Thursday, May 16, 2013
BEIJING, May 15 (Reuters) - China, the world's top soy buyer, is forecast to import a record 66 million tonnes of the oilseed in 2013/14 due to robust domestic demand and low stocks, an official think-tank said.
That is 11.9 percent higher than estimated imports for the current marketing year, ending in September, the China National Grain and Oils Information Center said on Wednesday.
But the figure is 3 million tonnes lower than predictions by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which put China's soy imports at 69 million tonnes in the next marketing year - two thirds of the world total.
China's soy imports in the current year are likely to fall by 230,000 tonnes from the previous year due to a reduction in global supplies, while port congestion in Brazil, the world' second largest exporter, has also delayed some shipments, it said.
The center does not expect any major impact on demand from outbreaks of bird flu that have already killed 35.
Current soy stocks at ports have fallen below 4 million tonnes, their weakest since 2010, following low imports in the first four months of the year, it said.
Demand for soymeal, the major ingredient for animal feed production, was also projected to rise 7.1 percent on the year in 2013/14 to 52.4 million tonnes. Chinese soy plants need about 5 million tonnes of soy every month.
The center also expects China to import 1.1 million tonnes of soyoil in 2013/14 and 3 million tonnes of rapeseed. It did not give comparative figures.
Rapeseed oil imports in 2013/14 were seen at 1.3 million tonnes.
DJI - NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting new all-time highs in a broad market rally as the recent upward momentum persisted.
The Nasdaq also hit its highest level since November 2000 although gains were limited by a steep decline in Apple . Shares of the tech giant sold off in late afternoon trading after filings from hedge funds showed that the one-time Wall Street darling was dropped by more famous hedge fund managers in the first quarter.
The day's gains were broad, with nine of the S&P 500's 10 sectors ending higher. Among the top gainers were the consumer staples sector index, up 1 percent, and the financial sector , also up 1 percent. The only decliner was the energy sector index , down 0.4 percent
The overall market showed further signs of strength despite the S&P 500 rising to a record for the fourth session in a row. The broad market index has recorded 15 new closing highs this year.
An options gauge looking at the level of anxiety showed signs that investors are placing optimistic wagers on the stock market, positioning for the current run-up to extend for the next three months.
Equities have rallied in recent weeks as investors bet that central bank stimulus measures will keep supporting market gains.
Such policies have helped spur advances of about 15 percent in major U.S. indexes this year despite data showing some signs of lackluster growth.
In the latest reads on the economy, activity in New York state's manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted in May. Another report showed that U.S. industrial production fell more than expected in April.
"It's disconcerting that the data was so much lower than what we were looking for, but there's no reason for investors to sell," said Michael Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments in Minneapolis.
"The main things driving the market - the Fed, earnings, consumer confidence - are holding up, and people put money in the market on any down day. I still see a lot of value."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 60.44 points, or 0.40 percent, to close at a record 15,275.69. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 8.44 points, or 0.51 percent, to finish at a record 1,658.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 9.01 points, or 0.26 percent, to close at 3,471.62.
Oils - NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices rose by more than $1 on Wednesday, reversing early losses to settle above $103 a barrel and increasing its premium over U.S. crude to the largest in 13 sessions.
The gain came as U.S. equity markets rallied to record highs and signs of deadlock on nuclear talks with Iran lent support to the global oil benchmark.
Data showing the euro zone was in its longest recession ever and an increase in U.S. refined products inventories had sparked an early selloff.
U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting new all-time highs as the market's recent upward momentum persisted, but a steep decline in Apple AAPL.O kept gains in check.
U.S. crude inventories fell last week, but gasoline and distillate stocks rose along with refinery rates, the EIA data showed. Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, crude storage hub rose 575,000 barrels to 49.72 million barrels.
"We got down to a level about halfway between our recent peaks and troughs, and then selling just stopped. Perhaps for all intents and purposes the market had already priced the report in," said Stephen Schork, the editor of The Schork Report in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
News that the United Nations' nuclear agency's talks with Iran over its suspected atomic bomb research had stalled lent further support to Brent prices.
Brent crude rose $1.08 to settle at $103.68 a barrel after falling to $101.20 earlier in the day. U.S. oil edged up 9 cents to settle at $94.30 a barrel after losing more than $2 following the release of the EIA data.
