Saturday, March 13, 2010

DJ Argentina Soy Harvest Starting, But Wetness Delaying Progress

BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)--Argentina's farmers have started to harvest the
bumper 2009-10 soy crop, although wet conditions in many areas are slowing
things down, the Agriculture Ministry said in its weekly crop report Friday.

While conditions are mixed in some fields that received too much rainfall,
the crop is generally in good shape.

In the Pergamino district of Buenos Aires Province, yields are in line with
expectations. "Prospects are good as the crop passed all stages with optimal
temperatures and humidity," the ministry said.

The ministry hasn't forecast soy production yet, but the Buenos Aires Cereals
Exchange is predicting a record 53.5 million metric tons of soybeans this
season. The exchange raised its forecast by 1.5 million tons this week due to
the good conditions.

Corn planting is progressing, with 11% of the crop harvested to date,
according to the Agriculture Ministry. Conditions are good in most areas.

The ministry pegs output at between 19 million and 21 million tons, up
sharply from 12.6 million tons last season.

Farmers have harvested 40% of the sunflower seed crop to date, with
production forecast by the ministry at 2.2 million to 2.7 million tons.

Estimates for Argentina's 2009-10 crop production in millions of hectares
(HA) or millions of metric tons (MT).

Wheat Soy Corn Sunseed
Ag Ministry 7.5MT 18.2HA 19-21MT 2.2-2.7MT
B.A. Cereals Exch 7.44MT 53.5MT 20.2MT 2.1MT
USDA 9MT 53MT 21MT 2.3MT
Rosario Exchange -- 52.5MT 19.7MT --
Agritrend 8MT 53MT 19.5MT 2.2MT
Granar -- 53.4MT 19.6MT --
Lartirigoyen -- 55.3MT 19.2MT 1.95MT
Panagricola -- 51MT 20MT 2.1MT

Argentina's historical production estimates in millions of metric tons,
according to the USDA:

Wheat Soy Corn Sunseed
2008-09 8.4 32 12.6 2.9
2007-08 18 46.2 22 4.65
2006-07 16.1 48.8 22.5 --
2005-06 14.6 40.5 15.8 --

-By Shane Romig, Dow Jones Newswires; 54-11-4103-6738;

Palm oil futures reflect supply tightness

MALAYSIA'S palm oil futures ended down 0.41 per cent yesterday pressured by weaker rival soyoil and due to a stronger ringgit currency, but expectations of stronger exports narrowed loses, traders said.

The benchmark May crude palm oil futures on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 0.41 per cent, or RM11, to RM2,649 per tonne after hitting a low of RM2,620 on the day.

"Physical availability of palm oil is limited," said one trader at a local brokerage firm in Kuala Lumpur, and supplies for prompt shipment are tight, which should push up futures.

"The (futures) market will reflect tightness in the physical market, especially the nearby months," once positions have been liquidated, the trader said, adding that the stronger ringgit and weak soyoil prices have pushed down the market.

Trades volumes were 17,107 lots of 25 tonnes each, compared to the usual 10,000 lots.

The ringgit gained almost half a per cent to 3.302 per US dollar, its highest level since Aug. 2008, as offshore investors bought in anticipation of further interest rate rises by the central bank after last week's surprise move.

A stronger ringgit makes the vegetable oil more expensive for overseas buyers.

An expectation of better exports for the first fifteen days in March helped support the market, another trader said.

Players expect exports to reach 660,000 tonnes in 1-15 March, up from 607,660 tonnes in the same period in February, the second trader said. Cargo surveyors are due to announce the exports data on Monday.

Oil was steady above US$82 (US$1.00 = RM3.34) yesterday, poised for a second consecutive weekly increase, on a weakening US dollar and as views emerged that energy demand would continue to grow in the developing world.


MALAYSIAN rubber market closed lower yesterday in tandem with weak rubber futures in Thailand and Indonesia, dealers said.

The local market also tracked closely the downtrend on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) amid lower oil prices, they said.

"The market was relatively quiet," one of the dealers said, adding that a strong ringgit also exerted some pressure on the rubber prices.

At 12 noon, the Malaysia Rubber Board official physical price for tyre-grade SMR 20 ended 05 sen lower at 1,054.0 sen per kg while latex-in-bulk fell 1.0 sen to 745.5 sen per kg.

The unofficial closing price for tyre-grade SMR 20 declined 2.5 sen to 1,052.5 sen per kg and latex-in-bulk dropped 1.5 sen to 744.5 sen per kg.


THE Kuala Lumpur Tin Market (KLTM) closed unchanged for the second consecutive day at US$17,480 per tonne yesterday, a dealer said.

The dealer said the market was fundamentally firm despite sharp losses on the London Metal Exchange (LME), adding that there was no seller in the market as they are expecting the price to increase further.

The tin price on the LME, which normally influences global prices, fell by US$350 to settle at US$17,400 per tonne.

On the local front, yesterday turnover was flat at 50 tonnes.

At the opening, buyers made bids for 50 tonnes, while sellers offered 55 tonnes. The price differential between the KLTM and the LME widened to US$435 per tonne. - Agencies

CPO futures to rise on bullish outlook

Crude palm oil (CPO) futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives are expected to be higher next week given the current bullish oulook for the commodity, dealers said.

They said market sentiment would also be supported by higher demand, stronger ringgit and encouraging export data expected to be released by cargo surveyors.

Experts told participants of the Palm and Lauric Oil Conference, held last week, that CPO prices were likely to trade between RM2,800 per and RM3,200 per tonne in the second-half of this year and first-half of 2011.

Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron also shared a similar view when he predicted crude palm oil prices will likely breach the RM3,000 per tonne level towards the second-half of this year due to production shortfalls.

For the week just-ended, CPO futures recorded a weak performance on lack of demand and profit taking amid weaker soyoil futures prices.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, March rose RM53 to RM2,729, April added RM32 to RM2,709, May gained RM15 to RM2,685 and June perked RM6 to RM2,670.

The total weekly turnover declined to 63,055 lots, from 71,163 lots last week, while open interest rose to 82,037 contracts, from 81,079 contracts, previously.

On the physical palm oil market, April South slipped RM10 to RM2,670 per tonne. -- Bernama

KL shares to test 1,340-point level

Malaysian shares are expected to be higher next week buoyed by the positive market sentiment.

Dealers said the market barometer was likely to test the 1,340-point level next week with key bluechips leading the rise.

A dealer said the global economy, which was on a recovery mode, would continuously provide a positive impact to the local market.

He said the growing confidence in the domestic economy would augur well for the stock trade.

In the meantime, the Plantation Index is also expected to gain further with the strong palm industry outlook.

For just-ended week, the local stock market surpassed the 1,300-point level, supported by the hike in the overnight policy rate (OPR), which triggered gains in bluechip banking stocks, and lifted the FBM KLCI into positive territory.

The FBM KLCI had touched a two-year high of 1,328.22 on Wednesday, led by gains in plantation stocks, with expectation of a brighter future for the palm oil industry.

The benchmark index had earlier breached its first high for the year on Jan 21, at 1,308.36 points.

After riding high, selling pressure seeped in on Friday and the market ended the week with a decline.

Prudential in a research report said most South East Asian markets rose in February, recovering some of the ground lost in the previous months, thanks to better-than-expected economic data and favourable corporate earnings results.

On the macroeconomic side, it said Malaysia and Thailand had emerged out of recession in the fourth quarter of 2009. Singapore, meanwhile, raised its growth estimate for this year as the global recovery gained traction.

On a week-on-week basis, the FBM KLCI advanced 11.42 points to 1,311.20 compared to last Friday''s 1,299.78 while the Finance Index added 126.71 points to 11,664.37 from 11,537.66. The Plantation Index increased 75.98 points to 6,472.04 from 6,396.06 last week and the Industrial Index went up 39.46 points to 2,643.49 from 2,604.03.

The FBM Emas Index was 68.45 points higher at 8,805.73 from 8,737.28 last Friday and the FBM Top 100 rose 71.09 points to 8,577.32 from 8,506.23. However, the FBM Ace Index declined 60.71 points to 4,238.33 from 4,299.04 previously.

The week's turnover declined to 4.402 billion shares worth RM8.014 billion from 4.42 billion shares valued at RM7.636 billion last week.

Volume on the Main Market slipped to 3.696 billion shares valued at RM7.816 billion from 3.907 billion shares worth RM7.537 billion previously.

Call warrants went up to 254.6 million units worth RM45.55 million from 149.077 million units valued at RM28.192 million last week.

The ACE Market volume was higher at 305.383 million shares valued at RM48.604 million from 263.504 million shares worth RM50.447 million previously. -- Bernama

Crude Palm Oil Ends Down; Weak Cash Demand, Long Liquidation

Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia’s derivatives exchange ended lower Friday as demand eased in the cash market and amid speculative long liquidation, trade participants said.

The benchmark May contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended MYR11 lower at MYR2,649 a metric ton, after trading in a MYR2,620-MYR2,650/ton range.

While fundamentals are tight, prices "are due for a correction after a sharp rise in the last few trading sessions," said a Malaysia-based exporter.

"Once the liquidation is over, the market may find support from tightness in the cash market and rebound in the next trading session," a senior trading executive from Kuala Lumpur-based brokerage said.

Traders will be focusing on the supply tightness potential in Malaysia as February output fell 12.5% on month to 1.16 million tons, the lowest since last February, according to data from the government-linked Malaysian Palm Oil Board on March 10.

A likely rise in exports in March may further ease palm oil inventories this month, an analyst from Singapore said.

Trade participants said March 1-15 palm oil exports will likely rise 9%-17% compared with a month ago to around 660,000 tons.

Cargo surveyors Intertek Agri Services and SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. put Feb. 1-15 exports at 565,114-607,660 tons.

Both surveyors are likely to issue export estimates Monday.

In the cash market, palm olein for April was traded at $822.50/ton and July/August/September at $807.50/ton and $810/ton, said a Singapore-based trading executive.

