Friday, April 22, 2011

20110422 1828 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3370, changed : +58 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer taking small position.
Support : 3350, 3300, 3270, 3250 level.
Resistance : 3420, 3450, 3470, 3500 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded gains with higher volume changed hand ahead for next Monday export data after soy oil overnight closed recorded gains along with higher crude oil and grains base commodities prices.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle closed above middle Bollinger band level after market opened little higher and move upwards slowly to closed near the high of the day.  
Chart reading wise, market still likely to move side way range bound 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.

20110422 1758 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1522.5 changed : -6 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : turned downwards, seller still holding on.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485, 1470 level.
Resistance : 1530, 1540, 1550, 1565 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded loss with quiet volume changed hand doing almost par to cash market that closed recorded small loss while regional markets mostly closed for Good Friday holiday.
Daily chart formed a down bar candle closed lower from middle Bollinger band level after market opened little higher and slide downwards to closed near the low of the day.
Chart reading remained suggesting a side way range bound market development but possibly testing lower support level this time.
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.

20110422 1002 Global Economic Related News.

Australia: Producer prices rose more than economists forecast in 1Q11 as costs for petroleum refining and electricity, gas and water increased. The producer prices index advanced 1.2% QoQ in the January-to-March period from the prior quarter, when it gained 0.1% QoQ. The index rose 2.9% YoY. (Source: Bloomberg) 

China: Open to buy more bonds of indebted Euro-area countries
China is open to buying more bonds of indebted euro-area nations as part of a strategy to bolster the European Union economy and diversify away from investments in U.S. debt, said the Chinese ambassador to the EU. Song Zhe said China owns “several billion euros” of bonds sold by Greece and Portugal and might embark on another round of purchases of sovereign debt in the euro area. Song said China believes the EU can overcome the euro area’s debt crisis, which was triggered by Greece last year and has since engulfed Ireland and Portugal. With the International Monetary Fund, the EU organized a EUR110bn rescue of Greece last May and a EUR85bn bailout of Ireland in November and is now preparing EUR80bn in emergency aid for Portugal. (Bloomberg)

Japan: Compiles USD 49b extra budget for quake relief efforts. The government will fund the budget without increasing the JPY 44.3tr in new bond issuances set for the year ending March 2012, according to a government statement released in Tokyo. The outlays will be financed by using JPY 2.5tr from pension funds as well as money originally intended to increase payments to family with children. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: Demand for bank loans rose for the first time in two years as the nations strongest earthquake on record spurred companies to borrow. An index of demand for loans to businesses was at 8 in the period between March 11 and April 12, the Bank of Japan said in a survey of loan officers in Tokyo. It was the first positive reading since April 2009, a sign demand increased. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: OECD halves growth forecast to 0.8%
The impact of last month's devastating quake-tsunami disaster will slash Japan's economic growth to 0.8% this year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said yesterday, halving its earlier forecast of 1.7%. But massive government and business investment in reconstruction is expected to drive a sharp rebound in 2012, with the economy seen expanding 2.3%, up from the OECD's previous estimate of 1.3% given in a November report. “While it is still too early to assess the full extent of the damage, the immediate impact will be to reduce output, although this will later be reversed by reconstruction efforts,” the Paris-based OECD said. (StarBiz)

Germany: Business confidence fell for a second month in April
German business confidence fell for a second month in April after oil prices rose to the highest in 2 1/2 years, damping the global economic outlook and threatening to curb domestic consumer spending. The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, dropped to 110.4 from 111.1 in March. The index rose to 111.3 in February, the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991. (Bloomberg)

U.K: Budget deficit narrowed in March and remained within Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbornes borrowing plans for the year. Net borrowing was GBP18.6b (USD30.7b), compared with GBP10.1b a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said in London. The annual shortfall was GBP141.1b, below a government forecast of GBP145.9b. (Source: Bloomberg)

UK: Retail sales unexpectedly rose in March on food spending
UK retail sales unexpectedly rose in March as the biggest jump in spending on food in 10 months outweighed a decline at other shops. Sales rose 0.2% from February, when they dropped 0.9%, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. From a year earlier, sales increased by 1.3%. The report suggests a surge in commodity prices and inflation that’s double the central bank’s 2% target has yet to squeeze shoppers at a time when the government’s fiscal cuts have dragged down confidence. The Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5% this month and minutes of the meeting show officials saw risks that an increase to tame price gains could dent spending. (Bloomberg)

US: Leading indicators, consumer confidence climb
The index of US leading indicators increased for a ninth month in March and Americans’ confidence rose for a fourth week, signaling the expansion may withstand higher fuel costs. The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months rose 0.4% after a revised 1% gain in February that was larger than previously estimated, the New York-based group said today. Further improvement in the labor market is needed to help accelerate consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the economy, and sustain recent gains in production. (Bloomberg)

U.S: Philadelphia area manufacturing slowed in April as measures of orders and sales fell. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphias general economic index dropped to 18.5, the lowest level since November, from 43.4 the prior month which was the highest level since 1984. Readings greater than zero signal expansion in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Initial jobless claims declined less than forecast, indicating the labor market will take time to improve. Jobless claims decreased by 13,000 to 403,000 in the week ended April 16. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those receiving extended payments declined. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110422 0959 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
side way range bound little upside biased. 

