Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Consumer confidence rose to 53.5 in August from a revised 51.0 in July

  • The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, show the U.S. national home price index rose 4.4 % in Q2 , after having fallen 2.8% in Q1. Nationally, home prices are up 3.6% YoY.

  • The Chicago purchasing managers' index fell to 56.7% from 62.3% in July

  • Jobless rate in the Eurozone remained at 10% in July.

  • Annual inflation in the Eurozone dropped slightly to 1.6% in August

  • YoY average monthly wages at Japanese companies with at least five employees rose 1.3% in July

  • YoY Japan's retail sales rose 3.9 % in July

  • India saw 8.8% YoY GDP growth in the quarter ending June 30.

  • South Korea's industrial output expanded for the 13th consecutive month in July by 15.5%

  • ABN Amro analysts said Brazil, the world's top arabica producer, could "see much less rainfall" next year than is needed for the good development of the 2011-12 crop if this La Nina weather phenomenon proves a significant one

  • Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, said its output of the red metal rose 6.3% YoY

Monday, August 30, 2010

No update today

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Consumer spending rose 0.4% in July

  • U.S. Personal income rose 0.2%.

  • The Semiconductor Industry Association said worldwide semiconductor sales totaled $25.2 billion in July, up 1.2% MoM and up 37% YoY

  • The Bank of Japan, under strong political pressure to stem the yen's surge, extended an emergency-loan to domestic financial institutions of Y10 trillion of six-month loans, but markets were unimpressed by the monetary easing.

  • U.S. June crude oil use up 2.5%. The highest level in any month since October 2008.

  • Chinese data Friday showed the country's early-season rice output, which accounts for about a fifth of total rice production, slipped by 6.1% compared with last year to 31.32 million metric tons.

  • "We have now had almost constant rain for the last four weeks, and people are getting seriously concerned that the wheat harvest has suffered quality damage," a German trader said.

  • Indonesia, which is the world's No. 2 robusta producer after Vietnam, may produce 500,000 tonnes of coffee beans this year, down from an estimated 550,000 tonnes in 2009, said Rachim Kartabrata, secretary general of the Indonesian Coffee Exporters Association.