Cash CPO for prompt shipment was offered MYR30 lower at MYR2,670/ton.

Open interest on the BMD was 82,037 lots Friday, up from 81,554 lots Thursday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

A total of 17,096 lots of CPO were traded versus 17,096 lots Wednesday.

Closing BMD Crude Palm Oil (CPO) futures prices in MYR/ton at 1000 GMT:

Month Close Previous Change High Low
Mar 2010 2,670 2,692 Down 22 2,663 2,660
Apr 2010 2,660 2,672 Down 12 2,661 2,634
May 2010 2,649 2,660 Down 11 2,650 2,620
Jun 2010 2,631 2,642 Down 11 2,632 2,601

-By Shie-Lynn Lim, Dow Jones Newswires; +603 2026 1233;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 12, 2010 06:01 ET (11:01 GMT)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Potential Bursa Stock

Listed were Bursa Malaysia potential stock which is likely to explode in nearest time. I had make some thorough research to those counters. The indicator involved comprises of:

1. SMA
2. Momentum
3. DMX
4. Parabolic SAR


7617 MAGNA
9792 SEG
9849 YOKO

I hope abovesaid counter may explode next week and may earn some profit from there.

Happy Trading....

DJ WSJ(3/12) Commodities Report: Soybeans Sink Thursday

DJ WSJ(3/12) Commodities Report: Soybeans Sink Thursday

By Andrew Johnson Jr.

Soybean futures tumbled to one-month lows, dragged lower in part by
disappointing U.S. government export-sales data that showed China had canceled

Concerns about tightening monetary policy in China and potentially record
soybean crops in South America also contributed to the declines.

The nearby March soybeans contract fell 26.5 cents, or 2.8%, to $9.255 a
bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. May, the most-actively traded contract,
settled 27.5 cents, or 2.9%, lower at $9.305.

Soybean export sales for the week ended March 4 were a net reduction of
115,800 metric tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Thursday.
China canceled 192,400 tons of previous purchases for the current 2009-2010
crop year, and that was more than enough to offset small sales to other
countries such as Mexico and Japan. Analysts said the net reduction in export
sales was a signal that soybean buyers are moving away from U.S. supplies and
are instead buying soybeans from South America.

In addition to the Chinese cancellations, traders also worried about monetary
policy in the country, which is the top global importer of soybeans.

China's February consumer-price index accelerated from the year-earlier
month, to a greater-than-expected pace of 2.7%, driven by a jump in food

Prices were pressured by the combination of net export-sales reductions and
fears that China's efforts to curb inflation through credit tightening will
slow the nation's buying of soybeans, said Bill Nelson, analyst with Doane
Advisory Service.

And then there is export competition from South American soybeans.

The soybean harvest is currently ongoing in Brazil, the world's No. 2
producer behind the U.S. Earlier this week, Brazil's National Commodities
Supply Corp. estimated the current soybean crop at 67.5 million tons, which if
realized, would be a record harvest.

Conab, which is part of Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, said good yields
and favorable rains in Brazil's main soy-producing regions helped to lift

However, traders said despite the losses, the market remains within a wide
near-term trading range. Concerns about two-week delays in loading supplies at
Brazilian ports and a tight U.S. balance sheet provide underlying support.

Earlier this week, the USDA reduced its estimate of U.S. soybean ending
stocks -- essentially the surplus -- to 190 million bushels, down from 210
million estimated last month.


Anthony Danby in Sao Paulo contributed to this article.

In other commodities-markets trading on Thursday:

NATURAL GAS: Futures slid after U.S. government data showed a normal-sized
withdrawal from storage last week that left inventories of the fuel slightly
above average as warmer spring weather approaches. Gas for April delivery on
the New York Mercantile Exchange settled 11.9 cents, or 2.6%, lower at $4.44 a
million British thermal units.

COPPER: Futures ended near steady as investor bargain-hunting and some
support from a series of earthquakes in the world's largest producing nation
were offset by concerns that China will move to curtail inflation by limiting
growth. The thinly traded nearby Comex March copper contract rose 1.1 cents, or
0.3%, to settle at $3.3660 a pound.

CME GROUP Crude Palm Oil (CPO) Futures

Trade Cash-Settled, Dollar-Denominated CPO

Launching trade date May 24, 2010

With the launch of futures on Crude Palm Oil (CPO), CME Group customers will be able to trade the world’s most-consumed edible oil in a cash-settled, dollar-denominated contract, with the safety and liquidity of CME Group.

This expansion of the edible oil product suite also creates opportunities for cross-trading with soybean oil based on the historically strong correlation between these products. Together, crude palm oil and soybean oil account for about 61 percent of all the edible oil in the world, with palm kernel oil an additional 4 percent of oil consumed.

Crude Palm Oil Graph

Click to Enlarge

Both production and consumption of palm oil are growing. The main producers of the oil are Malaysia and Indonesia. The main consumers are China and India. Crude palm oil is widely traded and used around the world. It serves primarily as cooking oil but is also used to make soap, washing powders, personal care products and biodiesel.

Final Cash Settlement prices will be based on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad Crude Palm Oil futures contract (FCPO). This is the global benchmark for crude palm oil that is physically delivered and traded in Malaysian ringgits.

Note: Nearby CPO futures will reference the third forward FCPO month.

Key features of Crude Palm Oil futures:

  • Dollar-denominated
  • Cash-settled
  • Electronically traded on CME Globex
  • Safety and liquidity of CME Group
  • Contract months that mirror the ringgit-denominated physically delivered Bursa Malaysia contract (FCPO)
  • Reduced capital requirements due to cross product margin efficiencies with other CME Group contracts

DJ Argentina Soy Prices Ease As Record Crop Nears Harvest

BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)--Argentine soy prices lost further ground this week
as a bumper crop moved closer to market.

Spot soybeans traded at ARS820 ($212) a metric ton at the Rosario Grain
Exchange Thursday, down from ARS830 a week earlier.

Local and international prices came under pressure due to lower demand for
U.S. soybeans ahead of the upcoming harvest of record crops in South America,
the Rosario exchange said.

Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay are set to smash previous soybean output
records this season, as favorable weather conditions boosted crops.

On Thursday, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange increased its forecast for
Argentina's 2009-10 soy production to 53.5 million metric tons, up 1.5 million
tons from last week's estimate. Output is expected to be up more than 20
million tons from last season's drought-battered crop.

"Conditions couldn't be better for the developing crops," as soaked fields in
the central farm belt dried out this week and parched fields up north saw
showers, the exchange said.

Farmers had been worrying that excess rainfall through the harvest season may
damage the crops, but the exchange said the latest weather models predicted
relatively dry weather through the harvest season.

The first early soy fields were harvested over the past week, according to
the exchange.

May 2010 soy futures traded at $213 and $215 a ton, down from $215 and $216 a
week ago.

Meanwhile, May corn contracts traded at $108 a ton in Rosario Thursday. Spot
corn wasn't traded.

Exporters are leading corn buying with the government issuing export permits
at a brisk pace, the Rosario exchange said.

Wheat trade remained stalled as farmers wait for buyers to come out with the
higher prices agreed with the government.

-By Shane Romig, Dow Jones Newswires; 54-11-4103-6738;

CPO futures down on profit-taking

CRUDE palm oil (CPO) futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended lower yesterday due to profit-taking following the recent run-up, a dealer said.

However, the market fundamentals remained firm on expectations of a bullish industry outlook for the year due to strong demand.

Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron said CPO price will likely touch RM3,000 per tonne in the second half of this year due to production shortfalls.

The price will hover between RM2,600 and RM3,000 per tonne this year, he said.

At the close, March 2010 and April 2010 fell RM37 each to RM2,692 per tonne and RM2,672 per tonne, respectively.

May 2010 fell RM25 to RM2,660 per tonne and June 2010 declined RM28 to RM2,642 per tonne.

Total volume rose to 17,096 lots from 11,722 lots on Wednesday while open interest fell to 81,554 contracts from 82,217 contracts previously.

On the physical market, March 2010 dipped to RM2,700 per tonne from RM2,720 per tonne on Wednesday.

- Business Times

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crude Palm Oil Futures End Lower On Profit-Taking

Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia’s derivatives exchange ended lower Thursday following profit-taking after yesterday’s rally, said trade participants.

The benchmark May contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended MYR25 down at MYR2,660 a metric ton, after trading in a MYR2,652-MYR2,704 range.

Some investors opted to liquidate positions to take profits as the market had already factored in many of the price outlooks from analysts during the two-day palm oil conference that ended yesterday, traders said.

However, losses were capped by record low end-month stock levels, which some participants viewed as bullish for CPO prices, they added.

Palm oil inventories totaled 1.79 million tons at the end of February, down 11% from 2.0 million tons in January, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, which released its data Wednesday.

Stocks fell more than expected to the lowest level since September 2009.

Lower soyoil futures in after-hours trade on the Chicago Board of Trade also contributed to the fall in CPO prices, said traders.

At the close of the BMD, soyoil prices for May delivery were down 21 points at 40.81 cents a pound.

In the cash market, palm olein for March was offered at $840/ton.

Cash CPO for prompt shipment was offered MYR20 lower at MYR2,700/ton.

Open interest on the BMD was 81,554 lots Thursday, up from 82,217 lots Wednesday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

A total of 17,096 lots of CPO were traded versus 11,722 lots Wednesday.

Closing BMD Crude Palm Oil (CPO) futures prices in MYR/ton at 1000 GMT:

Month Close Previous Change High Low
Mar 2010 2,692 2,729 Down 37 2,730 2,685
Apr 2010 2,672 2,709 Down 37 2,712 2,665
May 2010 2,660 2,685 Down 25 2,704 2,652
Jun 2010 2,642 2,670 Down 28 2,690 2,635

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 11, 2010 06:13 ET (11:13 GMT)

DJ CORRECT: Global Vegoil Price Outlooks Of Key Forecasters

("Global Vegoil Price Outlooks Of Key Forecasters," at 0042 GMT, misstated
price level, currency and unit of volume for Brent crude mentioned by analyst
James Fry in the fifth paragraph. The correct version follows:)

KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Global vegetable oil traders and company executives
provided mixed outlooks for palm oil prices during a palm oil conference
organized by the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives that ended Wednesday.