Tenaga 2Q earnings down 37% to RM630m, sees challenging year
Tenaga Nasional (TNB)’s earnings fell 36.9% to RM630.30m in the second quarter ended 28 Feb 2011 from RM1bn a year ago as it was impacted by higher coal prices. Forecasting the current financial to be challenging, TNB said yesterday that its revenue was a marginal 1.5% higher at RM7.503bn from RM7.389bn a year ago. Its earnings per share were 14.2 sen compared with 23.05 sen while it declared a lower dividend of 4.5 sen per share. The power giant said the improvement was mainly from sales of electricity in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah Electricity SB (SESB), which recorded an increase of 2.4% and 5.2% respectively. The units also registered a growth of 2.0% in the peninsula and 4.7% in SESB on-year. (Financial Daily)

Carlyle, TPG eye joint bid for RHB Cap stake
Carlyle Group and TPG Capital are in early talks to launch a joint bid for a USD1.5bn (RM4.5bn) stake in Malaysian lender RHB Capital, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank owns the stake and has hired Goldman Sachs and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch to run the auction. Carlyle and TPG have engaged an investment bank to advise them on the potential offer, said the sources. (BT)

JTI to consider paying special dividend
Tobacco major JT International Bhd (JTI) will consider paying a special dividend this year, according to chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh. “We are looking into various business opportunities. If we do not need the money, we will consider that (paying a special dividend),” he said after the company AGM. Nadzmi, however, did not elaborate on the business that JTI was eyeing. “We are exploring which business to invest in but we can't disclose details yet.” As at 31 Dec 2010 (FY10), JTI has a cash and cash equivalents of RM189.2m. For the full year, JTI posted a net profit of RM133.8m on revenue of RM1.2bn. In FY10, JTI maintained its gross dividend payout of 30 sen per share less 25% tax, representing a dividend yield of 5%. (StarBiz) 

RM7.2bn helicopter deals inked
Two local helicopter service providers have won deals worth RM7.2bn from oil firms in Malaysia and one is already planning to use this as a stepping stone for regional expansion. Privately-held Weststar Aviation Services SB is keen to become a bigger player in Southeast Asia and it may raise money from an initial public offering. "There is a great potential for Weststar's growth in the oil and gas sector and we fully intend to expand," group managing director Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim told reporters at a briefing. In fact, it has been invited to bid for services in Thailand and Myanmar. Weststar Aviation will provide nine helicopters in a deal worth RM4.2bn to Petronas Carigali Sdn SB, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc, Newfield (Malaysia) Incorporated, Petrofac (Malaysia-PM304) Ltd and Talisman (Malaysia) Ltd. Syed Azman said the tender had called for 14 helicopters and Weststar had allocated RM1.5bn to fund the project. (BT)

China Stationery gets SC nod for listing on Bursa
The RM1.1bn China-based company that has been approved to list by the Securities Commission (SC) is China Stationery Ltd from Putian, Fujian Province, according to reliable sources. This listing is significantly bigger than the other China companies listed in Malaysia, the largest so far being Sozo Global Ltd, which had a market capitalisation of RM388.44m as of yesterday, according to Bloomberg. China Stationery said in March that it was approved to list on Bursa Malaysia's Main Market but it did not provide details of its size. In yesterday's first quarter scorecard, the SC said it had approved the listing of a China-based company with a potential market capitalisation of RM1.1bn. China Stationery is scheduled to list by the second quarter. (StarBiz)

Jerneh Asia eyes Sabah developer
After hiving off its core insurance business in Malaysia, cash-rich Jerneh Asia has now set its sights on acquiring Sabah-based property developer Sagajuta Sabah SB, whose flagship project is the massive 1 Borneo mixed development in Kota Kinabalu. Jerneh Asia announced to Bursa Malaysia yesterday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sagajuta’s 60% shareholder, Generasi Cipta SB, to start exclusive discussions for the proposed acquisition. If the talks bear fruit, it will be a backdoor listing of Generasi Cipta, whose main assets include the 1 Borneo project that has a gross development value of RM1.2bn, encompassing a 1.5m sq ft shopping mall, four hotels and four condominium towers. (Financial Daily) 

Nestle upbeat on 2011 performance, double digit growth
Nestle (M) is projecting a positive trend for the company in 2011 based on strong sales both domestic and international. The company on Wednesday announced a turnover of RM1.2bn for its 1Q ended 31 March, 2011, representing a 16.1% growth compared to the corresponding period of 2010. At a press conference, its managing director Peter R Vogt said Nestle’s results was proof that the company had continued to do well despite the higher prices of commodities. Export sales showed a double digit increase, sustaining the strong performance achieved last year, he said. For 2010, Nestle posted a turnover of RM4bn, 7.5% higher than the year before, while PBT stood at RM456.7m, a 5.8% increase versus the previous year, driven by positive developments in the local and global economies. (Malaysian Reserve)

BAT profit hit by excise hike
British American Tobacco (M) Bhd's (BAT) net profit dropped 6.95% to RM178.55m for the first quarter ended 31 March compared with the same quarter a year ago. Sales volume declined by 7.5% in the quarter under review resulting from the steep excise increase last October. In comparison, industry volumes among the Confederation of Malaysian Tobacco Manufacturers' members declined dramatically by 9% for the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period last year. The significant decrease in industry volumes was a result of higher prices on the back of a steep 16% increase in excise duty in October and illegal sale of locally produced products, BAT said in an announcement. The company told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that revenue declined 2.61% to RM992.14m as a result of lower volumes and unfavourable pack-size mix (due to a ban on packs less than 20 sticks). However, this was partially offset by higher excise and subsequently pricing. “Net turnover (revenue less Government levies) declined more than revenue, reducing by 9.2% as the industry took a smaller portion of the price increase,” the company said. BAT said profit from operations only declined by 6.7%. (StarBiz)

IPO: Quake delays IPO of world's largest syariah REIT. The listing of Malaysia's Axis Global Industrial real estate investment trust (REIT), has been pushed back by about a month after 2 of its Japanese assets were damaged by the March earthquake. The 2 assets have been removed from its initial asset composition and the size of the REIT has been slightly reduced. (Source: The Edge Daily)

Oil & Gas: Petronas signs unitization agreement with Malaysia-Thailand Joint Authority for the gas field straddling across Block PM 301 in the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Block A-18 in the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area. The unitisation agreement gives Petronas rights to the reserves in the unitised area, which has an estimated ultimate recovery of 1.25t standard cubic feet of gas. (Source: The Edge)

Transocean: BP sues for $40b over oil spill in Gulf of Mexico. BP Plc sued Transocean, seeking at least $40b (RM120.3b) in damages and other costs from the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig. BP said on 20 April 2010, every single safety system and device and well control procedure on the Deepwater Horizon failed, resulting in the casualty. (Source: The Sun)

20110422 0953 Global Market Related News.

