Monday, August 31, 2009

Shipping Rates Seen Falling 50% on China, Fleet Size (Update1)
(Bloomberg) -- Just as global trade starts to recover, the shipping market is crashing for the second time in a year as China reduces raw-material imports and record numbers of new vessels set sail.

Quick Overview

  • Chicago Purchasing Managers' index rose from 43.4 to 50.0 in August

  • (WSJ) Fed and Treasury officials are scrambling to prevent the commercial-real-estate sector from delivering a roundhouse punch to the U.S. economy as it struggles to recover.

  • Japan's industrial production rose 1.9% in July

  • Canada’s GDP rose 0.1% in June

  • Consumer prices in the Euro area fell 0.2% in August

  • China will see its deficit of sugar reach 700,000 metric tons this year, the Shanghai Securities News reported. Sugar consumption in the country will reach 14 million tons this year, while supplies will be 13.2 million to 13.3 million tons, the newspaper said.

  • Disney is buying Marvel Entertainment in a deal valued at $4 billion

  • (Skilling) It's official!Meteorological Summer 2009 (June-August) finishes the cloudiest in 115 yrs of records: Just 53% its possible sun; normal is 67

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brazil ready to infringe US drug patents
Brazil is preparing to infringe patents on US pharmaceutical products, in retaliation against subsidies for US cotton farmers, according to the Brazilian press.
The World Trade Organisation is expected to rule on Monday that Brazil can contravene the drug patents, say the reports.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. personal incomes were unchanged in July

  • The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell from 66.0 to 65.7 in August

  • Japan's unemployment rate rose from 5.4% to 5.7% in July.

  • Japan’s consumer prices fell 2.2% in July

  • Japan’s July household spending fell -2.0% (-0.5% expected)

  • U.K.'s GDP fell 0.7% in Q2 and 5.5% YoY

  • EU consumer confidence rose from 76 to 80.6 in August.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Sugar-cane output in Brazil is declining after rains this month in parts of the Center South, the world’s biggest producing region, were at their most severe in more than six decades, miller Maurilio Biagi Filho said.

Can the soufflé really rise again?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. GDP fell 0.25% in Q2 and 3.9% YoY -- better than expected.

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 10,000 last week to 570,000 -- better than expected.

  • (WSJ) The FDIC's insurance fund fell to just $10.4 billion at the end of June, the lowest since the savings and loan crisis, as the banking industry continues to struggle with souring loans.

  • U.K.'s business investment fell 10% in Q2 and down 18% YoY.

  • (Farm Futures Bryce Knorr)... the latest two-week American model run shows a dramatic shift, with a major cold front working through the Dakotas and Nebraska as far south as Central Illinois Sept. 10 and 11, which could set up the season's first real frost scare.

  • Shipping Co’s hiking rates:
    Unired Arab Shipping Company announced it is increasing rates from the Far East to Arabian Gulf and Indian subcontinent ports.
    Emirates shipping line has announced rate increases on cargo moving between Far East to the Middle East.
    Maersk hikes rates on full range of intra-America trades. Hapag-Lloyd hikes rates on wide range of secondary trades.
    Mitsui OSK Line is implementing a general rate increase on its Europe-South Africa trade.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. durable goods orders rose 4.9% in July -- best gain in two years.

  • Builders had 271,000 houses on the market last month, down 35 percent from July 2008 and the fewest since March 1993. It would take 7.5 months to sell all homes at the current sales pace, the shortest time since April 2007.

  • YoY Japan's exports fell 36.5% in July.

  • Japan’s August Small Business Confidence rose to 41.8 from 41.1 in July

  • Germany’s July Import Price Index fell -0.9% MoM

  • Business confidence in Germany rose from 87.5 to 90.5 in August

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 200,000 barrels to 343.8 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline fell 1.7 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 1.1 million barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 84.0% to 84.1% of capacity.
    Gasoline demand fell 0.3% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 7.9% YoY.

  • Macquarie estimates Brazilian 2009-10 sugar production at 30.3 million metrictons, down from its previous expectation of between 32 million tons and 33million tons. India's 2009-10 sugar production estimate was revised down to 16million tons from the previous estimate of 17.5 million tons.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The troubling side of Ben Bernanke
Bill White, former chief economist at the Bank for International Settlements, said the error of the central banking fraternity over past 20 years has been to cut real interest rates ever lower to keep the game going. This has lured the world into a debt trap. The effect is to keep drawing prosperity from the future – until the future arrives.

