Monday, January 25, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The Dallas Fed regional index of manufacturing rose from 3.2 to 8.3

  • (Bloomberg) -- Copper may rise to a record $10,000 a metric ton this year, driven by industrial demand in China and rising commodity investments to hedge inflation, said Shen Haihua, an investment manager at HFZ Capital Management Ltd.

  • Canada’s lumber production fell 14% YoY.

  • (FT) China has experienced the strongest growth in scientific research over the past three decades of any country.

  • Sugar rose above 30 cents a pound in intraday trading on news that Indonesia is expecting a 530,976-metric-ton production shortfall at the end of April.
  • Indonesia's state plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara IX has bought 46,000 metric tons of white sugar at $822/ton -- to arrive no later than April 7.

  • More than half a million hectares of Philippine rice lands are threatened by an El Nino-induced dry spell, the Philippine Department of Agriculture said Tuesday. Drier-than-usual conditions have already been noted in some areas, and based on assessment by the department

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. said improving economic conditions and reduced costs are giving it flexibility to consider using cash for acquisitions and eventually for stock buybacks and dividend increases.

  • Now that the U.S. wheat industry appears united in supporting genetically modified crops, it's preparing for the challenge of getting foreign-market acceptance, said U.S. Wheat Associates Director of Policy Rebecca Bratter.

  • US sugar says 50% of its remaining FL cane is badly freeze damaged.

After the Massachusetts Massacre
Can anyone picture Obama exerting such take-no-prisoners leadership to challenge those who threaten our own economic recovery and stability at a time of deep recession and war? That we can’t is a powerful indicator of why what happened in Massachusetts will not stay in Massachusetts if this White House fails to reboot.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.K. retail sales rose 3.6%

  • EU industrial new orders rose 1.8% in November, but fell 2.0% YoY.

  • The USDA said 2.13 billion pounds of beef was produced in December, up 2.5% YoY

  • The USDA said 1.99 billion pounds of Pork was produced, down 3.3% YoY.

  • North America's cocoa grind totaled 111,986 tons in Q4 -- down 1.5% YoY

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Olbermann: Freedom of speech has been destroyed!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Supreme Court Rules 5-4 Against Campaign Limitations in The Hillary The Movie Case
In a decision that could have a dramatic effect on the upcoming elections, the Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 in favor of a group of conservative filmmakers..

Quick Overview

  • Obama has a new proposal that would force institutions to choose between commercial banking and proprietary trading, while seeking to limit the size of megabanks.

  • The stock market fell amid ongoing fears about tighter monetary policy in China and uncertainty over Obama's plans to rein in risky bank activities.

  • US jobless claims rose 36,000 to 482,000 -- more than expected.

  • U.S. leading indicators rose1.1% in December

  • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's index of regional manufacturing fell from 22.5 to 15.2

  • The UK posted a budget deficit of 15.7 billion pounds in December

  • Canada’s wholesale sales rose 2.5% in November

  • The World Bank increased its estimate of 2010 global growth to 2.7% from 2.0%.

  • The lineup of vessels expected to load sugar at Brazilian ports in the days ahead rose by one to 31 ships in the week ended Wednesday, Jan. 20.
  • The sugar crisis deepened on Thursday after Indonesia, one of the world’s leading importers, failed to buy a single pound of the sweetener in its latest tender.

  • The International Grains Council said world wheat production is expected to fall 1.7% to 674 million tons in the 2009-10

  • Colombian coffee production in calendar year 2009 ended down 32% at 7.8 million 60-kilogram bags

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil fell 400,000 barrels to 330.6 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline rose 3.9 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 1.1 million barrels.
    Refinery use fell from 81.3% to 78.4% last week.
    Gasoline demand fell 0.2% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 6.8% YoY.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quick Overview

  • China is telling large banks to cut back on lending -- the uncertainty over Beijing's monetary policy is depressing stocks and commodities.