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

PS : Some markets are closed today due to Good Friday Holiday.

Global Supply-Chain Repairs May Spur Investment Powering Economic Growth (Source: Bloomberg)
Repairing supply chains frayed by Japan’s earthquake and surging fuel prices may provide a further spur to business investment powering global economic growth.

Leading U.S. Indicators, Consumer Confidence Gain as Fuel Costs Discounted (Source: Bloomberg)
The index of U.S. leading indicators increased for a ninth month in March and Americans’ confidence rose for a fourth week, signaling the expansion may withstand higher fuel costs.

Initial Unemployment Claims in U.S. Decline Less Than Forecast to 403,000 (Source: Bloomberg)
New applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell less than forecast last week, indicating the labor market will take time to improve.

Consumer Comfort Index in U.S. Climbs for Fourth Week on Economic Outlook (Source: Bloomberg)
Consumer confidence rose for a fourth consecutive week as Americans became less pessimistic about the state of economy and their personal finances.

US existing homes sales gain raises cautious hope
WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. home resales volumes bounced back in March, a hopeful sign for recovery in the housing market, but prices continued to decline.
The housing market is struggling to find its footing as a wave of foreclosed properties keeps supply up but prices down.
The housing sector led the economy into its worst recession since the 1930s in 2007-2008 and is now lagging recovery in the broader economy.

Bernanke Bond Market Signals No Change With Obama-Congress Cutting Deficit (Source: Bloomberg)
The Federal Reserve can be counted on to keep its balance sheet big and interest rates low if President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers agree on a multi-year deal to slash the $1.4 trillion budget deficit. That’s the message from the Treasury bond market, where yields on 10-year securities sank to their lowest level in almost a month this week on speculation that government budget cuts will slow the economy and encourage the Fed to hold off from raising borrowing costs, said Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co.

U.S. Sends Predators to Strike Qaddafi Troops Fighting Rebels (Source: Bloomberg)
The U.S. deployed armed Predator drones for ground attack missions in Libya, as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said that sending European military advisers to help the rebels isn’t a step toward deployment of ground troops.

Obama Says U.S. Team to Study Whether ‘Speculators’ Driving Up Pump Prices (Source: Bloomberg)
President Barack Obama said a Justice Department probe will examine the role of “traders and speculators” in oil markets and how they contribute to high gasoline prices. “The attorney general’s putting together a team whose job it is to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, and that includes the role of traders and speculators,” Obama said today in Reno, Nevada. “We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of American consumers for their own short-term gain.”

U.S. Stocks Gain as Apple, Morgan Stanley Earnings Beat Analyst Estimates (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index near its bull-market high, as stronger-than-estimated earnings at companies from Apple Inc. (AAPL) to Morgan Stanley bolstered optimism about the economy. Technology companies rallied as Apple and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) advanced at least 2.4 percent after reporting profit and sales that topped estimates. Material stocks including Alcoa Inc. led gains as commodity prices gained for the third straight day. Morgan Stanley gained 1.7 percent as the owner of the world’s largest brokerage said trading revenue more than doubled from the fourth quarter.

Dollar May Depreciate Past $1.51 per Euro, SocGen Says: Technical Analysis (Source: Bloomberg)
The dollar’s move through resistance areas around $1.45 per euro puts the currency on course for a depreciation past $1.51, according to Societe Generale SA’s technical analysts. The dollar’s next resistance levels are around $1.47 and $1.4830, and a breach of those may propel the greenback to $1.5145, its lowest point in 2009, France’s second-largest bank said in a research note today. Should the currency depreciate below that level, it will begin setting 2 ½-year lows.

Dollar hits 3-yr low; equities up on earnings (Source: Reuters)
The U.S. dollar slid to a three-year low against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, while global stocks marched higher on a stream of upbeat U.S. corporate earnings. "Strong earnings reports from a lot of companies have driven risk appetite and we have seen huge moves in all dollar crosses, but it would be surprising if we didn't see some profit-taking," said Richard Falkenhall, currency strategist at SEB in Stockholm.

China Says It’s in Discussions to Invest in Spain's Savings Bank Overhaul (Source: Bloomberg)
China is in discussions to invest in the restructuring of Spain’s savings banks, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, after a four-day visit by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to Asia. “Premier Wen Jiabao told the Spanish prime minister, who was attending the 2011 Boao Forum, that China will continue to buy Spanish national debt and will participate in the restructuring of Spain’s saving banks,” he told reporters in Beijing today. “China is a responsible investor in the European financial market.”

China Overnight Rate Climbs Most in Three Months on Reserve-Ratio Increase (Source: Bloomberg)
China’s overnight money-market rate jumped the most in three months as this year’s fourth increase in lenders’ reserve-requirement ratios took effect today, draining cash from the financial system. The one-day repurchase rate, which measures interbank funding availability, rose to the highest level since Feb. 9 even as the central bank reined in debt issuance. The People’s Bank of China sold the least amount of three-month bills in seven weeks at an auction today and held off from offering 91- day repurchase agreements for the first time in more than two months. “Banks are short of money after handing reserve-ratio payments to the central bank,” said Jiang Chao, a bond analyst in Shanghai at Guotai Junan Securities Co., the nation’s biggest brokerage by revenue. “The effect may be short-term because it’s not driven by speculation about more tightening measures.”

Japan’s Government Bonds Advance as Extra Budget Avoids New Bond Issuance (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s bond futures rose to a three-week high as Prime Minister Naoto Kan compiled a 4 trillion yen ($49 billion) extra budget without new bond issuances.