Quick Overview

  • U.S. consumer confidence rose from 47.4 to 54.1 in August, better than expected.

  • U.S. June S&P/CaseShiller Composite-20 Home Price Index rose 1.4% MoM

  • (Bloomberg) -- India may have to ban corn exports for a second season to boost local supplies as the crop wilts under the driest monsoon in seven years, a lobby group for U.S. producers said.

  • The worldwide cocoa deficit will widen to 73,000 metric tons in the year ending Sept. 30, compared with 62,000 tons a year earlier, the International Cocoa Organization said.

Monday, August 24, 2009

World faces hi-tech crunch as China eyes ban on rare metal exports
“This isn’t about the China holding the world to ransom. They are saying we need these resources to develop our own economy and achieve energy efficiency, so go find your own supplies”, he said.

NASA Satellites Unlock Secret to Northern India's Vanishing Water
Using NASA satellite data, scientists have found that groundwater levels in northern India have been declining by as much as one foot per year over the past decade. Researchers concluded the loss is almost entirely due to human activity.

Quick Overview

  • Industrial new orders in the EU fell 0.4% MoM and down 24% YoY

  • Canada’s retail sales rose 1.0% MoM.

  • The USDA said there were 9.644 million head of cattle on feed as of August 1st, down 2.3% YoY

  • China's sugar imports in July rose to 132,982 metric tons from 21,910 tons last July.

  • China's wheat imports in July up sharply at 85,078 tons versus 373 tons a year ago.

  • China imported 160 mln bu of soybeans in July; up 25% YoY.

  • The drought situation in China's northeast appears to be worsening.

  • (TET) The rice yield growth in India at current rate is estimated at 1.18% and needs to be accelerated at 1.75% consistently for a decade, otherwise at 1.18% growth rate, India’s rice production would reach at levels of 108 million tons by 2020 against its projected requirement of 118 million tones.

  • Last month, which should have been the height of Mexico’s rainy season, was the second-driest July in at least 68 years, according to the National Water Commission, or Conagua.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

China powers ahead as it seizes the green energy crown from Europe
The Chinese trio of Suntech, Trina and Yingling all expect to be below 70 cents per watt by 2012, bringing the magical goal of "grid parity" with fossil fuels into grasp.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. existing home sales rose 7.2% MoM -- the most since August of 2007

  • (WSJ) One in eight U.S. households with mortgages was in foreclosure or late on its mortgage payments in the second quarter.

  • Bernanke said that while prospects for a near-term return to growth "appear good," he isn't expecting a rapid economic recovery.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. jobless rose 15,000 to 576,000

  • The Philadelphia Fed regional index of manufacturing rose from -7.5 to +4.2 -- the best reading since November of 2007.

  • U.S. leading indicators rose 0.6% in July

  • Canada’s wholesale sales rose 0.6% in June

  • YoY U.K. Retail sales rose 3.3% in July

  • Switzerland's July Trade Balance out at 2.35B versus 1.50B in June.

  • Japan's July Convenience Store Sales fell -7.5% YoY versus -2.3% in June

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. mortgage applications rose 5.6% last week.

  • Canada’s consumer prices fell 0.9% YoY

  • Canada’s leading indicators rose 0.4%.

  • Construction output in the EU fell 3.3% MoM and down 14.1% YoY.

  • Germany’s July Producer Prices fell -1.5% MoM (-0.2% expected) YoY PP are
    7.8% lower in July, the steepest such fall since records began in 1949

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil fell 8.4 million barrels to 343.6 million barrels
    Supplies of gasoline fell 2.1 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 400,000 barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 83.5% to 84.0%
    Gasoline demand fell 0.1% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 9.1% YoY.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan, Asia’s third-largest user of sugar, needs to import as much as 1 million metric tons by December to meet a shortfall in domestic supplies, a trade body head said.

  • (FT) Demand for gold sank to a 5½-year low in the second quarter of 2009 after jewellery consumption dropped by more than one fifth and investment interest slowed as the threat of meltdown in the global financial system receded.