CBOT Soybean - May 15 (Reuters) - Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell Wednesday on technical selling and on monthly data showing a bigger-than-expected slowdown in the U.S. soy processing pace, traders said.
- dipped below its 100-day moving average at $14.05 and hit a session low of $14.02-1/4, but pared losses toward the close, supported by scarce U.S. old-crop supplies and strength in the cash market.
- Grains and other commodities were pressured as the dollar rose to a six-week high versus the euro on evidence that Europe was stuck in recession.
- The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said the U.S. soybean crush fell to 120.1 million bushels in April, below an average of trade estimates for 125.5 million, and was the second-lowest monthly total in 19 months.
- NOPA reported U.S. soyoil stocks at 2.638 billion lbs, versus 2.765 billion in March. Analysts had forecast stocks at 2.65 billion lbs.
- CBOT reported 28 soybean contracts delivered against the expired May contract amid strong stopping.
- China, the world's top soy buyer, is forecast to import a record 66 million tonnes of the oilseed in 2013/14, an official think-tank said. But the figure was below USDA's latest forecast for 69 million tonnes.
- USDA said private exporters reported sales of 171,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China for delivery in 2013/14.
BMD CPO - SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a third straight day on Wednesday, as weak exports and a firm ringgit currency stirred doubts about the strength of demand for the edible oil.
Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for the first 15 days of May fell 7.6 percent to 599,300 tonnes from 648,275 tonnes shipped during the same period a month ago, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services (ITS) said.
Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance, reported a smaller decline of 3 percent for the same period.
A firmer ringgit also dampened buying interest as it makes ringgit-priced crude palm oil more expensive for overseas buyers and reduced refiners' margins. The currency rose above the 3-ringgit mark against the dollar after Malaysian general elections on May 5.
"We continue to see a downtrend in terms of exports, which is bearish for the market," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.
"But on the bright side, the decline is slightly less than the first 10 days and we will have to see if exports will recover in the second half of the month."
Shipments fell 16.7 percent in the first 10 days of May from a month ago, according to ITS.
At market close, the benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.3 percent at 2,296 ringgit ($763) per tonne, after trading between 2,277 and 2,299 ringgit.
Total traded volumes stood at 42,201 lots of 25 tonnes each, higher than the average 35,000 lots.
Malaysia, the world's No.2 palm oil producer, will set its crude palm oil export tax for June at 4.5 percent, flat with May, a government circular showed.
Official data showed the country's palm oil stocks fell to 1.93 million tonnes at the end of April, below the psychological two-million-tonne mark and sending the market to a one-month high on Monday, although prices came off on worries over lacklustre export demand.
In other markets, Brent futures slipped towards $102 a barrel on Wednesday on concerns about rising supplies from the United States and a bleak outlook for global demand growth.
In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July delivery fell 0.3 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange lost 2.5 percent.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
AMSTERDAM, May 14 (Reuters) - Major importers of soybeans will rely on increasing volumes from South America in the next six months as exports from the U.S. slow down because of lower stocks, Oil World said on Tuesday.
The German analyst said higher U.S. exports between September 2012 and February 2013 depleted stocks in the world's top exporter, making export rationing inevitable.
"The situation will improve only with the arrival of new crop U.S. soybeans into the second half of September," Oil World said.
"As a result, China and other soybean-importing countries will remain highly dependent on sharply increasing South American soybean exports in May/August 2013."
Exports from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay are expected to rise sharply in May to 10.8 million tonnes, from 10 million in April and 9.6 million tonnes in May 2012.
"A major change has happened in Brazil with an extension of the working hours at the ports from eight hours to 24 hours for the five days from Monday to Friday," Oil World said.
"This change came into effect at the port of Santos from April 24 and the ports of Paranagua and Rio Grande from May 3."
The German analyst said exports from Brazil will reach 7.6 million tonnes unless rains interrupt shipping.
It said China's soybean imports are expected to rise noticeably in May, June and July as it moves to replenish stocks following lower-than-expected imports in January to April.
"Chinese soybean imports had fallen to only 15.5 million tonnes in January to April 2013, compared with 18.1 million tonnes a year earlier," Oil World said.
Oil World said higher soybean shipments are expected to reach the European Union, indicating that soybean crushing is turning out higher than expected in the second half of the season.
NEW DELHI, May 14 (Reuters) - India's palm oil imports declined for a third straight month in April, a trade body said, as refiners in the world's biggest buyer used stocks and processed the new rapeseed harvest.