Japanese Stocks Decline First Day in Three as Yen Dims Exporter Outlook (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks fell for the first time in three days as the yen strengthened to a three-week high against the dollar, cutting the earnings outlook for exporters.

OECD slashes Japan GDP forecast on quake
TOKYO, April 21 (Reuters) - - Japan's economy will slow significantly this year after last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami, with the government needing to cut spending from other programmes to rebuild the country's battered northeast coast and to ensure faster growth next year, the OECD said on Thursday.
Gross domestic product will expand 0.8 percent this year, the OECD said, down sharply from the 1.7 percent growth previously forecast because of the extensive damage from the March 11 natural disaster, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report.

South Korea to Monitor Market Closer as Inflows Spur Volatility, Yoon Says (Source: Bloomberg)
The South Korean government will step up its monitoring of financial markets as global capital flows into South Korea may see more volatility with U.S. quantitative easing nearing an end, said the nation’s finance minister, Yoon Jeung Hyun. Yoon said in a speech prepared for a local forum in Seoul today that the volatility of global fund flows may increase over time as it will be hard for countries to reach an agreement on how to reform the international monetary system.

Retail Sales in U.K. Unexpectedly Advance 0.2%, Buoyed by Spending on Food (Source: Bloomberg)
U.K. retail sales unexpectedly rose in March as the biggest jump in spending on food in 10 months outweighed a decline at other shops. Sales climbed 0.2 percent from February, when they dropped 0.9 percent, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. The median forecast of 20 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 0.5 percent decline. From a year earlier, sales increased by 1.3 percent.

German Business Confidence Declines for Second Month as Energy Prices Rise (Source: Bloomberg)
German business confidence fell for a second month in April after oil prices rose to the highest in 2 1/2 years, damping the global economic outlook and threatening to curb domestic consumer spending. The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, dropped to 110.4 from 111.1 in March. Economists expected a decline to 110.5, according to the median of 38 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. The index rose to 111.3 in February, the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991.

The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, dropped to 110.4 from 111.1 in March. Economists expected a decline to 110.5, according to the median of 38 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. The index rose to 111.3 in February, the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991.  (Source: Bloomberg)
The U.S. and Japan are more at risk of sovereign-debt crises than financial markets currently signal, according to Rabobank International. The bank’s sovereign vulnerability index ranks Japan as the second most vulnerable and the U.S. as fifth, while credit- default swaps rank Japan seventh and the U.S. the 11th, Shahin Kamalodin, an international economist at Rabobank, wrote in a report to clients today. Rabobank agrees with the market that Greece is the most threatened by the potential for debt turmoil.

U.K. Banks Expect ‘Subdued’ Mortgage Lending, Bank of England Report Says (Source: Bloomberg)
U.K. mortgage lending fell in March, and demand may decline further in the second quarter as the housing market weakens and consumers brace for a government spending squeeze, the Bank of England said. Gross home loans issued last month totaled 9 billion pounds ($14.9 billion), down from 9.2 billion pounds in February, the central bank said in its monthly assessment based on data from six banks. Net lending fell to 600 million pounds from 700 million pounds over the same period.

U.K. March Budget Deficit Narrows to $30.7 Billion, Within Osborne Target (Source: Bloomberg)
Britain’s budget deficit narrowed in March, remaining within Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s borrowing plans for the year. Net borrowing was 18.6 billion pounds ($30.7 billion), compared with 19.8 billion pounds a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said in London today. The median of 11 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey was for a shortfall of 20 billion pounds. The annual shortfall for the fiscal year that ended last month was 141.1 billion pounds, below a government forecast of 145.9 billion pounds.

FOREX-Dollar tumbles to 3-year low; euro, Aussie surge
LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - The dollar hit a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Thursday as strong corporate earnings buoyed risk appetite in illiquid pre-Easter trade, threatening to drive the greenback to historic lows.
Ongoing expectations the Federal Reserve will keep U.S. interest rates low battered the dollar to a 16-month low against the euro around $1.4650, while traders said M&A-related demand also pushed the single currency higher.

20110422 0948 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish higher, with deferred contracts rising the most as forecasts show wet weather will continue to delay plantings. Market rebounds after sinking yesterday as meteorologists say conditions look soggy into early May. Yet, farmers can plant the crop quickly if the weather improves. "At some point the planting window will open and prices will fall," predicts Tim Hannagan, analyst for PFG Best. CBOT July corn ends up 4c at $7.44 1/2 a bushel. CBOT December corn, which represents the crop being planted for harvest next fall, was up 10c at $6.65 1/2.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures finish stronger as poor weather threatens production. Extreme dryness continues to stress winter wheat in the southern Plains, while wetness delays plantings of spring wheat in North and South Dakota. It's unlikely farmers will sow 5% more acres with spring wheat than last year, as projected by the USDA, predicts Alan Brugler, president of Brugler Marketing & Management. "You've got too many guys running late," he says. CBOT July wheat rises 14c to $8.34 3/4 a bushel; KCBT July gains 12 1/4c to $9.43; MGE May adds 12 1/4c to $9.60 3/4.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures settle higher with neighboring grain markets. Trading was subdued ahead of the holiday weekend, as rice stayed within Wednesday's price range. The market felt spillover support from an ongoing rally in wheat, as both grains are global food staples, an analyst says. Traders note there is no shortage of rice in the world. CBOT July rice rises 9c to $14.31 per hundredweight. The CBOT is closed Friday for Good Friday.

US corn rebounds from near 3-wk low, wheat gains
Chicago corn futures edged higher, regaining some ground on short-covering after sliding 2 percent in the last session, while wheat rose on worries about dry weather threatening crops in the world's top suppliers. "It looks like there is going to be rain but not as heavy as it has been in the last week, so the weather is improving," said Adam Davis, a senior commodity analyst at Merricks Capital, a Melbourne-based funds manager that invests in agriculture.