  • With development lagging, it's hard to believe that U.S. corn won't suffer losses from a frost, Freese-Notis Weather said.

  • (Bloomberg) -- UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, will release information on 4,450 accounts to settle a U.S. lawsuit that sought names of American clients suspected of evading taxes.

  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it had withdrawn a no-action letter that allowed a Deutsche Bank index fund to avoid speculative position limits in grain futures.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Commercial real estate values in the U.S. fell 27 percent in the year through June

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

There's no quick fix to the global economy's excess capacity
As a matter of strict fact, two- thirds of the global economy is already in “deflation-lite”. US prices fell 2.1pc in July year-on-year, the steepest drop since 1950. Import prices are down 7.3pc, even after stripping out energy. At almost every stage over the last year, in almost every country (except Britain), deflationary forces have proved stronger than expected.

Elsewhere, the CPI figures are: Ireland (-5.9), Thailand (-4.4), Taiwan (-2.3), Japan (-1.8), China (-1.8), Belgium (-1.7), Spain (-1.4), Malaysia (-1.4), Switzerland (-1.2), France (-0.7), Germany (-0.6), Canada (-0.3).

Quick Overview

  • U.S. housing starts fell -1.0% MoM and -46% YoY. But single-family building permits rose 5.8%.

  • U.K. consumer prices rose 1.8% in July.

  • Japan's July Nationwide Dept. Store Sales fell -11.7% vs. -8.8% prior

  • (ToI) With the glaciers on the Qinghai- Tibet Plateau receding at an alarming rate, North India could face the prospect of drought and water levels in major rivers like the Indus originating from Tibet could be hit in the long-run, a leading Chinese meteorologist has warned.

  • Standard Chartered said a severe drought in Chinas northern grain-producing regions of Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Jilin, Shanxi and Liaoning is potentially Bullish. These five areas account for about 30% of China's autumn grain output, mainly in corn, but also wheat and soy. The autumn crop is around 70% of China's total grain production

  • India's summer-sown rice output may fall by 10 millionmetric tons due to deficient monsoon rains, the federal farm minister saidWednesday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pension Funds Pare Stocks, Ignoring Economic Rebound (Update2)
Equities appreciated an average 12.91 percent a year from 1900 to 1999, while bonds returned 4.69 percent annually, according to the data from the London Business School and Credit Suisse. Since the start of the new century, bonds gained 6.36 percent, compared with a loss of 2.27 percent for shares.

Quick Overview

  • U.S. August Empire Manufacturing rose to 12.08 from -0.55 in July (3.00 expected)

  • Euro Zone’s June Trade Balance out at 1.0B (1.3B expected) and 1.1B in May

  • U.K. August House Prices fell -2.2% MoM.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Updates resume late Sunday the 16th

Quick Overview

  • U.S. retail sales fell 0.1% in July.

  • U.S. home foreclosures rose 7% MoM and 32% YoY

  • U.S. jobless claims rose 4,000 to 558,000.

  • France and Germany’s GDP grew by 0.3% in Q2.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

RBS uber-bear issues fresh alert on global stock markets
When the finest minds in the business disagree so starkly, the rest of us can only shake our heads in confusion.

Quick Overview

  • The Fed kept funds rate unchanged at 0.125%

  • U.S. Exports rose $2.4 billion in June while imports rose $3.5 billion. Resulting in a trade deficit of $27.0 billion.

  • U.K.'s unemployment out at 7.8% up from 7.1%

  • Industrial production in the EU fell 0.2% MoM and 15.6% YoY.

  • The Bloomberg Professional Global Confidence Index jumped to 58.12 this month from 39.13 in July.

  • Cocoa exports from Nigeria, the world’s fourth-biggest producer of the commodity, fell 22% in June, the Lagos-based Federal Produce Inspection Service said.

  • Arrivals of cocoa beans from the Ivory Coast for the first 45 weeks of the 2008-09 season, are down by 14% YoY

  • MoM U.S. cocoa bean imports rose 56.3% in June, and 330.8% YoY, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

  • The USDA's 2009-2010 U.S. ending stocks estimate for:
  • Corn was raised from 1.550 to 1.621 billion bushels.
  • Soybeans lowered from 250 to 210 million bushels.
  • Wheat was raised from 706 to 743 million bushels.
  • Sugar was reaised from 359,000 to 709,000 tons.
  • Cotton unchanged at 5.60 million bales.

