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.

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