IGC raises global 2011/12 grain crop forecast
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - A record corn crop forecast for 2011/12 has boosted the outlook for global grain production, but stocks are expected to remain low, the International Grains Council said on Wednesday. Prospects for the next global grains harvest remain broadly favourable, with a marked upturn in output expected, although adversely dry conditions and a delayed start to spring seeding in parts of the northern hemisphere may affect the final outcome," the IGC said.

'Point of no return' for U.S. hard winter wheat
KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 20 (Reuters) - Clear skies cursing U.S. wheat farmers could give way to raindrops over the next few days, but it may be too little too late for much of the new hard red winter wheat crop. Prolonged drought conditions through Texas, Oklahoma and southern areas of Kansas, the top U.S. wheat growing state, have left wheat industry experts fearing there is little hope for much of the new wheat crop due to be harvested this summer.
BarCap says commodity AUM rise to $412 bln in Q1
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Commodities assets under management rose to $412 billion in the first quarter of this year, from $376 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, as prices rose and inventories dwindled, Barclays Capital said.
Energy and agricultural markets captured investor inflows of $6.8 billion and $7.1 billion respectively, dwarfing the $300 million that went into precious metals in the first quarter, BarCap said in a research noted.

Corn, Soybeans Rally as Wet Midwest Weather May Delay Planting, Cut Yields (Source: Bloomberg)
Corn and soybeans rose on speculation that wet, cold weather across the U.S. Midwest will limit planting and reduce yields. Fields from central Arkansas to Detroit may get as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain the next 10 days, keeping soils saturated, said Tim Bowden, a senior meteorologist for Planalytics Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Farms from Nebraska to northern Indiana will receive as much as 4 inches of rain, and the cool weather will slow evaporation, Bowden said.

Weather patterns point to bad year for global wheat (Source: Reuters)
Global wheat output this year is threatened by a combination of drought, wet weather and flooding while corn and soy production should stay solid despite early seeding delays in the United States, a meteorologist told the Reuters Global Ags Forum on Wednesday. A bad year for wheat, I do believe," said Donald Kenney, senior ag meteorologist for Cropcast, a division of MDA Information Systems.

McDonald's Sales Shine, But Commodity Costs A Concern (Source: CME)
McDonald's Corp, which posted an 11% rise in first-quarter earnings thanks to strong global sales, warned commodity costs continue to be a growing concern, so much a concern that the fast-food giant doubled the expected jump in its U.S. commodity costs for the year. Even with its massive pricing power, McDonald's now projects it will spend 4% to 4.5% more in the U.S. and in Europe for commodities, compared with previous estimates of a 2.0% to 2.5% increase in the U.S. and 3.5% to 4.5% rise in Europe. Investors honed in on the commodity news, pushing shares down 2% to $76.86 in recent trading despite second-quarter global same-store sales on track to meet or beat the first quarter's 4.2% rise. McDonald's isn't alone in fighting higher commodity costs. This week several other restaurant chains like Yum Brands Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. noted rising commodity pressures during their earnings reports.
"We believe our supply chain continues to be a competitive advantage for the McDonald's system," said McDonald's Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen on a conference call. "We have successfully managed this in the past and are confident we can do so again." McDonald's is raising prices to help margins. The company typically opts for implementing smaller menu price increases over the course of the year, rather than a large increase in one fell swoop, to avoid sticker shock for customers. In the U.S. and Europe, it raised menu prices 1% in the first quarter, not including value-added-tax-related increases. "Our pricing elasticity in the brand moves up and down based on inflation, consumer spending and consumer confidence," said Chief Executive Jim Skinner. "And we're not worried. We have the capability to take price over this next number of months in the U.S....It's a matter of timing and when it makes sense for us."
The company hopes to avoid passing on the entirety of its costs increases to consumers directly. During the downturn, McDonald's competitive pricing was part of what helped it outperform much of the industry. Internationally, McDonald's and Yum have been in a battle for fast food business in China. McDonald's same-store sales there, up 6.5% in the first quarter, pale in comparison to Yum's impressive 13% gain. McDonald's says its sales increase is meaningful in that it's not just from raising menu prices, but "tremendous guest count growth," driven by breakfast and lunch value promotions, said Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson. McDonald's U.S. same-store sales for the first quarter were up 2.9%, outshining its competitor Yum's 1% domestic decrease. McDonald's says U.S. traffic rose from promotions of its McCafe beverages, new oatmeal, 20-piece chicken nuggets and Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus Burger. In the product pipeline, it has new smoothie flavors, chicken promotions and salads on the short-term horizon.
It's in early testing phases to potentially bring spicy chicken sandwiches and McBites snacking items from overseas to the U.S. Same-store sales increased 5.7% in Europe as it focused on everyday value and classic core menu offerings. Growth in Australia and China drove a 3.2% increase in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa division with limited-time offers, delivery and extended hours contributing to the growth. McDonald's posted a profit of $1.21 billion, or $1.15 a share, from $1.09 billion, or $1 a share, a year earlier. In the latest period, the results had a 3-cent boost per share from foreign exchange and bottom-line growth was increased by 3 percentage points because of costs last year related to Japan restaurant closings. Revenue increased 8.9% to $6.11 billion. Excluding currency fluctuations, the increase was 7%.