But India, the world's largest importer of edible oils, is still on track to surpass last year's record purchases of 10 million tonnes of cooking oil as demand rises with a swelling population and increasing wealth.
India's overseas purchases of palm oil hit an all-time high in January as leading producers Indonesia and Malaysia made their exports attractive by varying tax levels. But imports have been falling since then as India retaliated in the second half of January with a duty on crude palm oil purchases.
In April, refined palm oil imports soared 84.5 percent to 253,489 tonnes, keeping the fall in overall palm oil imports limited to 30 percent at 498,960 tonnes, Mumbai trade body the Solvent Extractors' Association said on Tuesday.
Refined palm oil imports rose as the spread with the crude variant narrowed to $15-20 in April as against $30-35 in March. Imported refined palm oil is currently quoted at $845 per tonne on the country's west coast, while the delivered price for crude palm oil is $825 per tonne.
"A small spread with crude oil led to the almost doubling of refined palm oil imports," said B.V. Mehta, executive director of SEA.
Imports of vegetable oils, including non-edible oils, fell by almost a third to 654,827 tonnes in April, led by the drop in palm oil imports, the data showed.
The trade body also lowered last month’s total imports figure in the statement to 889,415 tonnes due to a downward revision in non-edible oil imports.
"Huge stockpiles and new rapeseed crop kept the monthly palm oil imports down," said Pradip Desai, managing director of Mumbai-based broker Palmtrade Services Pvt Ltd.
India's total stocks of edible oil at the start of April were a record 2.1 million tonnes, or nearly 45 days of consumption against the usual stock of a month's needs.
But due to the lower palm oil imports, the total stocks of cooking oil stood at 1.8 million tonnes at the end of April, down 14 percent from the previous month, the SEA data showed.
India buys mainly palm oils from Malaysia, Indonesia and a small quantity of soyoil from Brazil, Argentina.
India imports about 60 percent of its cooking oil demand of 17 million tonnes, with palm oil's share at about 80 percent.
For the half year to April, India's vegetable imports rose about 13 percent to 5.3 million tonnes from a year ago, on track to surpass last year's record purchases. India's vegetable oil year runs from November to October.
Soyoil imports rose 8.5 percent in April to 50,999 as some delayed cargoes from South America arrived. Sunflower imports fell 2.5 percent to 88,368 tonnes as the start of summer cut appetite for fried foods.
DJI - NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied to fresh highs on Tuesday as investors picked up large-cap companies' shares on the expectation that central bank stimulus will help propel the rally further.
Gains were broad, but growth sectors outperformed their peers with bank stocks leading the way. Bank of America , up 2.8 percent at $13.34, was the Dow's biggest percentage gainer, while Citigroup Inc rose 2.4 percent to $50.09.
Wall Street has rallied without a significant correction since the start of the year, pushing major indexes to all-time records and sending the S&P 500 up almost 16 percent for 2013 so far.
The ascent has been driven in large part by the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy, designed to stimulate the economy, though investors' focus has turned to when the Fed may start to rein in its bond-purchase program.
"The developed economies of the world are all easing aggressively, the money is looking for a home, and it's ending up in the stock markets," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
For now, investors are betting that the central bank will be careful not to remove its support too soon in order to not disrupt the economic recovery it is trying to foster, Hellwig said.
So far, declines in the market have been met with buying and investors are trying to gauge how long that can last.
"People are indeed trying to participate in the rally, but at the same time, they're trying to be cautious," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer of Commonwealth Financial, based in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The S&P 500 financial sector index rose 1.7 percent, while the S&P transports group index gained 1.4 pct.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 123.57 points, or 0.82 percent, to close at a record 15,215.25. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 16.57 points, or 1.01 percent, to end at a record 1,650.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 23.82 points, or 0.69 percent, to 3,462.61, its highest close since November 2000.
Oils - NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices fell on Tuesday after a global energy watchdog described world supplies as "comfortable" and analysts forecast a continued build in the U.S.
crude inventory, while gasoline rose 1 percent on expected inventory draws ahead of the summer driving season.
U.S. crude prices tumbled further late in the trading session, following news that an outage on TransCanada's 590,000-barrel-per-day Keystone oil pipeline would be resolved by Tuesday.
Earlier in the session, strong U.S. equity markets helped support U.S. crude.