The following are outlooks of the key forecasters:

-Dorab Mistry, director, Godrej International: The benchmark BMD third-month
CPO futures contract may trade in a fairly tight range between MYR2,600 and
MYR2,800 a metric ton from now until July, then rise to around MYR3,200 in the
second half to first quarter next year as the delayed effects of an ongoing El
Nino-induced dry spell may further sap yields and lower palm oil output. He
also said Malaysia's 2010 CPO output will likely fall by 2.3% to 17.2 million

-Anne Frick, vice president, futures research, Prudential Bache Commodities:
CPO prices may average between MYR2,400 and MYR3,300/ton as supply of the
commodity isn't likely to outpace rising demand. CBOT soyoil prices could
average between 36 cents and 46 cents a pound this year as soyoil prices need
to rise higher to finance a larger share of soymeal crushing value.

-James Fry, chairman, LMC International: BMD CPO futures may fall to
MYR2,500/ton if benchmark Brent crude oil falls below $70 a barrel. Palm oil
stocks will continue to fall until July and will give seasonal support to CPO

-Thomas Mielke, director, ISTA Mielke GmbH: CPO prices may rise to
MYR2,900/ton, as a slow recovery in Malaysia's palm production is expected to
cut palm inventories. However, prices aren't likely to rise above MYR3,000/ton.
Palm oil prices may close the gap with soyoil--and even trade at a slight
premium--soon as a record soybean crop may cap the sharp rise in soyoil prices
while palm prices strengthen.

-Yong Chin Fatt, chief trader at IOI Corp.: CPO prices may rise to
MYR2,800/ton by May if palm oil production remains weak.

-M.R. Chandran, senior group advisor, Platinum Energy: CPO prices may move in
a MYR2,500-MYR2,750/ton range in the second half of the year.

The benchmark third-month May CPO futures contract on the BMD ended MYR35
higher at MYR2,685/ton Wednesday, off a two-month high of MYR2,719 reached
during the course of the conference--and close to levels at which the contract
was before the conference began.

May soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade settled 72 points higher at 41.02
cents/pound Wednesday.

-By Shie-Lynn Lim, Dow Jones Newswires; +603 2026 1233;

DJ Nymex Globex Energy Futures Hourly Price Update

Last Change Bid Ask Previous
Crude Oil ($/bbl.)
APR0 81.78 -0.31 81.78 81.79 82.09
MAY0 82.11 -0.32 82.09 82.12 82.43
JUN0 82.55 -0.24 82.48 82.51 82.79

Heating Oil ($/gal.)
APR0 2.1105 -0.0057 2.1107 2.1120 2.1162
MAY0 2.1243 -0.0034 2.1211 2.1260 2.1277
JUN0 2.1375 -0.0026 2.1266 2.1385 2.1401

RBOB Gasoline ($/gal.)
APR0 2.2760 -0.0091 2.2757 2.2772 2.2851
MAY0 ... ... 2.2760 2.2858 2.2868
JUN0 ... ... 2.2679 2.2798 2.2798

Natural Gas ($/mmBtu)
APR0 4.578 +0.019 4.577 4.580 4.559
MAY0 4.643 +0.019 4.640 4.645 4.624
JUN0 4.725 +0.029 4.708 4.715 4.696

Data delayed at least 30 minutes
Prices in U.S. Dollars
Source: Thomson Reuters

UPDATE 8-Oil ends at 8-week high on gasoline inventory drop

* U.S. gasoline stocks show surprise drawdown

* Profit-taking wipes out some gains

* OPEC now thinks 2010 world demand will rise 880,000 bpd

* Coming up: Weekly jobless claims report on Thursday

(Recasts first paragraph)

By Rebekah Kebede

NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - Oil prices settled at an eight-week high on Wednesday in choppy trading after a government report showed that gasoline stocks in the United States dropped unexpectedly.

U.S. crude for April delivery settled 60 cents higher at $82.09 per barrel, after reaching $83.03.

London ICE Brent for April settled at $80.48, up 57 cents.

"Today's EIA data certainly has a bullish undertone with both gasoline and distillates off much more than expected," said Chris Jarvis, senior analyst, Caprock Risk Management, Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.

"Given the fact that we are heading into the driving season, a drop in gasoline supplies will drive bullish sentiment. Couple that with the dollar starting to weaken again and equities rallying and we wouldn't be surprised to see crude oil break out of this $80 level and march towards the $90 level in the coming months."

Gasoline stocks in the world's largest energy market showed a surprise drop of 2.9 million barrels to 229 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. [EIA/S]

And U.S. commercial crude oil stockpiles rose 1.4 million barrels to 343 million barrels in the week to March 5 -- below the 1.9 million barrels rise that analysts had been expecting.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel, fell by 2.2 million barrels, far more than the 900,000 barrel draw predicted by the market.

Wall Street stocks rose on Wednesday, lifted by bank and technology shares.[.N]

The U.S. dollar slipped against a basket of currencies. A weaker greenback typically supports oil prices as it makes dollar-denominated commodities such as oil less expensive for holders of other currencies. [USD/]

A report showing that China's imports of crude oil in February rose to the second highest on record on a daily basis was also supportive for oil prices. [ID:nTOE62808W]


Earlier, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had given a mild boost to prices when it said it now thought the world would need 28.94 million barrels per day of its crude this year -- an increase of 190,000 bpd from its previous assessment. [ID:nLDE6291EF]

It said total world demand was likely to rise by 880,000 bpd in 2010, up from a previous estimate of 810,000 bpd.

OPEC meets next week in Vienna to discuss output and analysts expect it to keep targets unchanged. [ID:nLDE62715Z]

OPEC members have suggested prices around $70 to $80 are reasonable, and on Monday, Algeria said levels in the low $80s were fair. [ID:nLDE61P1NL]

The group's biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, will reduce crude supply in April to a major Asian buyer, but will keep full contracted volumes to others. [ID:nTOE62406V] (Additional reporting by Robert Gibbons, Gene Ramos, Eileen Moustakis in New York, Jo Winterbottom in London; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Not all bullish on CPO price trend

TWO palm oil industry gurus have issued forecasts that are generally less bullish on crude palm oil (CPO) prices this year, predicting them to hover between RM2,400 and RM2,900 a tonne.

"Current palm oil prices are already reflecting the fundamentals. I think prices may be close to their highs if there are no additional bullish factors like further yield damage from the prolonged dry weather. I don't expect prices to surpass RM3,000 per tonne, though," Oil World editor Thomas Mielke said at the annual Palm and Lauric Oils Conference and Exhibition (POC) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"When I say we may not be far away from the peak, I don't mean to be bearish. Prices can shoot up on speculative demand. Prices could trade between RM2,400 and RM2,900 per tonne, averaging at RM2,550," he added.

On the chances of palm oil trading at a premium over soyaoil, Mielke said: "I don't expect it to, but it is possible. If it does, it won't last."
LMC International chairman Dr James Fry also believes that palm oil prices are "already somewhat too high".

"I fear we face a double dip recession in Europe. Many governments are cutting budget to reduce deficit borrowings. This will drive up interest rates, which will magnify a recessionary impact," he said.

Fry reiterated his long-held view that palm oil prices would continue to be highly influenced by petroleum prices.

"High crude oil prices have encouraged exploration - lifting supply and slowing demand. Palm oil is expected to hover around RM2,600 per tonne, settling to RM2,400 per tonne towards the latter part of the year," he said.

Mielke and Fry's forecasts are in contrast to their counterpart, Godrej Group director Dorab Mistry, who on Tuesday gave bullish comments that palm oil prices could scale new heights in the range of RM2,800 to RM3,200 a tonne after July on the prevailing El Nino conditions, Malaysian government's ongoing replanting scheme and tree stress.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board's latest statistics showed the CPO output in the first two months of the year was 2.48 million tonnes, about 40,000 tonnes less than a year ago.

However, monthly palm oil exports have been relatively strong at more than RM4.3 billion compared with last year's average of RM4.1 billion. - BUSINESS TIMES

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DJ OIL FUTURES: Nymex Crude Flat, Oil Inventory Jump Feared

NEW YORK, Mar 10, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) --

By Brian Baskin

Crude futures were nearly unchanged Wednesday, avoiding adding to the previous day's losses due to strength in the gasoline market.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery recently traded 3 cents higher at $81.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded 9 cents, or 0.1%, higher at $80 a barrel.

Oil prices are still trading near their 2010 peak, but are unlikely to press higher before the release of U.S. oil inventory data, due out at 10:30 a.m. EST from the Energy Information Administration. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, reported a 6.5-million-barrel increase in crude stockpiles on Tuesday, raising fears that weak demand will reinflate supplies over the next few months.

Futures have traded between $70 and $80 a barrel for most of the last five months largely on the expectation that rising demand would soon draw down inventories in the U.S., the world's biggest oil consumer. Recently inventories have leveled off at well above average levels, but promising economic data has lifted many commodity markets, including oil.

Analysts gave an average forecast for a 1.7-million-barrel increase in oil inventories, according to a Dow Jones survey.

"The inventory data hasn't been a driver of price lately ... (but) if we build again, I have to believe we'll get some kind of correction," said Tom Bentz, a broker and analyst with BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc.

The API also reported a 3.2-million-barrel drop in gasoline stockpiles, where the consensus forecast was for an increase of 100,000 barrels. That decline has given new lift to an already buoyant gasoline market, where traders are anticipating strong summer demand out of the U.S. With U.S. gasoline consumption representing about 10% of total world oil demand, gains in the fuel's futures contract often boost oil prices as well.

"The gasoline market remains on a roll ... and it appears that the bullish gasoline momentum of the past month still has some room to run," wrote Jim Ritterbusch, president of the trading advisory firm Ritterbusch and Assoc. in Galena, Ill.