China March Corn Imports Rise As Most Agricultural Imports Decline (Source: CME)
China's agricultural imports were mostly lower in March compared to the same month last year, with the exception of corn, customs data showed. Import volumes for cotton, sugar, palm oil, soyoil, soybeans and wheat fell between 12% and 61%, reflecting seasonal demand weakness and a complex-wide surge in global agricultural prices. Corn imports bucked the trend, rising 11% from a year earlier and more than doubling on month to 2,303 metric tons, despite a surge in global corn prices in the first quarter. China's corn imports are closely watched as top government officials have repeatedly hinted at strains on state stockpiles and tested markets' reactions to the likely need for increased corn imports later in the year. This week, however, officials from state grain agencies played down prospects for high-volume imports, saying the country couldn't afford to allow consumption to rise to the point that heavy imports would be needed, as global corn prices are about 23% higher than local prices.
The comments followed moves by the government last week to limit corn consumption by non-feed processors--including manufacturers of ethanol and sweeteners--to keep prices down and supplies available for the domestic feed industry. Officials sold about 30 million tons of corn reserves last year to limit downstream price increases, and they have continued with weekly releases of stocks this year. The state-backed China National Grain & Oil Information Center said in a report Wednesday that imports in the marketing year to Sept. 30 will likely reach only 600,000 tons, well below private sector analysts' forecasts of 5 million-8 million tons. Chinese buyers may hold off for now, hoping for a downward correction, but uncertain global supply and sharply rising biofuel and feed demand underpin the market, analysts said. "The U.S. Department of Agriculture's quarterly stocks report showed that corn demand remains strong despite the high prices," Rabobank said in a research note this week.
Elsewhere in the complex, higher agriculture prices deterred import demand. March soybean imports rose 16% in value from a year earlier, but fell 12% in volume. Cotton imports rose 52% in value, but volume was down 15% to 276,436 tons. High global prices in the first quarter and a seasonal lull also dragged sugar import volumes lower. "(But) sugar imports usually tick up closer to mid-year, and importers are starting to ramp up orders as global prices come off first-quarter highs," Dalu Futures Co. analyst Yuan Xichao said. Wheat imports fell 61% on year to 75,300 tons, as drought-related concerns evaporated amid signs that domestic supply is stabilizing.

Argentina Pres Reiterates Plan To Limit Foreign Land Ownership (Source: CME)
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on Wednesday reiterated plans to limit the ability of foreigners to purchase farmland. Fernandez said she would submit a bill to Congress this year to "protect the jurisdiction of land so it will continue to belong to the Argentine Republic." Fernandez made a similar announcement on March 1. As she said back then, the bill will not be "xenophobic or chauvinistic.” In what seemed like a campaign speech, Fernandez told an arena full of supporters late Wednesday that Argentina won't be "inventing anything new" with this bill. Instead, she the bill will be similar to related laws already in place in other countries. Pressure has been building in Argentina to limit the amount of land that foreigners can buy, as record prices for grain and derivative products fuel concerns that deep-pocketed overseas investors might end up controlling a significant percentage of the country's farmland.
Last year, congressmen from across Argentina's political spectrum sponsored about 12 different bills that would have put limits on foreign land ownership. Agriculture exports were largely responsible for Argentina's $12.06 billion trade surplus last year, while taxes on farm exports accounted for a significant percentage of the federal government's tax revenue. Argentina is the world leader in soymeal and soyoil exports, ranks No. 2 in corn exports, and third in soybeans. It is also one of the world's top beef exporters. As global commodity prices soar, investors have increasingly looked to the fertile farmlands of Argentina and Brazil for investment opportunities. That has helped fuel surging land prices in recent years. At the end of 2010, prime farmland in Argentina's Buenos Aires Province was selling for $15,000 a hectare (2.47 acres), according to local daily La Nacion. That is about double the price in 2007 and over five times prices in 2002 when the country was in the midst of an economic crisis.
Argentina's northern neighbor, Brazil, has already taken steps to protect its national sovereignty over farmland. Last year, Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva placed limits on foreign ownership. In Argentina, about 7%, or 20 million hectares, of the country's productive farmland is in the hands of foreigners already, according to the Argentine Agrarian Federation.

U.K. Wheat Export Pace Slows But Still Up 57% On Year - Customs (Source: CME)
The pace of U.K. wheat exports slowed further in February, customs data showed, although total exports for the season are still running 57% ahead of the same time last year. Just over 119,000 metric tons of wheat were shipped from the U.K. two months ago, the data showed. That compared with 190,879 tons at the same time last year and a monthly export peak of 439,156 tons in November. That brings total exports for the 2010-11 marketing year to 2.2 million tons, compared with 1.4 million tons the previous year. The government's farm ministry predicted U.K. wheat ending stocks at 1.6 million tons for this season, though this is expected to be revised lower in May. U.K. feed wheat May futures on London's Liffe exchange spiked to a record high of GBP222/ton Wednesday in a move market participants say reflects the tightness of old crop supplies. "Export pace in the last months has slowed from the rapid pace experienced in the first half of the season," said the Home Grown Cereals Authority.
"However, the price discount existing between old crop and new crop prices implies that the market will carry minimum stock levels into 2011-12."

IEA Exec Says Biofuels Can Boost World Food Output (Source: CME)
Increasing the world's use of biofuels could actually help boost global food production by encouraging investment in agriculture, the head of the International Energy Agency's renewable unit said, turning on its head a long-standing debate over the use of agricultural land for fuel crops. This week, the IEA launched a report that forecast biofuels could provide up to 27% of the world's transport fuels by 2050, compared with 2% now. Biofuels made from starch, sugar and oilseed crops could displace substantial volumes of fossil fuels, the report said, saving 2.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide annually. But critics argue that increasing the amount of land devoted to growing crops for fuel will further strain already hard-pressed agricultural resources. Others opponents say biofuels are actually unsustainable as they can encourage deforestation in the developing world, releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than is offset by burning the fuel.
"We're not pretending that biofuels are the answer to everything but we think they can provide an impetus to improve sustainable policies," said Paolo Frankl. "If you do the right things with policies biofuels can have a positive impact on the broader environment." World food prices surged to record highs in February after poor harvests this season. This second price spike in four years has reignited the debate over government incentives for biofuels, schemes which some international agencies have blamed for sparking the food crisis of 2007-08. "Large increases in biofuels production in the United States and Europe are the main reason behind the steep rise in global food prices," a World Bank policy research paper concluded in 2008, although another in 2010 said its effects may have been "not as large as originally thought." Frankl said the debate is not as simple as "food vs fuel."
He said that by using more sustainable forms of biofuels, such as food and forestry waste resources, and focussing government po licies on better land use management, increasing biofuels production to meet 27% of demand will only need 100 million hectares worldwide, around 5% of global agricultural land. He also dismissed arguments put forward by some analysts that the rise in the oil price, which hit a 2.5-year high of over $127 a barrel for Brent crude on April 11, would encourage farmers to divert more food to biofuels this year. "In reality, the amount of what is diverted to biofuels right now is determined more by policy than the price of oil," he said. "Actually, biofuels play a role at the margins of the oil price; they represent a small quantity in absolute [of around 2%] but have an important influence on the price of oil." He acknowledged biofuels policy can impact on specific markets.
U.S. corn prices hit record highs this year, driven in part by U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that a record 5 billion bushels--around 40% of the country's crop--will be used for ethanol despite stocks at near 15-year lows. "If 40% of U.S. corn is devoted to ethanol this will have an impact on that specific chain," he said. "I'm just saying we should not over simplify and make the specific case into a general conclusion."