  • China's GDP grew 10.7% in Q4

  • Canada’s manufacturing sales rose 0.1% in November

  • Canada’s consumer prices rose 1.3% YoY

  • B of A lost $5.2 billion in Q4.

  • Indonesia has only just enough sugar stocks to last until mid-February, the trade minister said

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Canada’s index of leading indicators rose 1.5% in December.

  • YoY U.K. consumer prices rose 2.9% in December

  • EU construction output fell 0.6% in November and down 6.7% YoY

  • Japan's consumer confidence fell from 39.5 to 37.6 in December.

  • Citigroup posted a loss of $7.6 billion in Q4.

  • Cadbury accepted a sweetened 11.5 billion pound ($19.5 billion) takeover from Kraft Foods Inc.

  • India may have to buy at least 7 million tons this season, with white sugar making up about a third of the total, Macquarie Group Ltd. said in a report this month.

  • The WWF says on its website that the tiger is one of the top 10 species to watch in 2010, pointing out that there may be just 3,200 of the animals left globally in the wild.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (FT)China’s soaring appetites for commodities have created some of the worst traffic jams seen at ports handling bulk cargo. Ships were queuing for an average of 27½ days to collect coal in Queensland, Australia.

  • The Drewry Global Freight Rate Index (container shipping rates) rose 3 % YoY to November 2009.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. consumer price index rose 0.1% MoM and 2.7% YoY

  • U.S. industrial production rose 0.6%

  • The NY Federal Reserve's index of manufacturing rose from 4.50 to 15.92 in January

  • YoY Consumer prices in the EU rose 1.4% in December

  • The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose from 72.5 to 72.8

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Jobless claims rose 11,000 last week to 444,000 -- more than expected.

  • U.S. retail sales fell 0.3% in December.

  • US inventories rose 0.4% in November -- more than expected.

  • Australia's unemployment rate fell from 5.7% to 5.5% in December

  • EU industrial production rose 0.9% in November, but fell 6.4% YoY

  • Japan’s machinery orders fell 11.3% in November -- weaker than expected.

  • (Bloomberg) India surpassed China as the world’s biggest buyer of palm oil as rising incomes increased demand for fried and processed foods and drought reduced domestic cooking oil production, according to a processor group.

  • Intel's net income totaled 40 cents a share, in the three months ended December -- beating expectations for 30 cents.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The Fed’s Beige Book said ten Districts reported some increased activity and improvement in conditions.

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association said its index of mortgage applications rose 14%.

  • U.K. Manufacturing was unchanged in November and down 5.4% YoY

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 3.7 million barrels to 331.0 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline rose 3.8 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 1.1 million barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 79.9% to 81.3% of capacity last week
    Gasoline rose 0.4% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 4.0% YoY

  • India imported 343 tons of gold in 09, down from 420 tons in 08

  • Germany's fourth-quarter 2009 cocoa grind rose 9.4 YoY to 95,834 tonnes, the association of German Confectionary Producers said.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. exports rose 0.9% in November while imports rose 2.6%

  • Canada’s exports rose 1.1% while imports rose 3.9%

  • China raised bank reserve requirements by 0.5%.

  • India's economic growth in 2009/10 is expected to be 7.0 to 7.5%, the prime minister's economic advisor said.

  • The USDA's 2009-2010 U.S. ending stocks estimate of:
    Corn was raised from 1.675 to 1.764 billion bushels.Yields were the culprit, coming in at 165.2 bu/acre, from 162.9 bu/acre last month and 0.7 bu/acre above the highest trade estimate.
    Soybeans were reduced from 255 to 245 million bushels.
    Wheat was raised from 900 to 976 million bushels.
    Sugar was raised from 1.016 to 1.140 million tons.
    Cotton was lowered from 4.50 to 4.30 million bales.

  • The USDA's 2009-2010 world ending stocks estimate of:
    Corn was raised from 132 to 136 million tons.
    Soybeans were raised from 57 to 60 million tons.
    Wheat was raised from 191 to 196 million tons.
    Cotton was lowered to 51.7 million bales.