Analysts are also expecting distillate stockpiles, including heating oil and diesel, to drop by 700,000 barrels, while the API reported a 2.8-million-barrel decline in the category.

Front-month April reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, recently traded 89 points, or 0.4%, higher at $2.2692 a gallon. April heating oil traded 52 points, or 0.3%, higher at $2.0950 a gallon.

China, with oil demand second only to the U.S., provided additional support to prices after reporting a 20% increase in crude imports in February.

-By Brian Baskin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2453;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-10-10 0906ET

Crude Palm Oil Ends Up On Record Low End-Month Stocks

Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia’s derivatives exchange ended higher Wednesday as record low end-month stock levels and falling production prompted buying activity, said trade participants.

The benchmark May contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended MYR35 up at MYR2,685 a metric ton, after trading in a MYR2,654-MYR2,719 range.

Malaysia's CPO output in February fell 12.5% from the previous month to 1.16 million metric tons, said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

Palm oil inventories totaled 1.79 million tons at the end of February, down 11% from 2.0 million tons in January.

Stocks fell more than expected to the lowest level since September 2009.

In its monthly report, MPOB said CPO exports fell 12% to 1.29 million tons in February. The country exported 1.46 million tons in January.

Estimates for Malaysia's March 1-10 palm oil exports were also released today.

Cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated exports at 464,889 tons, a rise of 25% on month.

Another cargo surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) Bhd., estimated exports rose 5.8% on month to 434,340 tons.

The estimates were either within or below market expectations of an increase of 25% or 460,000 tons, said traders.

In other news, analysts continued to release bullish forecasts for CPO prices on the last day of a palm oil conference. The forecasts were nevertheless tempered by fears that soyoil production may be on the rise.

Palm oil's discount to soyoil will likely narrow further and it could even trade at a slight premium soon, Thomas Mielke, editor-in-chief at Oilworld, said at the industry conference.

A record soybean harvest this year may have some damping effect on soyoil prices as palm oil prices strengthen tracking bullish supply fundamentals, he added.

Mielke told Dow Jones Newswires earlier that CPO output in Malaysia may rise only slightly to 17.8 million tons in 2010, from 17.6 million tons last year.

CPO prices may rise to around MYR2,900/ton if output in Malaysia eases further, Mielke said, without giving a timeframe.

James Fry, another analyst, said at the conference CPO prices could fall below MYR2,500 if the benchmark ICE Brent crude oil contract drops to $70 a barrel.

Palm oil may trade between MYR2,600 and MYR2,700 from March to September if Brent trades between $76 and $79, he added.

Traders said the forecasts, while bullish, were cautious and came within market expectations.

"It's good that the analysts didn't go overboard and predict shocking CPO prices reaching MYR4,000 levels. In previous years, such overly bullish forecasts only served to shock the market, resulting in volatile trading," said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader.

In the cash market, palm olein for March was offered at $840/ton.

Cash CPO for prompt shipment was offered MYR20 higher at MYR2,720/ton.

Open interest on the BMD was 82,217 lots Wednesday, up from 81,504 lots Tuesday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

A total of 11,722 lots of CPO were traded versus 10,472 lots Tuesday.

Closing BMD Crude Palm Oil (CPO) futures prices in MYR/ton at 1000 GMT:

Month Close Previous Change High Low
Mar 2010 2,729 2,680 Up 49 2,729 2,690
Apr 2010 2,709 2,660 Up 49 2,729 2,663
May 2010 2,685 2,650 Up 35 2,719 2,654
Jun 2010 2,670 2,635 Up 35 2,700 2,640

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 10, 2010 06:11 ET (11:11 GMT)

UPDATE 3-Oil struggles for clear direction from $81.50

* China Feb crude imports rise 8.2 percent

* Saudis supply full April volumes to most Asian buyers

* U.S. crude stockpiles jump 6.5 million barrels -API

* Coming up: OPEC monthly report, EIA stocks report 1530 GMT

(Releads, adds quotes, updates prices, previous SINGAPORE)

By Jo Winterbottom

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Oil failed to find momentum in either direction for a clear move away from $81.50 on Wednesday as investors waited for data on U.S. stocks or OPEC's monthly report ahead of next week's meeting to provide impetus.

U.S. crude for April delivery was flat at $81.49 by 1028 GMT. It had earlier risen to within 80 cents of Monday's peak of $82.41, the highest level since prices jumped to a 15-month high of $83.95 on Jan. 11. London ICE Brent for April edged up 7 cents to $79.98.

"There's a little bit of reticence about striking out one way or the other ... there's not enough information to herald decisively a bull run," said Paul Harris, head of energy and emissions at Bank of Ireland.

Crude prices need a fundamental kick to score direction.

"Technically, there are still no clear trends on WTI," said Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix in a note.

"WTI is maintained ... close enough to $82 per barrel for the bulls to try another attack at that resistance level upon the delivery of the (U.S.) statistics as there will necessarily be one positive item in the weekly report," he added.

U.S. inventory statistics from the government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) will be published at 1530 GMT.

The American Petroleum Institute's figures, published on Tuesday, showed U.S. crude inventories rose by 6.5 million barrels in the week to March 5, against analysts' forecasts for a gain of 1.9 million barrels.

But Jakob said the crude stock build could be an alignment with the energy department figures.

More indications on global supply and demand should come from OPEC's March report expected later on Wednesday.


Further support for prices came from China, where oil imports data boosted evidence emerging that Asian economies will lead global demand back into growth this year.

China imported 4.83 million barrels of crude per day in February, the second-highest daily tally on record. Fuel imports rose almost 14 percent, while fuel exports tumbled almost 41 percent.

"It's a strong reading, particularly because February was a short month and you had the Chinese New Year holiday," said David Moore, commodities strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

Harris said he thought the impetus would be for gains.

"We're on an upward trajectory, however gentle the slope is ... there seems to be a groundswell of popular support for the notion that the U.S. is past its worse and that China is pointing in a positive direction," he said.

OPEC members, who meet next week in Vienna to discuss supplies, have suggested prices around $70-80 are reasonable and on Monday Algeria said levels in the low $80s were fair.

The group's biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, will reduce crude supply in April to a major Asian buyer, but will keep full contracted volumes to others.

The cut by the world's leading oil exporter surprised industry players, who could not immediately explain it. It could be due to refinery maintenance, for example.

For March, top Chinese refineries will cut crude runs by 5.6 percent from record rates in February due to turnarounds and to lower bulging stocks. (Additional reporting by Alejandro Barbajosa in Singapore; editing by James Jukwey)

DJ CPO Price May Fall Below MYR2,500 If Brent Drops To $70/Bbl -Fry

KUALA LUMPUR(Dow Jones)--Crude palm oil prices could fall below
MYR2,500 if the price of benchmark ICE Brent crude oil contract
drops to $70 a barrel, analyst James Fry said Wednesday.

Palm oil may trade between MYR2,600 and MYR2,700 from March to
September, if rent trades between $76 and $79 a barrel, he said
at an industry conference.

At 0725 GMT, May CPO was trading at MYR2,664 a ton, up MYR14
on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, while ICE Brent for April
delivery was down 33 cents at $79.58 a barrel.

GRAINS-U.S. soybeans, grains lower ahead of WASDE

* Markets on edge ahead of USDA supply/demand report

* USDA report to determine fundamental trading strategies

* Brazil soybeans 2010 estimates grow to record high

* Coming Up: WASDE report release; 1330 GMT (Adds information, commment)

By Bruce Hextall

SYDNEY, March 10 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans, corn and wheat futures eased on Wednesday in expectation of a bearish U.S. government report on world supplies and demand for agricultural products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report is due for release at 1330 GMT.

"Most of the trade seem happy to sit on their hands and wait for the WASDE reports," said Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"The real moves are likely to come after the WASDE, as it will help traders formulate their fundamental trading perspectives but, on the other hand, things outside markets are still a big influence. Movements in the U.S. dollar have had a pretty marked effect on prices of late."

The dollar was trading largely steady against a basket of major currencies.

The USDA is expected to trim U.S. soy stocks but leave corn unchanged.

The report will include fresh figures for South American soybean production as well as revised estimates of the 2009 soybean and corn harvests, which were delayed by wet weather.

"U.S. corn and soybean production estimates are expected to be lowered slightly this month, mainly due to wet harvest weather," said Mathews.

Chinese customs data showed the world's top soybean buyer imported 28 percent less of the oilseed in February as many crushers shut down during the New Year holidays.

Despite the fall China is still expected to be a big buyer of soybeans this year but in recent weeks has been switching to buying supplies from Brazil, the world's second largest soy exporter, where harvesting is gathering momentum.

Mathews said the 2009 U.S. corn and soybean harvests would still be at record highs.

He noted the May Chicago Board of Trade corn contract tumbled for the fourth straight session on Tuesday as the market responded poorly to the thought the USDA would raise South Amercian corn production estimates.

Traders were expecting the USDA to trim its estimate of soybean ending stocks for the 2009/10 marketing year to 194 million bushels from February's forecast of 210 million.

Corn stocks were seen mostly flat at 1.720 billion verses 1.719 billion estimated in February.

The USDA is likely to raise its estimates for Argentine and Brazilian production of corn and soybeans because of largely favorable crop weather there.

Brazil's government crop supply agency Conab said on Tuesday the country's 2009/10 soy crop would be a record large 67.57 million tonnes, above the USDA's February forecast for 66.0 million.

U.S farmers are also expected to plant big crops of corn and soybeans this year provided spring seeding in the U.S. Midwest is not unduly delayed by wet weather.

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for March delivery were flat at $9.41-½ per bushel by 0529 GMT but the May contract fell 0.11 percent to $9.46-½ per bushel.

Corn for March delivery fell 0.42 percent to $3.57-¼ per bushel and the May contract dropped 0.41 percent to $3.67-½ per bushel. Wheat for March delivery last traded at $4.78-½ per bushel while the May contract slipped 0.51 percent to $4.87 per bushel.