India Farm Secretary: 2011-12 Grain Output To Rise On Normal Rains (Source: CME)
India's foodgrain output is expected to rise in the next crop year starting July 1 from an all-time high of 235.9 million metric tons in 2010-11 because of a forecast of normal monsoon rains, Farm Secretary P.K. Basu said. India, the world's second-largest grower of rice and wheat, expects to produce between 240 million and 242 million tons of foodgrains in 2011-12, Basu said. The weather office Tuesday predicted rainfall in 2011 would be 98% of a 50-year average, which is considered normal. The June-September monsoon is crucial as more than 60% of farmland is rain-fed and crops such as rice, sugarcane and cotton are sown on its arrival. "The indication is that there is no cause for worry about the monsoon. So we are confident of achieving the desired production target in 2011-12," Basu said. A bumper crop in 2011-12 should curb food prices further, Basu said, offering some respite to policy makers who are struggling to keep inflation from spiraling.
The year-on-year food inflation rate fell to 8.28% in the week to April 2 from 9.18% the previous week, which is still beyond the comfort level of the central bank, which has been forced to raise key policy rates eight times since March 2010 to cool inflation. Basu said the country expects to produce 100 million tons of rice in 2011-12, up from 94.11 million tons this year. The government is also hoping for a bumper harvest of more than 84 million tons of wheat, around 40 million tons of coarse cereals and 18 million tons of pulses in 2011-12, he added. The country is expected to produce 84.27 million tons of wheat, 40.21 million tons of coarse cereals and 17.29 million tons of pulses in 2010-11.

Arabica coffee ends at 34-year peak, sugar surges (Source: Reuters)
Arabica coffee prices closed at a 34-year high but pared gains after jumping above $3 per lb on Wednesday, on a high-quality bean shortage, bullish charts and a broad commodities rally fueled by a weaker dollar. "People just want to buy, that's basically it. The dollar's at a new low. People want to own things. You don't want to be short," said Nick Gentile, head of trading at Atlantic Capital Advisors in Jersey City.

China's extended drought negative for cotton seedlings - association
BEIJING, April 21 (Reuters) - A drought in China's main cotton-growing region in the north is likely to continue, damaging cotton seedlings there, the China Cotton Association said on Thursday. "Most northern areas will see little precipitation and high temperatures in the coming 30 days, extending the drought and  having a negative impact on crop seedlings including cotton," the association said in a statement published on its website.

Brazil cocoa arrivals typical of interharvest lull
SAO PAULO, April 20 (Reuters) - Cocoa deliveries from Brazil's main growing regions remained low in the last week, data from Bahia Commercial Association showed, with the forthcoming mid-crop still several weeks off. The mid-crop in the top cocoa state of Bahia is likely to fall about 15 percent from last year to around 1.1 million 60-kg bags (66,000 tonnes), according to some estimates, cocoa analyst Thomas Hartmann said in a weekly crop update.

Dryness helps Brazil cane crush, 130 mills reopen
SAO PAULO, April 20 (Reuters) - Weather in Brazil's main center-south cane producing region should remain dry over the coming days, favoring harvesting of the new crop just beginning, Somar meteorologists said on Wednesday. About 130 out of the 335 mills in the region have started to crush new season cane, and helped by dry weather, 195 plants are expected to be operational by Monday, cane industry association Unica said.

Gold Climbs to Record as Debt Concern, Inflation Boost Investment Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold rose to a record for the fifth straight session, settling above $1,500 an ounce for the first time, as a weaker dollar and debt concerns boosted demand for an alternative investment. Silver rose above $46 an ounce. Gold reached an all-time high $1,509.60 in New York as the dollar slid to the lowest since August 2008 against a basket of six major currencies. Greek two- and 10-year government-bond yields reached euro-era records amid speculation the nation won’t be able to avoid restructuring its debts.

PRECIOUS-Gold hits fresh record as dollar slides, oil rises
LONDON, April 241 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit record highs for a fifth session on Thursday, and silver rallied to its strongest since 1980 as the dollar slid to a three-year low against a basket of major currencies and oil prices rose.
The action in the oil and currency markets added fuel to a rally sparked by concerns over the U.S. economic outlook, rising inflation, worries over euro zone debt and historically low interest rates in the United States, analysts said.

Copper market surplus 118,000 T in Jan/Feb -WBMS
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - The copper market recorded a surplus of 118,000 tonnes in January and February, up from 32,000 tonnes for the whole of last year, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) said on Wednesday.
Refined copper production was 1.52 million tonnes in February 2011, and consumption was 1.43 million tonnes.
WBMS said refined copper production in the first two months of this year rose by 1.1 percent to 3.11 million tonnes from the same period last year.

Noranda Aluminum sees strong demand from emerging mkts
April 20 (Reuters) - Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp  posted strong quarterly revenue, and said it expects emerging markets to drive demand for the metal.
"We remain bullish about aluminum over the medium- and long-term. We believe global demand will continue to increase," said Chief Executive Layle Kip in a conference call.
The increase in need for aluminum will also be driven by substitution for other metals such as copper, Kip added.       