  • Orange crop was kept unchanged at 135 million boxes, but the juice yield was lowered from 1.63 to 1.60 gallons per box -- the government report was compiled before the freezing weather struck.

  • The USDA reduced its 2010 estimate of beef production 2% from 2009.

  • (Reuters) Dry bulk ship owners are insisting vessels go via the Cape of Good Hope on voyages from South Africa to Mediterranean ports to avoid pirates in the Gulf of Aden - adding 10 days to shipping times. Utilities in Italy, Greece and Israel which use coal shipped from Indonesia and South Africa are having to pay higher shipping costs for the longer voyages, utility sources said. Around 60 percent of South Africa's 60 million tonnes a year of coal exports goes to Europe.

  • A White House plan to slap a fee on U.S. banks to cover the cost of the $700 billion bailout was met with the expected skepticism by bank lobbyists.

  • Pakistan will scrap taxes on the import of 700,000 tonnes of white sugar through the private sector to meet shortages and keep prices in check, Ministry of Industries officials said on Wednesday.

  • The Philippines is planning to import up to 150,000 tons of refined sugar to cover increasing demand amid a shortfall in domestic production, a regulatory official said Wednesday.

America slides deeper into depression as Wall Street revels
Realtytrac says defaults and repossessions have been running at over 300,000 a month since February. One million American families lost their homes in the fourth quarter. Moody's expects another 2.4m homes to go this year. Taken together, this looks awfully like Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quick Overview

  • World 2009-10 coffee production is expected to fall to 123.7 million (60-kilogram) bags, the International Coffee Organization said Monday.

  • Brazil's orange juice exporters' association, Citrus Br, said it expected the next harvest to turn out between 300 million and 315 million 40.8-kg boxes in Sao Paulo state. This year's harvest will soon finish and has been estimated at 358.4 million boxes by the state's agriculture authorities.

  • AccuWeather said crop losses in Florida's citrus groves could reach 10%.

  • The Philippines may import up to 50,000 tonnes of raw sugar to rein in rising domestic prices but officials said on Monday there was enough supply to meet an increase in demand

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Chinas exports rose17.7 % YoY, the first increase in 14 months, increasing the likelihood that t Beijing will restart the appreciation of the renminbi.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Paul Krugman said he sees about a one-third chance the U.S. economy will slide into a recession during the second half of the year as fiscal and monetary stimulus fade.

  • Hank Greenberg blamed new standards for credit-default swaps -- pushed by Goldman or Deutsche Bank AG, he said -- and subprime, housing-backed derivatives sold and then shorted by Goldman as contributing to AIG’s collapse, the newspaper reported.

  • Soft drinks manufacturers are more and more returning to sugar given the poor health image of high fructose corn syrup.

  • Growers of sugarcane crop in southern Louisiana could continue to suffer losses the next couple of nights as a hard freeze develops. This is not welcome news after record rainfall in the fall and December deluged the fields and set the harvest behind schedule.

  • The Parrot, my advisor, anticipates the next S&P cycle low on Feb 1.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Quick Overview

  • US Non-farm payroll fell 85K in December –more than expected

  • U.S. Unemployment stays at 10%

  • U.S. wholesale sales rose 3.3% in November -- stronger than expected.

  • Canada’s unemployment rate unchanged at 8.5%

  • EU unemployment up from 9.8% to 10.0%, the highest since the currency began in 1999.

  • EU GDP rose 0.3% in Q3, but fell 4.3% YoY

  • The Independent is carrying the headline “Ice Land” as Europe, China and the US braced for more snow and below-freezing overnight temperatures, tightening supplies of coal and electricity

  • says temperatures in central Florida will be below freezing one more time tomorrow morning.
  • WXRISK.COM says: If the wind drops off overnight on the morning of the 11th is going to be a serious hard freeze across a large portion of central and southern Florida over interior sections. If the winds stay up a little bit overnight the hard freeze will be probably more like a frost.