A University of Missouri think-tank on Tuesday estimated U.S. farmers would grow the second-largest corn and soybean crops on record this year -- 13.134 billion bushels of corn and 3.213 billion of soybean, just missing 2009 records.

GRAIN PRICES AS OF 0410 GMT Product Last Change Pct Move End 2009 Ytd Pct RSI

move CBOT corn Mar0 357.25 -1.50 -0.42 414.50 -13.81 41 CBOT soy Mar0 941.50 0.00 0.00 1039.75 -9.45 47 CBOT wheat Mar0 478.50 0.00 0.00 541.50 -11.63 43 CBOT rice Mar0 12.77 0.00 0.00 14.57 -12.36 30 US crude Mar0 81.51 Euro/dollar 1.3600 (Corn, soybean, wheat U.S. cents per bushel) (Rice U.S. cents per hundredweight) (Crude $ per barrel) (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

DJ Palm Oil's Discount To Soyoil May Narrow More -Mielke

KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--The discount palm oil to soyoil
prices will likely narrow further, and palm oil trade could
even trade at a slight premium soon, an industry analyst
said Wednesday.

A record soybean harvest this year may have some damping
effect on soyoil prices as palm oil prices strengthen on bullish
supply fundamentals, Thomas Mielke, editor-in-chief at Oilworld,
said at an industry conference.

Refined, bleached and deodorized palm oil's discount to
free-on-board Argentine soyoil has narrowed from around $100 a
ton to around $40/ton.

DJ MARKET TALK: BMD CPO Futures Up On Record Low End-Month Stocks

[Dow Jones] BMD CPO futures up on record low
end-month stock levels, say traders. Benchmark May CPO
contract up MYR22 at MYR2,672/ton. According to MPOB
data, end-February stocks down 11% on month at 1.79
million tons, lowest level since September 2009.
"Exports are performing according to market expectations
rather than falling, so with lower end-month stocks, CPO
prices should hold around MYR2,650-MYR2,700 this week,
" says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader.

DJ OIL FUTURES: Crude Oil Trends Down On Stronger Dollar

DJ OIL FUTURES: Crude Oil Trends Down On Stronger Dollar

(Recasts top.)

By Edward Welsch

Crude oil settled slightly lower as the stronger dollar
weighed on prices,though futures hovered near their highest
point in eight weeks, with the front-month contract holding
above $80 a barrel for the fifth day in a row.

Oil remained near the top of its recent trading range as
traders bet that seasonal factors would sustain prices, as
the return of spring usually means supply is reduced as
refineries temporarily shut down for maintenance and demand
for gasoline increases ahead of the summer driving season.

Analysts, however, warned there were few signs of real
recovery in oil demand, while supplies remained at their
highest levels in decades.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery settled down
38 cents, or 0.5%, at $81.49 on the New York Mercantile
Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange closed
down 56 cents, or 0.7%, at $79.91 a barrel.

Oil prices declined nearly $2 a barrel in overnight
trading Tuesday as losses in overseas equity markets,
a lower open for U.S. stocks and a stronger dollar against
the euro weighed on dollar-denominated oil prices.

But a rally in U.S. technology stocks after Cisco
Systems Inc. (CSCO)unveiled a new router Tuesday led the
broader equity market higher during the day, helping crude
oil trim its losses.

Crude oil has failed to hold five streaks above $80 a
barrel over the last six months, and analysts viewed the
latest run above that level with some skepticism.

"I think the bulls are making an extreme push with the
understanding that they're up against the top of the
current range, so it's now or never for them," said
Stephen Schork, editor of the oil and gas newsletter
The Schork Report. "They're thinking, 'If we don't push
it up to $85 range it will go down to $70-$75,'" he said.

There was little reaction in the oil markets to the
U.S. Department of Energy's monthly energy outlook
published midday Tuesday. Although the agency raised its
2010 oil consumption outlook to 1.5 million barrels per
day from 1.2 million and forecast prices above $80 per
barrel, it projected that average prices at the pump would
remain below $3 a gallon through 2011.

"The market didn't know how to react," Schork said.
"[The report] said we're likely looking at $80 oil for the
foreseeable future, while retail gasoline prices don't
reflect $80 oil."

Energy analyst Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch
& Associates told clients in a note Tuesday that the higher
market reflected traders betting too heavily and too early
on seasonal strength in gasoline prices.

"Just as the gasoline market has led the complex higher
for more than 3 weeks, further price weakness is almost
certain to be led by the RBOB," he wrote. "Some guidance
in this regard should be forthcoming during the next couple
of sessions from the [American Petroleum Institute and
U.S. Energy Information Administration] stats as well as
financial developments capable of forcing a sharp move in
either the stock market or dollar."

Front-month April reformulated gasoline blendstock,
or RBOB, settled down 2.89 cents, or 1.3%, to $2.2603 a
gallon. April heating oil settled down 1.57 cents, or
0.8%, to $2.0898 a gallon.

The American Petroleum Institute, a trade group,
reported Tuesday afternoon that crude oil stocks rose by
6.5 million barrels last week, gasoline stocks declined
3.2 million barrels, distillate stocks include diesel and
heating oil declined 2.8 million barrels and refinery
utilization declined 0.7 percentage point to 80.9%.

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires forecast that
crude oil stocks rose 1.7 million barrels last week while
gasoline inventories rose by 100,000 barrels. Distillate
stocks are expected to have fallen by 700,000 barrels.
Refinery utilization rates are seen having risen
0.1 percentage point to 82% of capacity.

Front-month crude oil prices declined slightly to
$81.45 a barrel in after-market electronic trading after
the API data was released, while front-month heating oil
and distillates both rose a fraction of a cent.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will publish
its data Wednesday morning.

More information on settlements and highs and lows for
futures on Nymex and ICE platforms can be found by searching
for the following headlines:

Nymex Light Crude Oil Close
Nymex Harbor RBOB Gasoline Close
Nymex Heating Oil Close
ICE Brent Crude Oil Close
ICE Gas Oil Close

-By Edward Welsch, Dow Jones Newswires; 613-237-0669;

DJ Nymex Globex Energy Futures Hourly Price Update

DJ Nymex Globex Energy Futures Hourly Price Update

Last Change Bid Ask Previous
Crude Oil ($/bbl.)
APR0 81.29 -0.20 81.27 81.29 81.49
MAY0 81.66 -0.20 81.63 81.66 81.86
JUN0 82.10 -0.20 82.07 82.11 82.30

Heating Oil ($/gal.)
APR0 2.0910 +0.0012 2.0892 2.0908 2.0898
MAY0 ... ... 2.1000 2.1033 2.1026
JUN0 ... ... 2.1129 2.1169 2.1165

RBOB Gasoline ($/gal.)
APR0 2.2603 UNCH 2.2616 2.2627 2.2603
MAY0 2.2625 +0.0002 2.2608 2.2673 2.2623
JUN0 ... ... 2.2525 2.2605 2.2558

Natural Gas ($/mmBtu)
APR0 4.516 UNCH 4.507 4.517 4.516
MAY0 4.575 UNCH 4.570 4.577 4.575
JUN0 ... ... 4.626 4.644 4.643

Data delayed at least 30 minutes
Prices in U.S. Dollars
Source: Thomson Reuters

Bursa, China hail competition from Jakarta

BURSA Malaysia Derivatives Sdn Bhd and its Chinese counterpart, Dalian Commodities Exchange, said they see Jakarta's impending launch of the rupiah-based crude palm oil (CPO) futures contract next month as healthy competition.

"We welcome more competition. The profile of palm oil is raised internationally with more exchanges introducing palm oil futures. It also jives with our tie-up with CME Group to launch the new US dollar-denominated palm oil futures contract (known as CUPO)," Bursa Malaysia Bhd chief executive Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff told a news conference at the Palm Oil Outlook Conference 2010 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday

Indonesia has been planning for a local benchmark, which it feels will provide a better reflection of local supply and demand and will eliminate currency risk factors.

PT Bursa Komoditi & Derivatif Indonesia, Indonesia's new commodities and derivatives exchange (ICDX), has reportedly said it hopes to succeed rival Jakarta Futures Exchange, which struggles to attract planters to trade CPO on its exchange.
On the launch of CUPO in Chicago on May 23, Yusli said it will boost palm oil's popularity as a reliable and flexible hedging tool.

Malaysia is the world's biggest palm oil exporter and has the biggest futures market for the commodity. Malaysia has two palm oil futures products, namely the ringgit-based FCPO contract and the US dollar-denominated FUPO contract.

"Despite the prospects of a more competitive environment, we're confident that the FCPO will remain the global benchmark reference, considering we've had an established transparent trading record of 30 years," Yusli said.

Dalian Commodity Exchange senior manager Wang Yun Tao told Business Times that he sees ICDX's move as a logical and positive development.

"We have heard about ICDX's plans and we understand this development is based on market needs. We view this as healthy competition as there is unlikely to be much negative impact in the short term," Wang added. - By Ooi Tee Ching

Palm oil may hit RM3,300 per tonne

The price of palm oil may rise to as high as RM3,300 per tonne in the second half of the year, as the global supply of vegetable oils struggle to meet burgeoning consumer demand, industry experts predict.

"Vegetable oils supply is under pressure. For the first time in history, Malaysia's palm oil production will fall for two years in a row, and this year it is likely to be 17.2 million tonnes.

"My reasons are already well-known - the prevailing El Nino (weather conditions), the government's ongoing replanting scheme and most biological cycle of palm trees," said India's Godrej Group director Dorab Mistry.

The El Nino can bring glo-bal weather chaos such as droughts and floods, damaging agriculture crops.

"It looks as though the El Nino 'induced damage' to the palm oil output will be felt in the second half of this year, just as the biological cycle turns from high to low," he said.

"From March to July, I would expect palm oil futures to trade in the range of RM2,600 to RM2,800 per tonne," he added.

Mistry also said that a strong US dollar in the next few months acts as a calming influence on commodities prices.

However, he expects the greenback to weaken around July, prompting commodities to move ahead strongly.

