December was expected to decline by 8.8 percent from a year earlier to 5.93 million tonnes due to typhoon damages to crops, the state agency said in a report.
Manila's Q3 rice output below fcast; import review on
MANILA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The Philippines' rice output in the third quarter grew 20 percent from a year earlier, below a government forecast partly due to typhoon damages to crops, as Manila reviews plans to import more rice in 2012 than earlier estimated.
Unmilled rice output grew almost 16 percent to 10.745 million tonnes in the nine months to September from a year earlier, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) said in a report released on Tuesday.
Philippine Jan-Sept farm output grows 4.28 pct y/y
MANILA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Philippine farm output grew 4.28 percent in January to September from a year earlier, reversing a near 3.0 percent contraction in the same period last year, as favourable weather boosted rice and corn production, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Unmilled rice output rose 15.96 percent in the first nine months from a year earlier, said Maura Lizarondo, assistant director of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).
Argentina approves more 2010/11 corn exports
BUENOS AIRES, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Argentina's government approved another 500,000 tonnes of 2010/11 corn for export on Monday and an industry group said more might soon be freed up for shipment.
Argentina's government controls corn and wheat exports through a quota system designed to guarantee affordable local food supplies and help tame high inflation, a system that irritates growers in the world's second-biggest corn supplier.
Ukraine 2011 grain crop at 54 mln T so far
KIEV, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Ukraine's grain harvest reached 54.1 million tonnes bunker weight as of November 14, 2011 compared to 41.2 million at the same date in 2010, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.
The ministry said in a report farms had harvested 96 percent of the planted area and the grain yield averaged 3.65 tonne per hectare. The yield totalled 2.84 tonne in 2010.
Weather favours Russia winter grain crop-forecaster
MOSCOW, Nov 14 (Reuters) - The weather favours Russian winter grains crop, the sowing of which was 90 percent complete last week, Russia's top weather forecaster said on Monday.
"The weather conditions are highly favourable and the state of winter crops are very good," Roman Vilfand, director of the Hydrometcentre weather forecasting service, told reporters, adding in some producing regions snow was plentiful.
ICE markets steady, focus on euro zone debt
LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - ICE cocoa, sugar and coffee futures were little changed in early trading as investors focused on Southern European countries' ability to tackle their debt problems.
ICE March cocoa was down $8 or 0.3 percent at $2,547 a tonne at 0920 GMT, just above Monday's 2-1/2-year trough. The contract had dipped to $2,515 on Monday, the lowest level for the second month since July 2009.
Vietnam Coffee-Farmers rush to harvest, quality a concern
HANOI, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Vietnam, the world's largest robusta coffee producer, has harvested around 10 percent of its current 2011/2012 crop and farmers are accelerating the picking process to thwart theft, traders said on Tuesday.
Thieves, encouraged by high coffee prices, often pick both ripe and unripe cherries in farms with lax security. Most farms are owned by individual growers who try to prevent theft by boosting their own security or by harvesting early.
Ivorian patchy rains mixed for cocoa, west too dry
ABIDJAN, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Lack of rain last week in Ivory Coast's cocoa centre-western region raised concerns of poor yields and quality next year, but good rains elsewhere boded well for the crop, farmers said on Monday.
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower, is due to enter the dry season from mid-November to March, when rains are scarce. Depending on how severe it is, it can weigh on the size and quality of the crop.
Rains return to Brazil's thirsty coffee belt
BRASILIA, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Heavy rains should return to Brazil's coffee belt early in the week, forecaster Somar said on Monday, bringing badly-needed moisture trees to ensure tiny coffee fruit swells up and provides next year's crop.
The Minas Gerais coffee belt will see close to 70 millimeters (2.7 inches) of rain on Monday and Tuesday alone, according to the forecast, a significant volume given the state has been mostly dry so far this month.
India rubber seen extending losses for third week
MUMBAI, Nov 15 (Reuters) - India rubber futures are likely to extend fall for the third week in a row weighed by a jump in imports as industry takes advantage of a global fall in prices, with local farmers unwilling to sell their produce at lower prices, analysts said.