U.S. crude's slide allowed Brent to regain some of its premium to the U.S. crude oil after it had earlier narrowed to the lowest level since 2011.
Brent crude oil fell 22 cents to settle at $102.60 per barrel, after trading largely within a $1 range. U.S. crude settled down 96 cents at $94.21 per barrel.
CBOT Soybean - May 14 (Reuters) - Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade ended mixed on Tuesday, with most-active July lower on profit-taking after rising to a six-week high, traders said.
- The spot May contract expired at $15.24-1/2 per bushel, up 3-1/2 cents on the day, after reaching $15.45, the highest spot price on continuous charts since Nov. 2.
- CBOT has reported no deliveries of soybeans or soymeal so far in the May delivery cycle, underscoring tight supplies and firm cash markets.
- After CBOT May contracts expired, traders took profits on long July/short November soybean positions.
- Drier weather early this week in the U.S. Midwest will boost plantings before more showers develop late on Wednesday and continue into the weekend, with the heaviest rain in the northern Midwest.
- The National Oilseed Processors Association's monthly soybean crush data on Wednesday should show the U.S. crush for April at 125.5 million bushels, a poll of eight analysts projected, down from NOPA's March crush of 137.080 million bushels.
- The average of analysts' estimates for NOPA's April U.S. soyoil stocks figure was 2.653 billion lbs, down from NOPA's March figure of 2.765 billion.
- Chinese soybean production will drop 3.9 percent this year in its third straight annual fall, boosting imports by the world's top buyer, an official think tank said.
- Major soy importers will rely on increasing volumes from South America in the next six months as exports from the United States slow because of lower stocks, oilseed analyst Oil World said. A northern stretch of the Illinois River that has been closed since Saturday for emergency lock repairs may reopen to commercial navigation as soon as Tuesday evening, the U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers said.
BMD CPO - SINGAPORE, May 14 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures edged lower on Tuesday, dropping for a second straight session as worries about weak exports and a firm ringgit kept investors on the sidelines.
Malaysian palm oil exports fell 16.7 percent in the first 10 days of the month from the same period a month ago, weighed by slowing demand from Europe and China, said cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services.
"There are two main reasons the market is down today: a strong ringgit and the weak exports figure. Support level is at 2,280 ringgit," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.
A firmer ringgit , which rose about 0.3 percent against the dollar on Tuesday, makes the feedstock more expensive for overseas buyers and refiners.
At market close, the benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.4 percent at 2,301 ringgit ($770) per tonne, after trading between 2,291 and 2,327 ringgit.
Total traded volumes stood at 26,482 lots of 25 tonnes each, lower than the average 35,000 lots.
Malaysian palm oil stocks eased 11.3 percent in April, due to a combination of stagnant production growth and higher-than-expected exports and local consumption.
The market is now waiting for Malaysia's palm exports data for the May 1-15 period due Wednesday to gauge demand.
India's palm oil imports declined for a third straight month in April, Mumbai trade body the Solvent Extractors' Association said on Tuesday, as refiners in the world's biggest buyer used stocks and processed the new rapeseed harvest.
In other markets, Brent crude slipped below $103 per barrel on Tuesday, caught between hopes of a revival in global economic growth and worries over demand after bearish reports from the West's energy watchdog.
In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July delivery fell 0.3 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange closed 0.1 percent lower.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
BEIJING, May 13 (Reuters) - China's factory output growth was surprisingly muted in April, darkening the outlook for the Chinese economic recovery and feeding expectations that the government may take policy action to support activity.
Annual industrial output grew 9.3 percent in April, up from a seven-month low of 8.9 percent hit in March but still missing market expectations for a 9.5 percent expansion, data showed on Monday.
"Economic activity is weaker than expected. This could reinforce the case for the central bank to cut interest rates," said Zhou Hao, an economist from ANZ Bank in Shanghai.
Fixed-asset investment, an important driver of China's economy, also missed market forecasts, growing 20.6 percent in the first four months of 2013 compared with the same period a year ago. Economists had expected growth of 21 percent.
Retail sales was the only piece of data that met market expectations, growing 12.8 percent in April from a year ago.
For investors, the big question now is whether China's growth recovery is still on track.
Just a few months ago, investors had lauded the world's second-biggest economy as being in a sweet spot of benign inflation and rebounding growth.
But hopes that China's economy is recovering from last year's slump, its worst in 13 years, took a beating after growth unexpectedly cooled in the first quarter.