"Post-July, I expect palm oil futures to scale new heights in the range of RM2,800 to RM3,200 per tonne in order to ration demand," he said.

Apart from Mistry, analysts Anne Frick of Prudential Bache Commodities LLC and Nagaraj Meda of Transgraph Consulting Pvt Ltd also presented bullish price forecast to some 1,800 vegetable oil traders at the Palm and Lauric Oils Conference 2010 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Palm oil may surge up to 22pc in H1

Palm oil may surge as much as 22 per cent in the first half as drier-than-usual weather curbs output in Malaysia and yields in Indonesia, the world’s two largest producers, according to Prudential Bache Commodities LLC.

The El Nino weather phenomenon may drive prices to as much as RM3,300 (US$988) a metric ton, said Anne Frick, vice president for research at the New York-based commodities and financial derivatives broker. Malaysian output may not meet demand for local use and exports, Frick said in an interview.

The supply crunch may help to extend last year’s 57 per cent rally in the tropical oil and boost profits at producers including PT Astra Agro Lestari, Indonesia’s largest publicly traded plantations company. Higher prices may also contribute to increased food inflation in China and India, the biggest users.

“Below-normal rainfall in Malaysia will start to be felt in May-July and probably into the turn of the calendar year to 2011,” Frick said yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, where she’s scheduled to speak at a palm oil conference today. “The best chance to make the highs is the first half.”

Meanwhile, Godrej International’s head of vegetable oil trading Dorab Mistry said Malaysian crude palm oil futures may trade in the RM2,800-RM3,200 range after July as current El Nino-driven hot weather may cause a production shortfall in the second half of 2010.

Mistry said his forecast was within palm oil’s most “bullish period” that runs from the second half of 2010 until the first quarter of next year.

That forecast represents a rise of up to 18.3 per cent from current levels.

Palm oil futures on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed yesterday at RM2,709 a ton, 1.7 per cent higher since the start of the year. Prices haven’t traded at more than RM3,000 since 2008.

Dompok’s Warning

Output in Malaysia, the second-largest producer, was forecast to gain 4.9 per cent this year to a record 17.8 million tons, the Finance Ministry said in October, months before El Nino peaked. Still, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Bernard Dompok had warned last July that output this year may drop as much as 16 per cent because of El Nino.

“I think it’s possible,” Frick said when asked if Malaysia’s output may lag behind demand from exporters and domestic users. Output and exports data from Malaysia “is the one that’s reported and traders that trade on. I think it has an upward bias on palm oil prices.”

El Nino, characterised by a warming of sea-surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific, can cut rainfall in Asia, damaging crops including palm oil, rice, corn and sugar. It may also increase rainfall in South America, boosting yields of rival soybeans. Among the expected impacts in March to May are drier-than-average conditions over Indonesia, according to a March 4 report from the U.S. Climate Prediction Center.

Planted Area

The expansion of the planted area in Indonesia may help to counter the impact of declining yields in that nation’s total palm oil output, said Frick. Prices may range between RM2,400 and RM3,300 this year, she said.

The surge in prices will narrow palm oil’s discount to soybean oil, encouraging switching and pushing crushers to process more soybeans and boosting global vegetable oil supplies later this year, Frick said. “I wouldn’t be bullish on palm oil all the way out to the end of the calendar year,” she said.

Indonesia and Malaysia together account for 87 per cent of the global supply of palm oil, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture.

Output in Malaysia dropped 13 per cent to 1.32 million tons in January, the lowest monthly output since April 2009, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. Exports rose 19.4 per cent to 1.46 million tons in January, it said. -- Bloomberg, Reuters

Sime may miss 2010 palm oil output target

Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, expects the company’s output to fall below target this year due to adverse weather conditions, managing director Azhar Abdul Hamid said.

Production may be “a bit down” this year, he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. The company’s crude palm oil output in Malaysia and Indonesia may be 6 per cent below its forecast of 2.4 million metric tons, Azhar said.

He declined to give a price forecast, but said said as far as the industry is concerned “anything above RM2,000 is a bonus.” -- Bloomberg

Palm oil players prefer Malaysia for trading

PALM oil industry players are comfortable trading in Malaysia given the country's track record in the trade, chief executive officer of Bursa Malaysia Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said today.

Commenting on plans by the Indonesian Commodity & Derivative Exchange (ICDX), which planned to launch palm oil futures trading in April, he said:"We welcome healthy competition because we want the profile of palm oil contracts to be raised internationally.

"More contracts will also help raise the level of palm oil trading and provide opportunities for volume to grow."

Yusli said a large proportion of traders preferred to trade the local contract given its track record," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 2010/2011 Palm and Lauric Oils Conference & Exhibition.

"I think the industry wants to learn about palm oil contracts and they are very comfortable with our contracts.

"Bursa Malaysia is confident the existing forward crude palm oil (FCPO) contract will remain the global benchmark for crude palm oil futures trading," he added.

Bursa Malaysia Derivatives traded four million FCPO contracts in 2009, up 33 per cent from the three million contracts traded in 2008.

Meanwhile, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, in opening the conference, said trading in FCPO contracts had grown by leaps and bounds over the years and had the potential to grow further.

"Derivatives traders who value the opportunities for hedging and arbitrage continue to be interested in our FCPO offerings.

"Malaysia has three decades of experience in developing a highly liquid CPO futures contract," he said, adding that Bursa Malaysia would continue to proactively seek ways to maintain its successful track record. - Bernama

May debut for palm oil futures in dollars

CME Group Inc, the world’s largest futures exchange, will introduce a dollar-denominated palm oil futures contract this year to try and take advantage of rising global demand for the edible oil.

The product is scheduled to begin trading on May 24 in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, with final settlement prices based on Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s ringgit-based futures, according to a statement from CME distributed by PRNewswire.

Palm oil, about 90 per cent of which is grown in Malaysia and Indonesia, is the world’s most traded vegetable oil, used in foods and cooking. The tie-up between CME Group and Bursa Malaysia, which also manages the nation’s stock exchange, includes a shareholding and was announced last September.

“The volumes are likely to be slow this year, but it will catch up with Bursa Malaysia’s benchmark,” said Dorab Mistry, a director at Godrej International Ltd, one of India’s largest traders of vegetable oil. “It is bound to work.”

Ringgit-denominated palm oil futures, used as the benchmark across Asia, surged 57 per cent last year on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange as the global economy emerged from recession. The contract, which traded today at 2,685 ringgit ($803) a ton, may gain to 3,200 ringgit this year, Mistry said.

The two companies’ agreement will also lead to the listing of all existing and future Bursa Malaysia derivatives products on CME Globex, CME’s electronic trading platform. The transfer is expected to take place later this year, Bursa Malaysia’s Chief Executive Officer Yusli Yusoff told reporters.

International Profile

“This will help to raise the international profile of palm oil,” Yusli said at a conference in Kuala Lumpur, referring to the dollar-priced futures. Bursa Malaysia traded 4 million contracts in 2009, up 33 per cent from the year before. Similar growth is projected for this year, Yusli said.

Bursa Malaysia earned 76 million ringgit from the sale of a 25 per cent stake in its Bursa Malaysia Derivatives unit to CME, it said on Feb. 4.

“Food processors, commercial firms and other multinational companies who use crude palm oil and trade in U.S. currency now have an alternative for hedging that risk,” Timothy Andriesen, CME’s managing director for commodities, said in a statement. -- Bloomberg
Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia’s derivatives exchange ended lower Tuesday tracking weak crude oil futures, which fell below the psychological level of $80 a barrel during Asian trading hours, said trade participants.

Falling crude oil prices prompted many participants to ignore a bullish forecast by vegoil analyst Dorab Mistry, who said CPO prices may rise as high as MYR3,200 a metric ton this year.

The benchmark May contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended MYR59 down at MYR2,650/ton.

By the end of trade on the BMD, April Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange were down $0.93 cents at $79.54 a barrel.

CPO prices fell in tandem despite bullish comments by Mistry, who said Malaysia's crude palm oil output will likely fall 2.3% to around 17.2 million tons this year due to El Nino-induced dry weather, which may prompt CPO prices to "scale new heights" from July.

"The most bullish period (for palm oil) will be the second half of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011," he said.

The shortage in supply may result in CPO prices scaling new heights "(after July) in the MYR2,800-MYR3,200/ton range," Mistry said.

He noted the dry spell may moderate CPO output in Indonesia, which may rise by only 1 million tons in 2010. Indonesia's government put the country's CPO output at 20.5 million tons last year.

Traders said Mistry's estimates were within market expectations, and therefore failed to boost prices.

Another analyst, Anne Frick, a senior oilseed analyst at Prudential Bache Commodities LLC, said CPO prices were likely to average MYR2,400-MYR3,300/ton in 2010, as supply isn't likely to outpace demand.

"Unless the analysts predicted prices would rise beyond MYR3,500, the estimates aren't too far off market expectations. Crude oil falling below $80 a barrel, however, is alarming, so the market reacted to that more than the bullish comments," said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader.

In the cash market, palm olein for March was offered at $830/ton.

Cash CPO for prompt shipment was offered MYR20 lower at MYR2,700/ton.

Open interest on the BMD was 81,504 lots Tuesday, up from 81,795 lots Monday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

A total of 10,472 lots of CPO were traded versus 6,388 lots Monday.

Closing BMD Crude Palm Oil (CPO) futures prices in MYR/ton at 1000 GMT:

Month      Close    Previous   Change    High    Low
Mar 2010 2,680 2,710 Down 30 2,710 2,680
Apr 2010 2,660 2,718 Down 58 2,721 2,660
May 2010 2,650 2,709 Down 59 2,715 2,650
Jun 2010 2,635 2,703 Down 68 2,700 2,635

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

CPO futures rise on hope of better forecast

CRUDE palm oil (CPO) futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed higher yesterday on expectation of better forecast for the commodity from an industry conference, dealers said.

Bursa Malaysia is hosting the two-day annual Palm and Lauric Oils Conference and Exhibition: Price Outlook 2010/2011 beginning today.