  • Poland's Q2 GDP rose 3.5% from the same quarter last year.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. central bank “will do all that it can” to ensure a continuation of the economic recovery and that more securities purchases may be warranted if growth slows.
  • U.S. GDP growth was revised downward to an annual rate of 1.6% in Q2, compared to an initial estimate of 2.4%, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
  • Britain's economy expanded at a faster pace than initially thought, with growth of 1.2% in Q2
  • Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Friday the government would approve fresh stimulus measures.
  • USDA's attaché in Moscow pegs 2010-11 Russian wheat production at 41 million tons, 9% below USDA's latest estimate. Traders expect R
  • Russia will need to increase imports to make up for the shortfall.
  • Sudden death syndrome disease is spreading in Iowa and Illinois.
  • The USDA said rough rice combined stocks total 36.69 million hundredweight. That is "moderately greater" than USDA's 2009-10 ending stocks estimate of 33.9 million hundredweight in its Aug. 12 supply-and-demand report.
  • Czarnikow: Our latest analysis indicates that the increase in global production will now not be enough to build a surplus across markets in the coming year. This means that the 10/11 balance sheet is more likely to be in equilibrium than surplus and that stock levels will remain fragile.
  • Sugar prices gained on concern that dry weather will lower production in Brazil
  • A new study from researchers in Canada and Sweden has shown that biosynthetic corneas can help regenerate and repair damaged eye tissue and improve vision in humans.
  • (WGC) Over the longer-term, demand for gold in China is expected to grow considerably. A report recently published by The People’s Bank of China and five other organizations to foster the development of the domestic gold market will add impetus to the growth in gold ownership among Chinese consumers.
  • (Bloomberg) -- Gold demand in Vietnam, which consumes more of the precious metal per head than India and China, is set to surge as the third devaluation in the past year and a stock-market slump combine to spur sales.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Initial claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell 31,000 to 473,000 last week, below market expectations for a drop to 490,000. But the four-week average of new claims -- considered a better measure of underlying labor market trends -- rose 3,250 to 486,750, the highest since late November.
  • The International Grains Council Thursday slashed its forecast for world wheat production and warned of a widening deficit as Russia's livestock industry boosts consumption to record levels. Global wheat production in 2010-11 is expected to hit 644 million metric tons, the IGC said, down 7 million tons from its July estimate and 4.9% lower than last year. World wheat consumption is expected to rise by 2 million tons compared with its previous forecast to a record 657 million tons due to surging consumption in Russia, leaving the market with a deficit of 13 million tons.
  • The Spanish economy expanded by 0.2 % in Q2, although it contracted by 0.1 % YoY
  • Russia's inflation in the first half of 2010 was the third highest in Europe at 4.8%. This is behind Romania and Malta, where it was 5.4 and 5.5 percent, respectively.
  • YoY the Philippine economy grew 7.9% in Q2
  • India overtook Japan in demand for oil among Asian nations in the second quarter of 2010.
  • The International Grains Council said higher rice production will improve supply and rice ending stocks will rise by a significant 6 million metric tons to 97 million tons in 2010-11.
  • According to the international Cocoa organization the cocoa market faces a growing deficit as rising demand for the beans outpaces world production. World grindings are expected to increase by 143,000 to 3.632 million tons in the 2009-10 crop year. This is a 3,000 ton increase on its previous quarterly forecast.
  • Unica said in its second crop estimate for the season that the sugar crush volume is 4.3% below its previous estimate in April of 595.9 million tons.The estimate, however, is 5.2% above the 542 million tons crushed in the last crop season.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Truck tonnage continued its string of YoY gains, rising 7.4% in July from last year, the eighth straight increase, American Trucking Associations said.
  • (Reuters) - U.S. food prices are forecast to rise at their lowest rate since 1992, the Agriculture Department said.
  • The U.S. DOE said:
  • Inventories of crude rose 4.11 million barrels in the week to Aug. 20, dwarfing a forecast for a build of 200,000 barrels.
  • However, crude oil inventories at the key Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell 779,000 barrels to 36.3 million barrels, about the only bullish feature in the weekly report.
  • Inventories of Gasoline rose 2.27 million barrels, at odds with forecasts of a small drawdown.
  •  Inventories of Distillate stocks increased by 1.76 million barrels.
  • (CNBC) Changes to the US bankruptcy code, enacted in 2005, are coming back to haunt banks, according to Yra Harris, a veteran trader at Praxis Trading. Harris told CNBC that banks lobbied hard for changes to the bankruptcy code, but the legislation is now having the effect of encouraging consumers to do all they can to pay down their credit cards, while leaving their mortgage payments on the backburner.
  • U.S. Durable goods orders overall for July gained 0.3%, but stripping out transportation the number actually fell 3.8%. Forecasts called for a 2.8 percent increase.
  • (Bloomberg) -- Germany, the European Union’s second-biggest wheat grower after France, may report a 12 percent drop in grain harvests this year after crops were hit with both drought and flooding, a farmers group said.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The National Association of Realtors said U.S. sales of previously owned homes dropped a record 27.2 % from June to an annual rate of 3.83 million units, the lowest level since May 1995. June's sales pace was revised down to a 5.26 million-unit pace. Analysts expected existing home sales to fall 12%.
  • Germany's GDP expanded at 2.2% in Q2
  • South Africa's GDP rose 3.2% QoQ
  • Germany's deficit rose to 3.5% of economic output in the first half of 2010.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Quick Overview

  • A composite index of euro-area purchasing managers fell to 56.1 from 56.7 in July
  • Buckwheat disappeared from all food stores across Moscow city, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday. Prices for buckwheat jumped from 20 to 76 rubles (from 0.65 to 2.5 U.S. dollars) per kilogram during the last weekend. The report said buckwheat also disappeared from the supermarkets in Ukraine.
  • Russia has harvested 40.3 million tonnes of grain by Aug 19, or 38 % less than in 2010, Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexander Petrikov said
  • Fears are resurfacing about dry conditions for US autumn wheat sowings, following a lack of rain in south eastern parts.
  • YoY Thailand’s GDP during the first half (Jan-June), 2010, grew 10.6%
  • Floods in Pakistan have destroyed or extensively damaged crops over 4.25 million acres (1.72 million hectares) of land, Food Minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal said on Monday. The total areas under cultivation are about 23 million hectares.
  • Flood surges triggered by unprecedented monsoon rains have washed away 15% to 20% of the summer rice crop, which was in the process of being sown, the president of the Pakistan Agricultural Farms Association said
  • (Bloomberg) -- The amount of money flowing into bond funds is poised to exceed the cash that went into stock funds during the Internet bubble, stoking concern fixed-income markets are headed for a fall. Investors poured $480.2 billion into mutual funds that focus on debt in the two years ending June, compared with the $496.9 billion received by equity funds from 1999 to 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Washington-based Investment Company Institute
  • Vietnam has raised export floor prices for its top quality 5-percent broken grain (Rice)to $430 a tonne from $400 a tonne
  • Sugar production in South Africa, the biggest producer on the continent, may fall to the lowest in 15 years because of a drought this season, Trix Trikam, executive director of the South African Sugar Association, said.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Quick Overview

  • MoM U.S. home foreclosures rose nearly 4% in July to a total of 325,229, marking the 17th consecutive month with a foreclosure activity total exceeding 300,000, according to RealtyTrac.

  • Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour said it pegged the 2010-11 U.S. crops at 3.5 billion bushels, above USDA's August estimate of 3.4 billion.

  • Statistics Canada exceeded expectations by estimating the 2010-11 all-wheat crops at 22.7 million tons.

  • Rain is expected in Russia’s northern crop areas during the next 10 days.

  • Russia, hit by a record drought that has destroyed a quarter of its crops, has no plans to import grains this year, the agriculture ministry said Friday. On Thursday, the Vedomosti daily, citing a source close to the top of the agriculture ministry, said Russia could import at least five million tons of grain, mainly from Kazakhstan..

  • Brokers said 15 ships were chartered to export mainly grains cargoes from the U.S. Gulf in recent days, rising from a four-week average of seven vessels.

  • Singapore’s minister for Finance and Transport Lim Hwee Hua said on Friday this is the first time that Asia has led a global recovery, and the turnaround in the region is more entrenched, and has progressed further than that of the advanced economies.

  • Thailand's Prime Minister Friday said he is confident the export sector would help lift GDP growth in 2010 to at least 7% YoY.

  • (FT)The US Department of Agriculture on Thursday relaxed regulations on sugar import quotas, citing “increased tightness in the US raw sugar market”. The government agency predicts US sugar inventories will next year fall to the lowest in at least 40 years while the International Sugar Organisation expects this year to see the lowest global stocks of the sweetener in 20 years.

  • The U.S. federal budget deficit will surpass $1.3 trillion in 2010 and is expected to be the second largest shortfall in the past 65 years, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday.

  • (Business News Americas) South American crude steel production totaled 21.3Mt in the first half, an increase of 33.2% year-on-year, according to the latest figures from the World Steel Association. Production in June jumped 34.4% to 3.71Mt from 2.76Mt in the same month of 2009, the association said. Brazil, Latin America's largest crude steel producer, increased output 55% to 16.4Mt in H1, and 46.8% to 2.85Mt in June. North American production - which includes Mexico, Central America, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago - rose 60.1% to 56.6Mt in the first half, while it showed a 55.2% increase to 9.87Mt in June. Global output soared 27.9% to 706Mt in H1 and 18% to 119Mt in June. China, the world's largest producer, increased output 21.1% to 323Mt in the first half and 9% to 53.8Mt in June. The capacity utilization ratio of the 66 countries reporting to worldsteel declined to 80.6% in June from 82% in May, but registered an increase of 8.3 percentage points compared to June 2009.

  • Hangzhou Iron & Steel Co., a major Chinese steelmaker, said Saturday its net profit in the first half of the year surged 596.33 % YoY

  • Brokers said that capesize ship chartering activity had been driven by Chinese iron ore imports from Australia and Brazil after Karnataka, India's second-largest ore producing state, banned exports from 10 of its ports last month.

  • Daily consumption of oil in the U.S. declined 5% to 18.7 million barrels over a 10–year period ending in 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By contrast, China's daily oil consumption increased 73% to 8.2 million barrels over the same period.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Drought drives decade-long decline in plant growth: study
Zhao and Running's analysis showed that since 2000, high- latitude Northern Hemisphere ecosystems have continued to benefit from warmer temperatures and a longer growing season. But that effect was offset by warming-associated drought that limited growth in the Southern Hemisphere, resulting in a one-percent net global loss of land productivity. The team published its findings on Friday in the journal Science.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Updates resume Sunday

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Mortgage applications rose 13%. The increase was driven by a 17% surge in applications to refinance home loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.
  • Ukraine is set to limit wheat and barley exports to 3.5 million tonnes from now until the end of the year due to the impact of a severe drought, the agricultural policy ministry said yesterday. They put the decision off today, saying they needed more time to study how much wheat and barley has already been shipped overseas.
  • Russian meteorologists said on Wednesday Moscow's deadly heat wave was ending after two months of searing weather.
  • Russia's ban on grain exports is stirring both political and economic anxiety in Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer where half of the 80 million residents rely on subsidized bread to survive.
  • BHP Billiton launched a hostile $39 billion bid for Potash Corp to become the world's top fertiliser maker