April's output figures follow surprisingly buoyant trade numbers for the month, which many economists suspect are inflated by firms' attempts to sneak funds into China past its capital controls. They say true export growth was likely more moderate.
On the other hand, a slightly quicker-than-expected pick-up in consumer inflation in April suggested Beijing does not have quite as much room as it might desire to relax monetary policy should growth swoon.
The mixed bag of economic figures from China this month should encourage investors to look at data from the real economy for clues on the state of growth. The country's power output numbers for April, for instance, are due on Tuesday.
Analysts have struggled to track the turns in China's economy in the past year, often proving to be too upbeat.
Predictions that a mild economic recovery was under way this year proved overly optimistic after growth sputtered between January and March. Calls in 2012 for a growth rebound were also nine months too early, materialising only in the fourth quarter.
WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in April, pointing to underlying strength in the economy and leading forecasters to bump up second-quarter growth estimates.
The surprise gain in retail sales, which account for about 30 percent of consumer spending, was the latest sign of resilience in an economy that has been hit by belt-tightening in Washington as the government tries to cut its budget deficit.
"It's more indication that our economy is growing. It's not growing as rapidly as a lot of people would like, but things are improving," said Tom Hall, an economics professor at Miami University's Farmer School of Business in Oxford, Ohio.
Retail sales edged up 0.1 percent after a 0.5 percent drop in March as households bought automobiles, building materials and a range of other goods, the Commerce Department said on Monday. Economists had expected a decrease of 0.3 percent.
So-called core sales, which strip out automobiles, gasoline and building materials and correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of the government's measure of gross domestic product, increased 0.5 percent after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in March. February's core sales were revised higher as well.
Coming on the heels of data showing relatively sturdy job growth over the last three months, the increase in core sales helped to allay fears of an abrupt slowdown in the economy.
The dollar rose against the euro and the yen, while prices for U.S. Treasury debt moved lower. Stocks on Wall Street retreated from recent record highs, but the data helped to limit losses.
Several economists raised second-quarter growth estimates on the fairly strong core sales number. Goldman Sachs lifted its forecast by three tenths of a percentage point to a 2.1 percent annual rate, while JPMorgan pushed up its estimate by half a point to 2 percent.
The positive revisions to the core sales data for February and March initially led economists to anticipate that the government would revise higher its initial 2.5 percent estimate for first-quarter GDP growth.
However, a second report from the Commerce Department showed business inventories were flat in March for a second month, suggesting restocking was probably not as big a boost to growth in the first three months of the year as initially thought.
Even so, economists said the government's initial estimate would likely hold, given that core retail sales for February and March were stronger than earlier believed.
In addition, the lack of inventory accumulation should be a boon to second-quarter growth as businesses will likely have to stock up to meet steady demand from households.
FALLING GAS PRICES HELPING
Growth is being crimped by the end of a 2 percent payroll tax cut and higher tax rates for wealthy Americans, which kicked in on Jan. 1. Across-the-board government spending cuts worth about $85 billion are also weighing.
But declining gasoline prices, which fell 14 cents in April, are helping to offset some of the drag on household income, freeing up money for discretionary spending.
Economists say the Federal Reserve's campaign to keep interest rates low is also helping households, in part by pushing up share prices and home values.
"Those who doubt that the Federal Reserve is making an impact just need to look at debt restructuring and wealth effects on spending," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago. "There is no way the consumer would be holding up so well without the support of lower interest rates."
The tone of the retail sales report was mostly firm. Receipts at auto dealerships rose 1.0 percent after falling 0.6 percent in March. Though falling gasoline prices pushed down receipts at gasoline stations, sales excluding gasoline recorded their largest increase since December.
Stripping out gasoline and autos, sales rose 0.6 percent.
Sales of building materials and garden equipment supplies rose, posting their largest rise since September, a reflection of the housing market's recovery.
Receipts at clothing stores recorded their biggest increase since February last year. There were also increases in sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, and electronics and appliances stores.
Posted by futuresblog at 9:17 AM
DJI - NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed little changed on Monday, pausing after hitting record highs last week, but strength in healthcare issues helped to keep declines in check.
The day's flat close followed a third straight week of gains on the major indexes, with both the Dow and S&P 500 setting record closing highs last week. The S&P 500 remains up 14.5 percent for the year so far.