The benchmark December rubber on India's National Multi-Commodity Exchange (NMCE) was 3.9 percent down at 18,901 rupees per 100 kg, after losing 7.4 percent in the previous two weeks.
Petronas finds "significant" oil off Malaysia's Sabah
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Petronas discovered oil offshore Sabah in the latest "significant" find this year in the hydrocarbon-rich state on Borneo island, as the national oil company sets to boost reserves and output amid easing production costs.
Initial estimates put the well's reserves at 227 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and tests in three different reservoirs yielded a maximum output rate of 8,200 barrels per day (bpd), Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) said on Tuesday.
Brent rises above $112 but wary over euro crisis
LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil futures rose more than $1 per barrel as hopes for progress in resolving the euro zone's debt crisis helped encourage some consolidation after heavy falls in the previous session.
"More selling in oil may be expected in coming days because of concerns about the prospects for growth in Europe," said Victor Shum, managing consultant at Purvin & Gertz. "But we are also entering a strong demand season, which will set a relatively high floor on prices, limiting any pullback."
Libya data forecasts full crude exports end-2012
LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) expects crude exports to rise to 1.345 million barrels per day (bpd) by the fourth quarter of 2012, indicating the OPEC member's oil is returning to the international market faster than expected.
The NOC made the forecast in a table entitled "Estimated Daily Production", which was sent to NOC clients and seen by Reuters on Monday.
OPEC will be fine without outside involvement-Iran OPEC governor
DOHA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will watch market developments closely and will be able to work well together as long as there is 'no outside influence', Iran's OPEC governor said on Tuesday.
OPEC, at its last meeting in June, failed to reach consensus on an output deal to contain crude oil prices and scheduled to meet again in early December.
Taiwan September crude imports up 83 pct from August
Nov 15 (Reuters) - Taiwan's September crude imports increased 83 percent from the month before, as refineries started coming back online following outages and maintenance work, government data showed on Monday.
September crude import volume stood at 25.4 million barrels, up from August's 13.9 million barrels.
S.Korea October LNG imports rise 9 pct y/y
SEOUL, Nov 15 (Reuters) - South Korea's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) jumped 9 percent year-on-year in October, as the world's second-largest LNG buyer built its inventory ahead of winter demand, customs data showed on Tuesday.
South Korea imported 2.98 million tonnes of LNG in October, up from 2.74 million tonnes a year earlier, the Korea Customs Service data showed.
Oil Trades Near Three-Month High on U.S. Economy, Declining Fuel Supplies (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil traded near the highest level in more than three months in New York as investors speculated that signs of U.S. economic growth indicate fuel demand may increase in the world’s biggest crude consumer. Futures were little changed, after climbing 1.3 percent yesterday as the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales rose 0.5 percent in October, beating the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Fuel inventories fell last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Crude oil for December delivery was at $99.29 a barrel, down 8 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile at 10:35 a.m. Sydney time. The contract advanced $1.23 to $99.37 yesterday, the highest settlement since July 26. Prices have advanced 21 percent in the past year.
The palm oil industry is expected to be the engine of growth for the country in the face of the current global economic slowdown. Plantation, Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the outlook of the industry was positive as the price of the commodity remained at around RM3,000 per tonne despite the gloomy global economy. “Malaysia's palm oil exports may exceed RM70bn this year and it is the second biggest export after electrical and electronics. This is much bigger compared with petroleum if we exclude the export of gas,” he said. Dompok expected the industry to continue growing, with the current output of 18m tonnes surpassing earlier target of about 17m tonnes. (Starbiz)
Malaysia is assessing the feasibility of implementing its own sustainable palm oil certification even as efforts are stepped up to raise the competitiveness of the country's palm oil and related downstream products globally. The Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) is under consideration, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said. Dompok also said Malaysian and Indonesia policymakers would soon meet to resolve issues on the differences in export tax structures for palm oil products. (Financial daily)
Soybeans (Source: CME)
U.S. soybean futures rallied, continuing a three day a correction from prior losses on technical buying and market perception of fresh export demand. There is speculation of China buying U.S. or South American soybeans, a fundamental feature helping to underpin soybeans' rally. Traders viewed most of the gains as technical in nature, with buyers encouraged that prices were oversold after traders were unable to press prices through early October lows. The combination of light new buying on the lows, backed by renewed speculation of China's buying, opened the door for a strong correction in soybean prices, said John Kleist, senior analyst with ebottrading.com. CBOT Jan soybeans ended up 22 cents, or 1.9%, at $12.00 1/4/bushel.
Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy product futures ended higher, with soyoil futures soaring near a one-month high. Advances in soyoil were driven by supportive demand outlooks, with crude oil rising near $100 a barrel making margins on biodiesel produced from soyoil more attractive, says Jack Scoville, analyst with Price Futures Group. Soyoil also drew support from fundamentally bullish inventory data from Monday's NOPA October soy-crush report. CBOT Dec soyoil ended up 2.7% or 1.38c at 52.60 cents/lb, and Dec soymeal end up $2.20 at $301.40/short ton.
Malaysia In Talks With Indonesia On Reviewing CPO Export Taxes - Minister (Source: CME)
Top palm oil producers Malaysia and Indonesia are reviewing export taxes on palm oil and may announce new measures by the year-end that will benefit downstream palm oil processing industries in both countries, Malaysia's Commodities Minister Bernard Dompok said. "Both countries are cooperating to develop downstream palm oil industries," he said on the sidelines of an industry conference. Officials from Malaysia's Commodity Ministry have held several meetings with Indonesian counterparts in the past few weeks following a bilateral meeting late last month between Prime Minister Najib Razak and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the Indonesian island of Lombok. Dompok declined to elaborate on the proposals suggested by both parties.
An industry executive, who didn't wish to be named, told Dow Jones Newswires that Malaysian officials have proposed a revision of Indonesia's duties on refined palm product exports, lowering of Malaysia's high export tax on CPO as well as a duty-free quota on Indonesian-origin CPO bound for Malaysian ports. "These are just some of the suggestions that Malaysia is proposing to the Indonesians. We hope both governments will come to an agreement. Otherwise, some independent palm oil refiners will be out of business when Indonesia's [fresh] refining capacity comes on stream in the next 6-12 months," the executive said. Malaysia imposes a tax of 27% on crude palm oil exports to boost its downstream refining industry, which helped ramp up capacity in the past few years. Its refiners were also buying 80,000-100,000 tons monthly from Indonesia, whose annual production is usually around 23 million tons, compared with Malaysia's 17 million tons.
However, Indonesia raised export taxes mid-August to boost its refining capacity, which limited the availability of oil for exports and made it more expensive for Malaysian refiners to import Indonesian CPO. The maximum tax now is 13% for refined palm olein 22.5% for CPO.
Palm rises near 5-mth high, retreats on euro zone fears
JAKARTA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures eased slightly after rising to their highest level in nearly five months as lingering concerns about the euro zone's debt offset robust demand and expectations of falling output.
"Europe is on everyone's mind -- what will eventually happen is anybody's guess," said a Kuala Lumpur-based palm trader. "But we have China's insatiable demand and supply constraints ... November and Dec are low production months."
Australia harvesting record canola crop
SYDNEY, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Australia farmers are busy harvesting an expected record canola crop of around 2.62 million tonnes, up more than 20 percent from the previous season's bumper crop, the Australian Oilseeds Federation (AOF) said on Tuesday.
Benign weather ahead of the harvest, which is now well advanced across most areas of Australia where the oilseed, also known as rapeseed, is grown, had boosted yields, AOF said.
Brazil soy planting picks up pace, passes halfway
SAO PAULO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - The planting of Brazil's soybean crop is well ahead of schedule and has surpassed the halfway mark for planting of a record area this year, grain analysts Celeres said on Monday.
Ample rains since late September in most soy producing regions have allowed producers to sow an early crop this year, unlike last season when spring rains were delayed by a month and a half due to the effects of La Nina.
Fresh rains forecast for Brazil soy belt - Somar
SAO PAULO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Rains were forecast to return to Brazil's southern grain belt and push into the center-west region, as producers rush to plant the remaining half of the soy crop, weather forecaster Somar said Monday.
A slow moving cold front should begin to break up over the main grain producing areas after Tuesday and move into Brazil's northeastern farms and then, finally, out to sea.