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (Arlan Suderman)  Iowa State plant pathologist says "over 50%" of Iowa soybean fields affected by Sudden Death Syndrome this year.
  • Britain's CPI increased by 3.1% in July
  • Peru's GDP growth reached 11.92% in June, the highest in 21 months.
  • YoY Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6% in Q2
  • U.S. housing starts rose 1.7% for July as building permits drop 3.1%.
  • Fed hasn't lost confidence in recovery - says the Minneapolis Fed president.
  • U.S. household debt dropped in Q2, the seventh quarterly decline in a row. As of the end of June, total consumer indebtedness fell 6.5 % from its peak level in Q3 of 2008, and down 1.5 % QoQ.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The New York Fed said it’s "Empire State" general business conditions index increased to 7.10 in August from 5.08 in July. The figure was below the 8.00 expected by economists
  • The National Association of Home Builders confidence index fell to 13 in August, down from 14 in July.
  • Japan's GDP slowed to an annualized pace of 0.4 % in the three months ended June 30
  • (WSJ) A federal judge's decision Friday to undo the government's five-year-old approval of genetically-modified sugar beets, from which roughly half of U.S. sugar is derived, won't disrupt supplies for at least a year, but could pose headaches for food companies after that.
  • (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s drought, which spurred the biggest wheat-price rally since 1973, may push world food costs higher as shortages create “panic” among importers, said Lester Brown, the president of the Earth Policy Institute. Sparse precipitation will become more common as global warming creates more volatile weather, Brown said today in a conference call with reporters. Russia’s export ban on wheat, imposed last week, is a harbinger of future governmental actions as food scarcity becomes the worldwide norm, Brown said. “Importers become nervous” when exporters restrict trade, said Brown, who for decades has argued that human food and energy demands are outstripping nature’s capacity to meet them.
  • London House prices fell 4.1% wiping out 2010 gains.
  • Russia's severe drought may cut its grain output by 40 percent this year.
  •  Russia’s Sugar Producers’ Union has cut its beet-crop forecast by 20 %.
  • Spot gold is trading at its highest level in more than six weeks -- breaking through resistance at $1,220
  • China's trade surplus rose to $28.7 billion in July from $20 billion in June, the highest level since January 2009
  • Shenzhen-EU 2010 first 6 month trade rose 34.9%
  • Brazil's year-to-date trade surplus totaled $10.6
    billion, compared with a surplus of $18.43 billion in the same period of 2009.
  • (FT)Prices of palm oil, which accounts for 60% of the world’s vegetable oil supply, have risen to their highest levels since May 2009 because of heavy rain and floods in Indonesia, which accounts for nearly a half of global production

Monday, August 09, 2010

I’m on strike this week -- next update Sunday.

Quick Overview

  • Germany’s exports rose 3.8% MoM.
  • Soil is too dry for Russian wheat growers to sow the winter crop. They have a window to do that between late August and early September.
  • SovEcon dropped their estimate of this year's Russian wheat crop to 43-44 MMT
  •  Russia's Agricultural Ministry has cut its 2010 grain
    harvest forecast to between 60 million and 65 million tons, the Interfax news agency reports Monday
  • Rubber futures may climb to a 25- month high as supply in Thailand, lags behind growing demand because of bad weather, according to Von Bundit Co., the country’s biggest producer.
  • Greek industrial production fell 4.5% in June
  • Danish exports excluding ships and aircrafts fell 5.3% MoM