While some analysts argue the long-term trend is still higher, many see momentum waning in the near term in the absence of positive catalysts. Volume has been lighter than average, and volatility has been low in recent days.
"Intraday volatility has essentially been nonexistent. I think it means people are really sitting on the sidelines right now seeing which way it's going to go," said Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners in New York. He expects the rally to top out in the next two weeks.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 26.81 points, or 0.18 percent, at 15,091.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.07 point at 1,633.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.21 points, or 0.06 percent, at 3,438.79.
Oils - NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices settled lower on Monday after a choppy day of trading, hit by slowing oil demand in China and data showing the biggest drop for U.S. retail gasoline sales in more than four years.
Positive U.S. retail sales data supported the idea that the U.S. economy was continuing to recover but it did not apply to gasoline sales, underscoring ailing demand for the fuel. The retail data also strengthened the U.S. dollar, which had a negative impact on the price of crude oil.
Refinery crude throughput in China, the world's second-largest consumer, fell 3 percent in April from March, its lowest daily rate since last September, as refineries entered maintenance season. Implied oil demand was up 3.2 percent in April from a year earlier to about 9.6 million barrels per day, the lowest in eight months.
Brent crude settled down $1.09 per barrel at $102.82, after trading as low as $102.25. U.S. oil ended the day 87 cents lower at $95.17 a barrel, after trading as low as $94.47.
"The economic data in China is not yet providing upward support. It is not that it is weak, it is simply not sufficient to support a bullish trend," Harry Tchilingurian, head of commodity market strategy at BNP Paribas, said.
U.S. retail sales edged up 0.1 percent, after a revised 0.5 percent decline in March, data from the Commerce Department showed. Economists polled by Reuters had expected retail sales to drop 0.3 percent last month.
CBOT Soybean - Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose on Monday on firm cash markets and tightening U.S. supplies, lifting the spot contract to a six-month high, traders said.
· The May soybean contract rose 2.2 percent one day ahead of its expiration, peaking at $15.27-1/4 per bushel, the highest spot soybean price since Nov 2.
· Nearby soymeal contracts posted the biggest percentage gains in the soy complex and soyoil followed the higher trend.
· Cash bids for soybeans were steady to sharply higher in the eastern U.S. Midwest as farmers delayed sales and deliveries of old-crop supplies and focused on planting their new crop.
· Light rains at mid-week will slow fieldwork in parts of the U.S. Midwest, with heavier rains to follow early next week, an agricultural meteorologist said. Conditions should favor active planting early this week.
· Ahead of the USDA's weekly crop progress report later on Monday, a Reuters survey of analysts pegged U.S. soybean planting progress by May 12 at 10 percent, up from 2 percent a week ago. Estimates ranged from 7 percent to 13 percent complete.
· USDA reported export inspections of U.S. soybeans in the latest week at 3.351 million bushels, within a range of trade estimates for 3 million to 6 million.
BMD CPO - SINGAPORE, May 13 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures eased from a one-month high on Monday as worries about weak exports prompted profit-taking and offset initial gains driven by slowing inventory levels.
Edible oil futures got off to a strong start as traders priced in a drop of 11.3 percent in Malaysia's end-April palm oil stocks to 1.93 million tonnes from a month earlier.
But lacklustre export demand later weighed down prices. Palm exports slid 18.4 percent to 377,193 tonnes for the first 10 days of May from a month earlier, on slowing demand from Europe and China, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance said last Friday.
"The Malaysian palm oil stock finally crossed below the 2-million-tonne mark, which is positive for the crude palm oil price as it is an indication that stocks have normalised," said Ivy Ng, senior research analyst at Malaysia's CIMB Investment Bank.
"But this was offset by the 18 percent drop in palm oil exports for the first 10 days of May," she added. "We suspect the weaker exports may be due to higher demand for Indonesian palm oil ... and slower demand from China due to high stocks at the ports."
The benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 0.4 percent to close at 2,309 ringgit ($771) per tonne, and off an earlier high of 2,341 ringgit, a level last seen on April 12.
Total traded volumes stood at 20,607 lots of 25 tonnes each, lower than the average 35,000 lots.
Stagnant production growth in April led to a bigger decline in Malaysian stocks than expected, and analysts said slowing output growth could continue to trim stocks this month, and support crude prices.