  • The USDA's 2009-2010 world ending stocks estimate for:
  • Corn was raised from 139 to 141 million tons.
  • Soybeans lowered from 52 to 50 million tons.
  • Wheat was raised from 181 to 184 million tons.
  • Cotton was lowered from 58 to 57 million bales.

  • China buys another 4.2 mln bu of new-crop beans this AM

  • The median price of an existing U.S. single-family home fell to $174,100, the National Association of Realtors said today. Total sales rose 3.8% QoQ and fell 2.9% YoY.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quick Overview

  • YoY U.S. non-farm productivity rose 1.8% in Q2, more than expected.

  • U.S. business sales rose 0.4% in June

  • U.S. inventories fell 1.7%.

  • YoY Russia’s GDP fell 10.9% in Q2.

  • UK July Retail Sales rose 3.6% YoY

  • UK same store sales rose 1.8%

  • Australia’s July Business Confidence rose to 10 from 4 in June

  • China July Producer Price Index fell 8.2% YoY

  • China's July Consumer Price Index fell 1.8% YoY

  • China's July Exports fell 23.0% YoY

  • China's July Imports fell -14.9% YoY

  • Japan's July Consumer Confidence rose to 39.7 from 38.1 in June.

  • Germany’s July Wholesale Price Index fell -10.6% YoY

  • China's domestic soybean output growth can't match the rate of rising demand, so imports will continue to rise, a government official said Tuesday. China's soybean imports this year will likely total around 40 million metric tons, compared with 37.44 million tons last year, according to General Administration of Customs data. In the January-July period, China imported 26.48 million tons of soybeans, up 28% YoY

  • More than 62% of ships on order today are bigger than 4,000 TEU, and only 11% are under that size at a time when smaller ships will be the first to benefit from recovery, according to Paris-based Alphaliner.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quick Overview

  • Japan's machinery orders rose 9.7% in June

  • Norway’s July CPI fell -0.6% MoM

  • GM and eBay will launch a pilot program Tuesday that will allow consumers to place online bids for new vehicles from GM dealers in California

  • (Bloomberg) -- White sugar rose to a record in London as India, the world’s biggest consumer and second-largest producer, cut its forecast for monsoon rain, potentially worsening a global supply shortfall.

  • Sugar supplies may not be enough to meet demand, and stocks at the end of the current crop year are seen at around 20 million tonnes, well below other analysts' estimates of 30-70 million tonnes, Czarnikow said.

  • Egypt lifts import duty on raw and refined sugar from Aug. 15 until end of year to reduce consumer prices.

  • Indonesia has set a ceiling price for white sugar sold by local cane millers at 6,500 rupiah (66 U.S. cents) a kg to prevent soaring local prices, the trade minister said on Friday.

  • (SSY News) Latest information from China’s iron ore ports indicate that a total of 47 Capesize vessels are waiting to berth compared with a peak of 88 in mid-June.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Jim Rogers Says U.S. Commodity Curbs to Drive Markets Overseas
“It is remarkable because America is shooting itself in the foot again,” he said in an interview in Singapore today. “It’s going to drive the business away and the rest of the world is going to welcome it with open arms.”

Quick Overview

  • (WSJ)Patchy rains for the second straight week dashed hopes of a late monsoon revival in India, and will seriously impact the output of summer-sown rice, sugar cane and pulses, industry officials said. The weather office reported that monsoon rains for the past week were 64 % below average.

  • (Bloomberg) -- A coalition of food companies including General Mills Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and ConAgra Foods Inc. asked the U.S. government to increase sugar-import quotas after inventories fell to a 34-year low and prices surged.

  • (WSJ)Frank DiPascali, who helped run Madoff's investment-advisory operation, is expected to plead guilty to fraud charges on Tuesday and could become a central witness against other individuals in the case.

  • In a recently released Harris Poll survey, 21% of American adults believe the sun revolves around the earth.

Friday, August 07, 2009

U.S. Household Deleveraging and Future Consumption Growth
Since the start of the U.S. recession in December 2007, household leverage has declined. It currently stands at about 130% of disposable income. How much further will the deleveraging process go?