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Commodity spike queers the pitch for Bernanke's QE2
Do we have any assurance that central banks have learnt their lesson? Clearly not the ECB, judging from Mr Trichet's ill-judged article for the Financial Times two weeks ago: "Now it is Time for all to Tighten". Much of what he wrote is correct in as far as it goes. Public debt is out of control. Budget stimulus may start to backfire. We are at risk of a "non-linear" rupture should confidence suddenly snap in sovereign states.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. jobless rate held steady at 9.5%. Non-farm payrolls fell 131,000, while private employment rose 71,000 after increasing 31,000 in June.
  • Greek CPI rose 5.5% YoY in July
  • MoM Japan's coincident composite index rose 0.1 point
  • MoM the French budget deficit narrowed to EUR 61.7 billion in June from EUR 67.9.
  • U.K. manufacturing output rose 1.6% QoQ
  • Italia’s GDP grew 0.4% QoQ
  • Canada's unemployment rate rose to 8% in July from 7.9% in June.
  • Brazil's GDP will grow 7.1 % YoY, said the IMF
  • Gulf ports are expecting 61 ocean-going vessels to be loaded with grain during the next 10 days. Up 25% YoY
  • (Dow Jones)--Egypt will be able to take delivery of at least 470,000 metric tons of Russian-origin wheat marked for September delivery despite a ban on exports following comments Friday by Russia's first deputy prime minister.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Wheat prices go limit up in Chicago after  Vladimir Putin announces a ban on grain exports from drought-stricken Russia. Ukraine cancels contracts.(Where are all the "burdensome stocks" now?)  
  • 589 separate blazes were burning throughout Russia
  • (Bloomberg) A 45,000-metric-ton wheat shipment to the Philippines from Russia or Ukraine was canceled, according to two grain traders who track inbound cargoes.
  • Americans applying for initial unemployment benefits climbed by 19,000 to 479,000 in the latest week.
  • Germany’s Industrial orders rose 3.2% in June
  • Mohamed El-Erian, the head the world's largest bond fund, has said the United States faces a one in four chance of suffering deflation and a double-dip recession.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 54.3 from 53.8 in June. The report's employment component rose to 50.9 from 49.7.
  • Russia's services purchasing managers index eased to 54.2 in Russia's hottest July on record, down from a reading of 55.4 the previous month.
  • Australia’s trade balance showed an increase of 1.714 million to a surplus of A$3.54 billion in June.
  • Australia’s house prices rose 3.1% in Q2
  • Shanghai’s trade with Taiwan increased 66.6 % YoY
  • Singapore's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) hit 52.2 points in July, up 0.9% MoM
  • YoY Malaysia's exports rose 17.2 %
  • Brazil's industrial production fell 1 % MoM, the third consecutive decrease in the year.
  • Indonesia’s export rose almost 45 % in the first half this year,
  • China's economy would grow by 9.2% in Q3 from the same period last year, the State Information Center said in its economic review quarterly.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Quick Overview

  • EU producer price index rose 0.3% in June.
  • U.S. factory orders fell 1.2% in June
  • The U.S. savings rate rose to 6.4% in June -- the highest level in a year.
  • U.S. pending home sales sank 2.6% to 75.7 in June, partly reflecting the end of a federal tax credit for first-time buyers of up to $8,000.
  • Moscow says grain stocks will balance drought-ravaged crop – easing wheat prices back.
  • (Bloomberg) -- Russia should ban grain exports this season temporarily to allow suppliers to renege on contracts as the worst drought in at least 50 years threatens to leave local demand unmet, Glencore International AG’s Russian unit said.

  • Many popular dietary supplements contain ingredients that may cause cancer, heart problems, liver or kidney damage, but U.S. stores sell them anyway and Americans spend millions on them, according to Consumer Reports.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Quick Overview

  • MSCI Asia ex-Japan index up 1%
  • China's PMI index fell to a 17-month low of 51.2 from 52.1 in June.
  • Farm production in Pakistan, Asia’s third-largest grower of wheat and the fourth-biggest producer of cotton, may decline 10 percent to 15 percent because of damage caused by the worst flooding in memory, according to an industry official.
  • Wheat prices continued to rally over possible wheat export controls in the Black Sea states, which continue to suffer from their worst drought in over a century. Russia produces about 8% of world wheat output.
  • The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index fell to 55.5% in July from 56.2% in June. The decline was not as sharp as expected.
  • (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is improving but has yet to recover fully, with high unemployment and a weak housing market weighing on consumers, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Hot political summer as China throttles rare metal supply and claims South China Sea
The US Magnetic Materials Association said America has drifted into a "silent crisis" and needs to crank up its own supply chain within three to five years."Immediate action must be taken to free the US from complete foreign dominance."

Quick Overview

  • China's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to expand more than 9 percent in 2010, Yi Gang, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said Friday.
  • Chinas purchasing managers’ index fell to 51.2 from 52.1 in June
  • The Canadian Wheat Board expects this year's crop to fall 17% YoY
  • The wheat harvest in western Canada was pegged at 18.45m tonnes, a reduction of 450,000 tonnes on its estimate last month.
  • Durum, the type of wheat used in pasta, production estimate was cut by 300,000 tonnes to 2.9m tonnes -- half last year's production.
  • Barley harvest was cut by 100,000 tonnes to 7.5m tonnes.
  • A survey shows that global chief executives have ranked the increasing complexity of the global economy as the top challenge facing businesses this decade.
  • While the Unites States is only in fourth place as a solar energy market, behind Germany, Italy and Japan, its solar energy technology is farther advanced than any other country in the world, Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association, said.
  • German grain production will fall as much as 11% to 44 million metric tons from last year, Alfred C. Toepfer International GmbH said.
  • (Arlan Suderman) FSU drought persists, cncrns expand to corn.