Sucden sees China back in copper market at $8800/T
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Chinese physical copper buyers will come back to the market if LME copper falls to $8,800 per tonne, Steve Hardcastle, brokers Sucden Financial's head of client liaison, told reporters on Wednesday.
Demand for physical copper was expected to pick up significantly in China, the world's top consumer of the metal, after the Lunar New Year holiday in February, but purchases have not been as high as many were expecting.

China March refined copper imports fall 43 pct on year
HONG KONG, April 21 (Reuters) - China's refined copper imports dropped 43 percent in March from the same month last year due to high stocks and strong international prices, although the figure was a rebound from the holiday-shortened month of February.
The General Administration of Customs released breakdowns of the March trade data on Thursday, which showed imports of refined copper, the most popular type in the domestic and international markets, at 192,161 tonnes, a monthly rise of 21.5 percent after falling 35.6 percent in February.

Japan March copper wire shipments down 8.1 pct
TOKYO, April 21 (Reuters) - Japanese copper wire and cable shipments tumbled 8.1 percent in March, marking their biggest fall in 18 months, as last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami disrupted global parts supply chains for automakers and other manufacturers, depressing  domestic demand.
March shipments totalled an estimated 55,300 tonnes, down from revised February shipments of 57,926 tonnes, an industry body said on Thursday.

World steel production hits new monthly record
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Global crude steel production hit a new monthly record in March, data showed on Wednesday, driven by growth in Asia even while Japan's production slipped after earthquakes and a tsunami hit.
Global crude steel production was at 129.3 million tonnes in March, up 7 percent from March 2010, according to data from the World Steel Association (Worldsteel).

China daily steel output at record high
SHANGHAI, April 21 (Reuters) - China's daily crude steel output hit an all-time high of 1.979 million tonnes in the first 10 days of April, lured by rebounding steel prices since mid-March, data from the China Iron & Steel Association showed on Thursday.
This suggests an annualised output of 722 million tonnes in the world's top steel-producing country this year.
"The current dynamic in China - with production continuing to ramp up and exports increasing as well - makes us concerned about the risk of continued further acceleration of exports which would continue to put downward pressure on prices in the global market," Steel Market Intelligence said in a research note.

India state to issue iron ore export permits next week
MUMBAI, April 21(Reuters) - India's southern Karnataka state, which lifted an export ban on iron ore imposed last year on Wednesday after a court directive, will start issuing transport permits for export from the state by next week, two sources in the mining department told Reuters.
"We are at it, we will do it fast. By next week we would issue transport permits," said a source with the department of mines and geology with the Karnataka state. 

METALS-Copper edges up, focus on tight supply
LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - Copper jumped to its highest in more than a week on Thursday as investors focused on supply tightness after miner Anglo American Plc   showed a sharp production fall and the dollar weakened.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange  hit $9,630.75 a tonne, its highest since April 13.

20110422 0945 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soy Oil chart reading : side way range bound.

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures rallied, finishing at a two-week high on support from outside markets and larger than expected weekly export sales. Soybeans for July delivery ended up 20 1/2c at $13.89 3/4 a bushel. Combination of weak US dollar, and gold futures climbing to historic highs attracted buyers as many investors trade grain and oilseed futures in basket of commodities, said analyst Bill Nelson with Doane Advisory Service. Stronger than expected weekly export sales reported by the federal government, particularly with new sales to China provided a fundamental boost to prices, Nelson said.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy-product futures end higher, with soymeal continuing to rebound from prior losses on signals of a pick up in domestic and export demand. Soyoil ended higher, but emerged as the weakest link in the soy complex on slower demand and a lack of definitive price movement in crude oil futures over the course of the session, analysts said. CBOT May soymeal ended $9.60c or 2.7% higher at $358.80/short ton while May soyoil climbed 0.2% to 58.27c/pound.

Indonesia to cut May palm oil, cocoa export tax -official
JAKARTA, April 21 (Reuters) - Indonesia will cut its palm oil export tax for May to 17.5 percent from 22.5 percent and reduce its cocoa bean export tax to 10 percent from 15 percent, Deddy Saleh, director general of foreign trade at the trade ministry,  said. 
The palm oil tax aims to ensure domestic requirements are met in Southeast Asia's biggest economy and to reduce volatility in local cooking oil prices.Indonesia, the world's top producer of palm oil, is expected to produce 21-23 million tonnes of palm oil this year, having outpaced Malaysia as the top palm oil producer in 2007. In May last year, the palm oil export tax was 4.5 percent. Last month, top industry analyst James Fry said the tax was distorting the flow to the market.

Palm oil creeps up, traders eye Indonesia export tax cut
Malaysian palm oil edged up sas higher external markets provided support, although investors expect more declines when top producer Indonesia cuts its import tax for next month, shifting orders away from Malaysia. "There is no real impetus for palm oil to go much higher. Indonesia's changes to the export tax will take away demand from Malaysia and the benchmark here will fall," said a trader in Kuala Lumpur. "The stronger ringgit is not helping either."

Most of Argentina's soy crop harvested-exchange
BUENOS AIRES, April 20 (Reuters) - More than 54 percent of Argentina's 2010/11 soy crop has been brought in despite wet weather over the last week that delayed harvesting, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly report on Wednesday. Progress in harvesting soybeans advanced 11.5 percentage points compared with the previous week's report, issued on Thursday, bringing the total amount of harvested soybeans to 28.5 million tonnes, the exchange said.

U.S. soy contest to heat up as China slows imports
SINGAPORE, April 20 (Reuters) - A slowdown in Chinese soybean purchases will leave substantial volumes from Brazil and Argentina to compete with new-crop U.S. beans after September, threatening the country's normal market dominance in the fourth quarter. Availability of South American beans could weigh on benchmark Chicago prices , already down more than 4 percent this month as wheat  and corn  both rise.