"Looking forward, we believe stocks could fall 5 percent month-on-month to 1.84 million tonnes by May. The trend of declining inventory is supportive," said Alan Lim Seong Chun, a research analyst with Malaysia's Kenanga Investment Bank.
In other markets, crude prices slipped towards $103 a barrel on Monday as oil demand in the world's second-largest consumer China fell to eight-month lows, weighing on the global outlook for the fuel.
In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July delivery fell 0.2 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange rose 0.4 percent.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Palm oil advanced to the highest level in more than a month on speculation that stockpiles in Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer, will remain below 2 million tons for a second month as output growth slows.
SINGAPORE, May 10 (Reuters) - Malaysia's end-April stocks of palm oil fell to their lowest in nine months, breaking below a key psychological threshold in a move that could spur additional buying and support prices.
Inventories in the world's second-largest producer of the edible oil dropped 11.3 percent in April to 1.93 million tonnes in the steepest fall since Jan 2011. The decline outpaced a fall of 10.9 percent in March.
The April stocks figures far exceeded expectations of a drop of 6.1 percent to 2.04 million tonnes, and the fall below 2 million could draw buyers when the market re-opens later.
"The market expects stocks to fall, but not below the two-million-tonne mark. This is a positive surprise and we can expect prices to gain further later," said a trader with a Malaysian commodities brokerage.
By the midday break, the benchmark futures were up 1 percent at 2,310 ringgit per tonne. Leading analyst Dorab Mistry had forecast prices could rise to 2,400 to 2,700 ringgit by the end of May as weaker output sped a fall in stockpiles.
Production edged up 3.1 percent to 1.37 million tonnes in April, but the yield recovery missed expectations of 1.39 million. Exports fell just 5.6 percent to 1.45 million tonnes from a month ago, less than a forecast of 9 percent.
NEW DELHI, May 10 (Reuters) - India's palm oil imports fell for a third straight month in April as refiners in the world's biggest buyer used stockpiles and processed the new rapeseed harvest, a Reuters survey showed.
India's overseas purchases of palm oil hit an all-time high in January as leading producers Indonesia and Malaysia made their exports attractive by varying tax levels. But imports fell in February and March as India slapped a duty on crude palm oil.
Palm oil imports are expected to drop 16.4 percent from a month ago to an average of 592,142 tonnes in April, the survey of seven traders showed, including 220,000 tonnes of refined palm oil shipments, up 60 percent from the previous month.
Refined palm oil imports rose as the spread with the crude variant narrowed to $15-20 in April as against $30-35 in March. Imported refined palm oil is currently quoted at $830 per tonne on the country's west coast, while the delivered price for crude palm oil is $820 per tonne.
Imports of vegetable oils, including non-edible oils, fell 15.1 percent to 761,428 tonnes in April, led by the drop in palm oil imports, the survey showed.
"High level of palm oil stocks acted as a disincentive for monthly imports," said Sat Narain Agarwal, a Delhi-based trader.
The country's total edible oil stocks at the start of April stood close to the previous month's record level of 2.12 million tonnes, or nearly 45 days of consumption against the usual stock of about a month, according to the Mumbai-based trade body Solvent Extractors' Association.
The survey showed average estimated stocks at Indian ports at the end of April fell 3.45 percent to 700,000 tonnes from March, confirming the use of old stocks by refiners. SEA's stock figures include those in transit from ports.
India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, buys mainly palm oils from Malaysia, Indonesia and a small quantity of soyoil from Brazil, Argentina.
India imports about 60 percent of its cooking oil demand of 17 million tonnes, with palm oil's share at about 80 percent. In 2011/12, India imported 10 million tonnes of cooking oil.
Trade bodies have been asking for an increase in the duty on refined palm oil to safeguard the interests of local oilseed growers and refiners. But last month the government said it was not in favour of any rise in the duty for edible oils.
India's food inflation eased to 8.73 percent in March.
For the half year to April, India's vegetable imports are expected to jump 15 percent to 5.4 million tonnes from a year ago, indicating that the imports are on track to surpass last year's record purchases. India's vegetable oil year runs from November to October.
"Imports in May could be 800,000-850,000 tonnes as overall stocks continue to be higher," said Govindbhai G. Patel, a trader based in the western oilseed centre of Rajkot.
Monthly soyoil imports are expected to rise 29.2 percent as some delayed cargoes from South America should arrive, while sunflower imports may have fallen by 20.4 percent with the start of summer which cuts appetite for fried foods.