Quick Overview

  • The European Central Bank and 18 other banks agreed to limit their sales of gold to no more than 400 tons per year until 2014.

  • Canada’s July Unemployment Rate steady at 8.6% (8.8% expected)

  • Australia’s Julys Construction Index out at 39.5 (42.6 expected)

  • Switzerland’s July Unemployment Rate out at 3.9% up from 3.8% in June

  • Germany’s June Trade Balance out at 12.2B (10.6B expected) and 9.5B in May

  • UK July PPI Input/output out at -1.4%/+0.3% MoM (0.8%/0.0% expected)

  • Germany’s June Industrial Production out at -0.1% MoM ( +0.5% expected)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Spike Coming in Commodities Prices: Goldman Sachs
As the developed world increasingly begins to consume like Westerners the demands placed on the finite resources of the planet increases. This trend of human populations growing faster than the earth's ability to produce not only impacts food production but that of commodity usage."

Quick Overview

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 38,000 last week to 550,000 -- less than expected.

  • New Zealand Q2 Unemployment Rate rose to 6.0% vs. 5.7% expected and 5.0% in Q1

  • Australia's unemployment rate unchanged at 5.8% in July

  • Germany June Factory Orders rose 4.5% MoM (0.6% expected) but fell 25.3% YoY

  • Bank of England kept rates unchanged at 0.50% as expected, and said they would increase the level of quantitative easing (printing) from 125 to 175 billion pounds.

  • ECB kept rates unchanged at 1.00% as expected

  • Canada’s June Building Permits rose 1.0% (3.0% expected)

  • Conab estimates Brazil's 2008-09 soy crop at 57.1 million metric tons, 4.8% below the
    2007-08 harvest of 60 million tons -- unchanged from last month's forecast.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. Institute of Supply Management's index of services dropped from 47.0 to 46.4 in July

  • U.S. factory orders rose 0.4% in June.

  • The U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage applications rose 7.2% last week

  • Germany’s July PMI Services out at 48.1 (48.4 estimate)

  • EuroZone’s July PMI Services out at 45.7 (45.6 estimate)

  • Retail sales in the EU rose 0.1% MoM, but fell 1.7% YoY.

  • U.K.'s manufacturing output rose 0.4% MoM

  • The U.S. DOE said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 1.7 million barrels to 349.5 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline fell 200,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 300,000 barrels.
    Refinery fell from 84.6% to 84.5%.
    Gasoline demand rose 0.5% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 7.9% YoY.

  • (Bloomberg) Sugar imports by India, the world’s largest consumer, may more than triple in the year starting October as dry weather in key growing areas threatens to lower output, the nation’s fourth-biggest producer said. Purchases may surge to 8 million metric tons, up from an estimated 2.5 million tons this year.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. consumer spending rose 0.4% in June

  • U.K. construction activity rose from 44.5 to 47.0 in June

  • EU industrial producer prices rose 0.2% MoM but fell down 6.7% YoY.

  • German retail sales fell 1.8% in June

Monday, August 03, 2009

Quick Overview

  • Of the two-thirds of S&P 500 companies that have reported Q2 earnings 74% of them have exceeded expectations.

  • U.S. manufacturing index rose from 44.8 to 48.9 in July

  • U.S. construction spending rose 0.3% MoM but fell 11.4% YoY

  • Manufacturing in China rose 51.8 to 52.8 in July,

  • U.K. manufacturing rose from 47.4 to 50.8 in July,

  • E.U. manufacturing rose from 42.6 to 46.3 in July

  • Germany’s June Retail Sales fell -1.8% MoM (0.5% expected)

  • (FT) White sugar prices hit their highest level in at least a quarter of century, moving above the $500 a tonne on Monday, boosted by the expectation that India will need to import sugar for the second year in a row.

  • Ford said July U.S. vehicle sales rose 2.3% YoY

Alcoa Razes Rain Forest in Court Case Led by Brazil Prosecutors
The fires men set to clear land for ranches and farms create 6 percent of the carbon dioxide spewed into the air worldwide, according to the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists. That equates to half of all the emissions from cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships in the world.

‘Amazon is the Key’

Brazil has become the planet’s fourth-biggest polluter.