Industry experts will share their views on the development and challenges of the palm oil industry as well as the price outlook.
According to the dealers, the price at today's trading was also supported by the low production cycle from December last year until next month, resulting in lower output.

At close, the March 2010 contract rose RM34 to RM2,710 per tonne, April 2010 went up RM41 to RM2,718 per tonne, and May 2010 and June 2010 added RM39 each to settle at RM2,709 and RM2,703 per tonne respectively.

However, overall volume dropped to 6,388 lots from 17,321 lots last Friday while open interest rose to 81,795 contracts from 81,079 contracts previously.

On the physical market, March 2010 increased to RM2,720 per tonne from RM2,676 per tonne last Friday. - Bernama

Monday, March 8, 2010

DJ Indonesia Astra Agro Sells 3,500 Tons CPO Monday

JAKARTA (Dow Jones)--Indonesia's PT Astra Agro Lestari (AALI.JK)
Monday said in a statement it sold 3,500 metric tons of crude palm oil offered
in an auction.

PT Pelita Agung Agrindustri bought 1,500 tons, free-on-board Dumai, at
IDR7,795 a kilogram.

PT Synergy Oil Nusantara bought 1,000 tons, FOB Talang Duku, at IDR7,680/kg.

PT Musim Mas bought 1,000 tons, FOB Belawan, at IDR7,795/kg.

-By Fawziah Selamat, Dow Jones Newswires; +62 21 3983 1277;

Oil May Pull Back on Risk Trends After Resistance Break

Mar 08, 2010 (DailyFX via COMTEX) -- Oil prices have taken out key resistance but risk trends may help see a pull-back in the near term. Gold and silver may turn lower as a business economists' survey calls for Fed rate hikes in the next 6 months.

Commodities - Energy

Oil May Pull Back on Risk Trends After Resistance Break

Crude Oil (WTI) $82.30 +$0.80 +0.98% Prices negated the bearish implications of a Rising Wedge that had been taking shape over recent weeks, breaking above the formation's upper boundary to test horizontal resistance at $82.23. Continued bullish momentum eyes the next barrier at $83.52. The economic calendar is empty, leaving oil to trade with risk sentiment. Indeed, the percent-change correlation between the price of crude and the MSCI World Stock Index stands at 0.76. European shares are not showing directional conviction in early trade but US equity index futures have slipped into negative territory, giving up all their Asia-session gains. This may prove to be hinting that sellers are positioning to take the reins, with initial support at the broken wedge top (now at $81.17). Commodities - Metals

Gold, Silver May Decline on US Fed Rate Hike Outlook

Gold $1136.85 +$2.21 +0.19% Gold continue to consolidate below support-turned-resistance below $1142.76 at a rising trend line established from the swing bottom in early February, finding support above the $1118.60-1125.13 region. The semi-annual survey from the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) may be the most significant driver of price action in the near term. The report showed that most respondents believe the Fed will raise interest rates by 25-50bps within six months, which may weigh on inflation expectations and put downward pressure on gold as the go-to hedge against runaway prices.

Silver $17.46 +$0.10 +0.59% As with gold, the semi-annual survey out of the NABE may be the most significant near-term driver of price action, offering sellers the upper hand heading into US trading open. Technically, prices continue to inch higher along resistance marked by a rising trend line connecting major swing highs from early February, with a move lower seeing initial support at $16.80. For real time news and analysis, please visit

To receive future articles by email, please contact Ilya at

DJ CPO Prices May Rise To MYR2,800/Ton By May -IOI Chief Trader

KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Crude palm oil prices may rise to MYR2,800 a metric
ton by May, buoyed by the weakness in Malaysia's palm oil production and
overall tightness in global vegetable oil supply, a chief trader from
Malaysia-listed plantation company IOI Corp. (1961.KU) said Monday.

"Palm oil prices are now more dictated by weather. It is either a case of too
much or too little rain (which can affect oil palm yields)," Yong Chin Fatt
said ahead of an industry conference.

Unlike most vegetable oil crops, which are irrigated, palm oil is rain-fed
and is highly dependent on weather conditions.

Crude Palm Oil Ends Up; Market Expects Bullish Forecasts

Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia’s derivatives exchange ended higher Monday as participants anticipated bullish news from a palm oil conference due to start tomorrow, trade participants said.

The benchmark May contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended MYR39 higher at MYR2,709 a metric ton, after trading in a range of MYR2,675-MYR2,722/ton.

Higher crude oil and soyoil futures in after-hours trade also provided support for CPO prices, enabling prices to settle above today's resistance level of MYR2,700.

Noted vegetable oils analyst Dorab Mistry is expected to speak tomorrow at the conference in Kuala Lumpur.

"There's a feeling Mistry may forecast CPO prices to rise to MYR3,000/ton this year. This is fuelling a bullish sentiment in the market and many are eager to push CPO prices up in anticipation of such a positive forecast," said a Singapore-based trader.

Traders said CPO prices are likely to rise this week and should hold above MYR2,700 but cautioned that prices may fall after the excitement over the conference dies.

"Analysts like Mistry and (Thomas) Mielke have been notoriously bullish about the vegoils market the last few years, and they've succeeded in whipping market participants into a frenzy with their forecasts, but the initial price rises are usually followed by a fall in prices once the excitement dies and fundamentals weigh in," a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said.

Traders said CPO prices are likely to remain bullish this month as production remains lower versus the previous month, but exports may be weak due to a lack of festive celebrations to fuel purchases.

"Production is likely to rise next month and if exports continue to be weak, the market will be hard pressed to push CPO prices to MYR3,000," said another Kuala Lumpur-based trader.

Traders said analysts such as Mistry and Mielke are likely to forecast bullish CPO prices based on their estimates that countries like Malaysia, the world's second-largest producer of palm oil, will see a decline in production.

"Even if that may be true, Indonesia's production will likely make up for Malaysia's shortfall. Both countries together make up a sizeable chunk of the world's vegoil production and with soyoil production tipped to be on the rise, global vegoil output should correspond with any increases in demand," a Singapore-based trader said.

In the cash market, palm olein for March was offered at $840/ton.

Cash CPO for prompt shipment was offered MYR40 higher at MYR2,720/ton.

Open interest on the BMD was 81,795 lots Monday, up from 81,079 lots Friday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

A total of 6,388 lots of CPO were traded versus 17,321 lots Friday.

Closing BMD Crude Palm Oil (CPO) futures prices in MYR/ton at 1000 GMT:

Month Close Previous Change High Low
Mar 2010 2,710 2,676 Up 34 2,710 2,690
Apr 2010 2,718 2,677 Up 41 2,725 2,691
May 2010 2,709 2,670 Up 39 2,722 2,675
Jun 2010 2,703 2,664 Up 39 2,706 2,662

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 08, 2010 05:56 ET (10:56 GMT)

CPO futures: Bullish commodity prospects

OBSERVATIONS: The rush to cover short (sell) positions, quite hectic at times, ahead of two major events this week. - the Bursa Malaysia Palm Oil and Laurics Conference and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) report on February trade data and end-February 2010 stock position. - lifted the Kuala Lumpur CPO futures market to an eight-week high last week.

This market fell at first, dipping below the RM2,600 mark in early trade to test the erstwhile RM2,580 immediate support level, basis the actively-traded May 2010 contract.

But that was before the emergence of short-covering - as evidenced by the notable contraction in the total open interest position to 81,079 open contracts from the previous week's 82,981 open contracts - shunted this market back on the uptrack.

The May 2010 contract was bidded up to a high of RM2,700 before settling last Friday at RM2,670 a ton, up RM75 or 2.89 per cent over the week.

The one thing the bulls have in their favour is this week's Bursa Malaysia Palm Oil and Laurics Conference.

The speakers at such conferences are invariably bullish about the commodity's prospects, striking upbeat notes which tend to have an uplifting effect - both on market players' spirits and prices.

That could explain why some market players who previously held shorts took no chances by covering their sell positions, despite poor export estimates for February.

Conclusion: The RM2,725 long- term overhead resistance level is the major hurdle this market must overcome on the upside if it is to unequivocably stamp its bullish credentials in the minds of the investing public.

The test of that overhead resistance level could well happen in the short-term future, if not this week.

- Business Times

Sunday, March 7, 2010


The world-renowned Palm and Lauric Oils Conference & Exhibition Price Outlook (POC) conference is held annually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is well attended by international players from the oils and fats industry from over 40 countries.

In its second decade, the Palm and Lauric Oils Conference & Exhibition: Price Outlook 2010/2011 (POC2010) will continue to lead discussions on the future of the edible oil industry and provide an excellent base for networking among its delegates.

This flagship conference, organised by Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, which operates the world's largest palm oil futures contract, has become one of the most important annual events in this field, facilitating the exchange of ideas and enabling participants to share their assessments on the developments that will impact the price outlook on the palm and lauric oils market.

Take part in this global event
POC2010 provides an avenue that enables participants to get the latest tips and advice from some of the top industry experts on key insights in relation to the global edible oils supply and demand status, as well as the perfect forum for networking opportunities and for the discussion of the latest issues and news for businesses and pricing.

Should you require more information, please contact:

POC2010 Secretariat
Tel : +603 7877 8458
Fax : +603 7877 9458
E-mail :

Malaysia-Indonesia Bentuk Kerjasama Tangani Isu Minyak Sawit

Oleh Ahmad Fuad Yahya

JAKARTA, 6 Mac (Bernama) -- Enam badan yang mewakili pengusaha dan pengeluar minyak sawit dari Malaysia dan Indonesia, sepakat membentuk kerjasama bagi menangani isu-isu berkaitan minyak sawit, terutama yang dibangkitkan oleh badan-badan bukan kerajaan (NGOs).