  • The Port of New Orleans bucked the worst economic slowdown in 70 years because its business of providing warehouse space for the London Metal Exchange (LME) expanded rapidly over the last two years, Reuters reported.

  • Swiss court ruled that a Swiss financial regulatory order that forced UBS AG hand over account data on several hundred clients was "unlawful," opening up the possibility of clients seeking damages from Switzerland and reigniting the debate surrounding banking secrecy.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Shares of General Electric (NYSE: GE) have rallied sharply on apparently no news-- volume has spiked higher.

  • The EPA today proposed significantly tougher smog standards after reconsidering the Bush administration's controversial 2008 regulations.

  • Japan's new Finance Minister Naoto Kan favors a weaker yen.

  • China raised the yield on three-month bills from 1.33% to 1.37%, the first increase in five months.

  • MoM EU retail sales fell 0.8% and 2.1% YoY.

  • Brazil's expects its coffee crop to total 46.7 million bags in 2010. The USDA estimated Brazil's 2009 coffee crop at 43.5 million bags.

  • "We had isolated pockets across the citrus belt of damage--frozen fruit and twig and leaf damage--again, not catastrophic but we did suffer some damage," said Andrew Meadows, spokesman for Florida Citrus Mutual, the state's largest grower representative.
    Another strong cold front is expected to make its way to Florida by Friday, putting the citrus belt back in the danger zone through the weekend. Lows in the 20s and low 30s are expected to be seen Saturday night and Sunday morning.

  • Winterkill Threat Through End of Week in 1/4 of Plains Wheat Belt

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The Institute of Supply Managements' index of services rose from 48.7 to 50.1 in December.

  • As of Jan 1st Russia barred poultry imports from the U.S. -- they object to the use of chlorine in processing.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 1.3 million barrels last week to 327.3 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline rose up 3.7 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 1.3 million barrels
    Refinery use fell from 80.3% to 79.9% of capacity last week.
    Gasoline demand rose 0.3% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 1.0% YoY.

  • EU industrial new orders fell 1.6% MoM and down 14.1% YoY.

  • Services in the U.K. rose from 56.6 to 56.8 in December.

  • YoY Brazil’s ethanol exports in December fell to 124.3 million liters from 348.5 million liters.

  • Brazil’s soybean exports fell to 203,100 metric tons in December 2009 from 750,400 tons in December 2008

  • The Nikkei is making a new high for the move.

  • DB Commodity Index is making a new high for the move.

  • (FT) The US slapped additional duties of 43 to 289 per cent on imports of more than $300m worth of a steel product from China, the US Commerce Department said

  • (WJ) China took over the mantle of the world's top merchandise exporter from Germany in 2009.

  • Rain has freed some areas of Argentina from drought, but left others with "severe flooding", Oil World says, warning of a disease threat in Brazil -- the crop is jeopardized by the Asian rust fungus which has spread at an alarming rate..

  • Informa Economics raised its estimated 2009 corn production in China and Argentina. The firm pegged China's corn crop at 160 million metric tons, up 5 million tons from its December estimate. Argentina's 2009 production was pegged at 15.5 million metric tons, up 2.5 million tons from the previous month.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. factory orders rose 1.1% in November, better than expected.

  • The National Association of Realtors said pending home sales fell 16% in November, but up 15.5% YoY

  • Temperatures in central Florida dipped below 30 degrees this morning and forecasters expect one more cold morning on Saturday -- OJ closed limit up

  • YoY Consumer prices in the Euro area rose 0.9% in December

  • New home sales in Australia rose 0.3% in November.

  • Indonesia's plan to buy 500,000 metric tons of sugar for delivery between Jan. 1 and April 15 failed Tuesday because there were too few offers, traders said. There are also expectations for strong demand from Russia, a leading importer of raws, and the United States.

  • Mexico’s corn imports will jump 28% in 2009-10 because of a drought which "created huge problems" for farmers, US officials say.

    The coal price at Qinghuangdao Port rose for four consecutive months, and set a new record high over the past year, meanwhile, coal inventory fell 29.4% from early December, approaching the alarm point of 5 mln tons again. (Beijing faced the coldest weather in half a century)

  • Britain shivers during what could be its coldest winter in a century.

  • Integrating Skype in High-definition TVs from LG and Panasonic will enable users to conduct free live video chats from their couches.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Global bear rally will deflate as Japan leads world in sovereign bond crisis
By mid to late 2010, we will have lanced the biggest boils of the global system.

Quick Overview

  • The Institute of Supply Management index of U.S. manufacturing rose from 53.6 to 55.9 in December -- better than expected, and the highest level in more than three years.

  • (FT)The US public pension system faces a higher-than-expected shortfall of more than $2,000bn

  • U.S. Construction spending fell 0.6% from October's pace. In the first eleven months of 2009, construction spending is down 12.7% YoY.

  • Chinas manufacturing index rose from 55.7 to 56.1 in December, the highest in five years.

  • Australia’s manufacturing index fell from 51.2 to 48.5 in December.

  • Weather forecasters say that temperatures in central Florida have a chance to go below freezing on four out of five nights this week.

  • Maersk hired a warship to protec the Brigit Maersk tanker from pirates.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) -- Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize- winning economist and Columbia University professor, said economists are among those at fault for the financial crisis, which exposed “major flaws” in prevailing ideas. The now-flawed premises include the ideas that economic participants behave rationally and that financial markets are competitive and efficient, Stiglitz said.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank’s low interest rates didn’t cause the past decade’s housing bubble and that better regulation would have been more effective in limiting the boom.

  • The S&P rose 23.5% in 09, the biggest yearly gain since 2003. Since the March lows, the S&P rose about 65%.

  • China appears to have overtaken India as the number one private gold buyer in 09.

  • Corn world ending stocks are projected near 4 decade lows at 17% of usage. This despite a record U.S. yield in 2009/10

  • The cocoa market is heading into its fourth consecutive year of shortfalls – the longest run of shortages since 1965-69 -- This may rekindle the cocoa fat substitute argument.

  • Czarnikow recently forecast the 2009-10 sugar deficit at 13.5m tonnes, following a deficit of 15.8m tonnes in 2008-09 -- Brazilian Ethanol is becoming less competitive.

  • In spite of the Dollar's rally since December, the doomsayers are still out in force.

  • Bad weather has driven orange juice 90% higher last year. The per capita OJ consumption is 1/20th of bottled water and soft drinks.

  • Companies such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will now have to put up the same amount of capital to hedge against their own business risks as they would to hedge against risks for their customers. The CFTC’s regulations aim to ensure that firms have the financial backing for the risks they are taking in the market -- It’s about time!!

  • 12/27/09 China announced new regulations to increase the use of renewable energy such as wind and hydropower by forcing electricity grid operators to prioritize their use, in an effort by the world's top greenhouse-gas emitter to reduce its reliance on coal. The amendment will force state-owned electric grid companies, which are responsible for distributing electricity from power plants, to buy all the electricity generated from renewable sources even when it is more expensive and more complicated to use than electricity from coal-fired plants -- Coal is not impressed.

  • After falling a record 92% last year, the Baltic Dry Index posted its best-ever annual advance since it started in 1985. The index advanced 288% in 1999, exceeding its previous record of 174% in 2003.

  • Last Friday, China and the 10-country Association of South East Asian Nations launched the final stage of the world’s biggest regional trade agreement, measured by population.

  • As of Jan 1st Ireland has a new law, which passed in July, means that blasphemy in Ireland is now a crime punishable with a fine of up to €25,000. It defines blasphemy as "publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion".

  • A year-end plea for $900000 yielded $2.4 million for the Lake Forest mega-church led by Rick Warren.