Usaha itu dimuktamadkan melalui satu Memorandum Kerjasama yang ditandatangani di sini malam tadi (Jumaat) antara Persatuan Minyak Sawit Malaysia (MPOA), Persatuan Minyak Sawit Indonesia (GAPKI), Persatuan Pelabur Sawit Malaysia dan Indonesia (APIMI), Persatuan Pemilik Kelapa Sawit Sarawak (SOPPOA), Lembaga Pembangunan Tanah Persekutuan (Felda) dan Persatuan Petani Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (Apkasindo).

Majlis menandatangani perjanjian itu disaksikan oleh Menteri Perusahaan Perladangan dan Komoditi Malaysia, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok dan Menteri Pertanian Indonesia, Ir Suswono.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MPOA, Datuk Mamat Salleh berkata Malaysia dan Indonesia wajar berganding bahu menangani cabaran yang dihadapi industri sawit yang dibangkitkan di peringkat rundingan meja bulat mengenai kemapanan minyak sawit (RSPO), di peringkat perundangan dan peraturan perdagangan Kesatuan Eropah dan Amerika Syarikat dan di peringkat panel antarabangsa mengenai perubahan iklim (IPCC).

"Isu yang sedang dihadapi dan wajar ditangani dengan cermat, meliputi isu kelestarian, isu biokepelbagaian, isu pelepasan gas rumah hijau (GHG), isu stok karbon dalam hutan dan tanah gambut yang tidak boleh disentuh walaupun untuk pembangunan rakyat," katanya.

Pada masa yang sama, kedua-dua negara itu juga perlu berwaspada terhadap isu baharu yang dijangka akan muncul seperti kesan tidak langsung daripada perubahan penggunaan tanah (ILUC) dan isu percukaian karbon di sempadan.

Mamat berkata satu lagi isu yang dijangka muncul dalam jangka masa panjang ialah keperihatinan terhadap sumber dan bekalan air dalam bentuk "tapak air", yang akan menjadikan perusahaan sawit sebagai tanaman yang kontroversial.

Beliau yakin kerjasasama itu akan membolehkan kesemua pihak terbabit, di Malaysia dan Indonesia, dapat bersama-sama mempertahan kedudukan industri minyak sawit di kedua-dua negara.

Sementara itu, pada sidang media, Dompok berkata sebagai pengeluar minyak sawit mentah (MSM) terbesar dunia, dengan sumbangan kira-kira 85 peratus di pasaran antarabangsa, Malaysia dan Indonesia berhak untuk membentuk kerjasama bagi menjaga kepentingan dan melindungi industri sawitnya, walaupun telah ada badan kerjasama di peringkat lain.

Kerjasama itu, katanya akan membolehkan para pengusaha terbabit menjalankan program penyampaian maklumat sebenar mengenai perusahaan sawit di kedua-dua negara yang dilaksanakan dengan penuh tanggungjawab bagi memelihara alam sekitar.

"Pada masa lepas, NGO mempersoalkan minyak sawit dari segi kesihatan, kononnya ia tidak selamat dimakan, tetapi segala tuduhan itu berjaya ditangkis oleh Malaysia dan Indonesia melalui bukti-bukti kajian.

"Kini mereka menggunakan isu alam sekitar pula. Kononnya kita memusnahkan alam sekitar. Kita adalah komuniti dunia yang bertanggungjawab, tidak ada sebab untuk kita memusnahan tempat tinggal sendiri," katanya.

Sementara itu, Suswono berkata, Malaysia dan Indonesia yang menguasai kira-kira 85 peratus pengeluaran MSM, boleh menjadi penentu harga komoditi itu di pasaran antarabangsa, yang pada masa ini dibuat di Rotterdam.

"Kerjasama ini juga akan menangani isu-isu negatif berkaitan industri kelapa sawit. Apa yang berlaku dulu termasuk penggondolan hutan, tak ada lagi. Di Indonesia belum ada perluasan kawasan tanaman kelapa sawit.

"Sekarang, 1.8 juta hektar yang telah diberi kelulusan untuk tanaman itu, masih belum ditanami," katanya.

Beliau bagaimanapun berharap Indonesia dapat meningkatkan pengeluaran minyak sawitnya, yang masih rendah, berbanding di Malaysia.

Pada masa ini, katanya Indonesia hanya mengeluarkan 20 tan MSM daripada 7.9 juta hektar kawasan tanaman sawit berbanding 16 juta tan yang dihasilkan melalui 4.7 juta hektar tanaman sawit di Malaysia.

Keadaan ini berlaku kerana kadar pengeluaran rendah pekebun kecil yang mewakili lebih 3 juta hektar kawasan tanaman.


Ringgit expected to test 3.35 level

The ringgit is seen to be on the bright side next week following Bank Negara Malaysia's move to increase the overnight policy rate (OPR) to 2.25 per cent.

The local currency, which was on the uptrend in the week just ended, will repeat its performance to test the 3.35 level against the US dollar next week, RHB Bank's forex dealer Badeeudin Mohd Abu Bakar told Bernama.

More bullish economic prospects have been forecast for Malaysia this year and this will push the ringgit further up, Badeeudin said.

"The strengthening of Asian currencies will also lend some support to our currency," he said.

Agreeing with the assessment, RAM Holdings Bhd's chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the ringgit is likely to strengthen further this year to hit the 3.2 to 3.3 level against the US dollar in line with other Asian currencies.

"The uptrend will continue because of the recent euro and pound weaknesses. Asian currencies will appreciate faster than other currencies," he said.

As for other factors, Badeeudin said the volatile US market may also have an effect on the performance of the US dollar against other major currencies next week.

The greenback was described as subdued on late Friday as traders awaited the release of key US employment data.

During the week just ended, the ringgit closed higher on continuing buying momentum to finish at 3.3620/3660 against the US dollar from 3.4045/4075 last Thursday.

Against other major currencies, the local currency appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 2.3980/4031 from 2.4132/4174 last week and also against the Japanese yen to 3.7653/7719 from 3.8048/8102 previously.

The ringgit strengthened against the pound sterling to 5.0538/0618 from 5.2126/2182 last week and also against the euro to 4.5706/5704 from 4.5916/5981 previously. -- Bernama

CPO futures expected to be firmer

Crude palm oil (CPO) futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives are expected to be firmer on expectation of upbeat forecasts at an industry conference next week, dealers said.

Bursa Malaysia will host the annual Palm and Lauric Oils Conference and Exhibition: Price Outlook 2010/2011 on March 9 and 10 in Kuala Lumpur.

"All prominent market experts will assemble next week to share views on the development and challenges of the palm oil industry, including the price outlook for this year," said one of the dealers.

Industry regulator, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, is also due to release the figures on palm oil exports, output and stocks for February on Wednesday.

At the same time, cargo surveyors Intertek Testing Services and Societe Generale de Surveillance are scheduled to release their forecasts for palm oil exports for the first 10 days of February.

Concerns over lower output could also pull up the prices, said another dealer.

"Palm oil stocks are expected to decline as the low production cycle, which started in December, will continue until April and the market is going to be supportive," he said.

According to market talks, February's palm oil stocks could be between 1.85 million and 1.9 million tonnes, lower than January's stock figures of two million tonnes.

For next week, most traders are predicting an upward bias in rangebound trade, with the support level at RM2,600 per tonne and resistance at RM2,720 per tonne.

The local CPO market will also track closely the performance of soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, according to the dealers.

Palm oil and soybean are widely used for edible oil worldwide.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the CPO futures contract for March 2010 delivery climbed by RM81 to RM2,676 per tonne while April 2010 went up RM87 to RM2,677 per tonne.

CPO futures for May 2010 contract rose by RM75 to RM2,670 per tonne and June 2010 was RM85 higher at RM2,664 per tonne.

The week's turnover stood at 81,079 lots, up from last week's 56,619 lots, while open position declined to 81,079 contracts on Friday from 82,981 contracts at the end of last week.

On the physical market, March South was traded higher at RM2,680 per tonne on Friday compared with RM2,605 per tonne previously. -- Bernama

FBM KLCI may challenge 1,300-point level

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) is likely to challenge the 1,300-point level next week with investors looking for new catalysts to propel the market indices, dealers said.

The benchmark index had posted the first high of this year at 1,308.36 on Jan 21.

TA Securities' senior technical analyst Stephen Soo said the market currently lacked foreign participation.

Soo said the soon-to-be-unveiled new economic model may provide a strong catalyst for the local stock market.

"External factors such as development in the US economy will continue to have an impact on regional markets as well as the local market. Share prices will likely be rangebound next week," he said.

During the week, the market started of on high note, bolstered by announcement of the country's better-than-expected fourth-quarter economic growth of 4.5 per cent last year.

The local market also took its cue from gains on Wall Street and regional bourses as the improved economic outlook in the US economy boosted sentiment.

However, the market drifted lower on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia''s monetary policy committee meeting on Thursday evening.

The market ended sharply higher on Friday with the FBM KLCI surging 15.69 points to 1,299.78, its highest level since Jan 25, 2010.

Gains in banking stocks, led by Maybank, propelled the market indices.

On a weekly basis, the FBM KLCI advanced 29 points to 1,299.78 from 1,270.78 last Friday while the finance index added 405.71 points to 11,537.66 from 11,131.95.

The Plantation Index increased 78.42 points to 6,396.06 from 6,317.64 last Friday and the Industrial Index went up 26.76 points to 2,604.03 from 2,577.27.

The FBM Emas Index was 177.08 points higher at 8,737.28 from 8,560.2 last Friday and the FBM Top 100 rose 178.66 points to 8,506.23 from 8,327.57 but the FBM Ace Index declined 46.05 points to 4,299.04 from 4,345.09 previously.

The week's turnover increased to 4.42 billion shares valued at RM7.636 billion from 2.78 billion shares valued at RM4.98 billion last week.

Volume on the Main Market rose to 3.907 billion shares worth RM7.537 billion from 2.44 billion shares worth RM4.92 billion previously.

Call warrants went up to 149.077 million units valued at RM28.192 million from 130.59 million units valued at RM18.83 million last week.

The ACE Market volume was higher at 263.504 million shares worth RM50.447 million compared to 175.7 million shares worth RM39.16 million previously. -- Bernama