Monday, May 30, 2011

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said an oil price of $70 to $80 a barrel is in the best interests of Saudi Arabia because it diminishes the urgency in the U.S. and Europe to develop alternative energy sources.

  • Russia plans to let the grain-export ban expire July 1. (as expected)

  • (Bloomberg) Steel demand in China, the world’s biggest consumer, may rise by as much as a quarter by 2015 compared with demand last year, according to a projection from the China Iron & Steel Association, which represents producers.

  • Chinese animal feed manufacturers consumed 74.7 million metric tons of corn last year, an increase of 20% from 2009.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quick Overview

  • Morgan Stanley lifted its Brent oil forecast to $120 a barrel this year.

  • The market is watching the Icelandic volcano eruption, with a lot of analysts of the view that the 2010 Russian crop failures were due to the huge volcanic eruption in Iceland during March/April last year.

  • The US Department of Commerce reported that Q1 GDP rose by 1.8%, below expectations of 2.2%.

  • Minneapolis wheat rose to new 35-month highs. (Disclosure: The Advisor is long)

  • Barclays Capital said  Shandong, China's second-ranked wheat-producing province, has received just 12mm of rain since September 2010, indicating that around 40% of the province's wheat crop has been lost".

  • The USDA reports the sale of 4.6 million bushels of old-crop corn to China. (Disclosure: The Advisor is long)

  • South Korea's consumer sentiment index rose to 104 in May, up from 100 the previous month, the Bank of Korea said

  • India's  wholesale price index for food articles rose 8.55% YoY

  • Malaysian Bulker Carrier (MBC) is anticipating the dry bulk market to recover over the medium-term with an increase in coal imports by Japan.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Next update Thursday

Quick Overview

  • S&P 500 profits may reach $104.73 in the next 12 months. Biggs “stocks reasonably priced”

  • Ohio may have only 10% corn planted said Ohio State University corn agronomist.

  • The USDA on Friday said cattle placed into feedlots in April rose 10% YoY while analysts were looking for a 4.3% increase.

  • (WSJ) 46.5% of Americans say they couldn’t come up with $2,000 in 30 days or would have to rely on extreme measures

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) -- Standard & Poor’s threat that it may cut Italy’s credit rating risks fanning contagion among debt- laden European countries as Greece fends off speculation that it’s headed to a restructuring.

  • China’s April sugar imports rose to 160,000 tons, up nearly 10 x YoY

  • Fitch Ratings cut Greece’s long-term rating to B-plus from BB-plus and placed all ratings on Rating Watch Negative

  • The Spanish Socialist (PSOE) party of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero suffered a crushing defeat in the local and regional elections held in Spain this Sunday

  • Statistics Canada said Friday that Canada's annual inflation rate kept at 3.3 % in April, matching  March.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick Overview

  • France’s soft-wheat harvest, the largest in the European Union, will decline 12% as drought slashes yields, Agritel said.

  • U.S. Crude supplies fell 15,000 barrels to 370.3 million last week.
  • Refineries operated at 83.2 percent of capacity
  • Gasoline inventories rose 119,000 to 205.9 million
  • Distillate inventories fell 1.16 million barrels to 143.1 million, the lowest level since April 2009.

  • U.S. Health-care expenses will rise 8.5% in 2012, according to a study by Pricewaterhouse

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Housing starts have dropped 10.6% to an annual rate of 523,000 in April

  • Soros said his hedge fund dumped nearly all of its gold holdings.

  • Map of the world, resized by each country's relative water resources.

  • Ukraine may cancel quotas on the exports of wheat in 2010/2011 marketing year, stated Nikolay Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine.

  • Iron ore shipments from Australia's Port Hedland, one of the world's largest export terminals, fell to 15.88 million tonnes in April from 17.78 million tonnes in March

  • Oil producers need to boost capacity by 45 million barrels a day, or almost half current output, over the next 20 years to meet demand and offset field declines, said the president of Society of Petroleum Engineers.

  • The current weather forecasts suggest that 20 million acres of corn or more will have to be seeded in June.

  • Watermelons are exploding in China after farmers overdid it with growth chemicals

  • New highs for PG and DPS
  • Jim Rogers Commodities: We Have Virtually No New Supply Of Anything

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quick Overview

  • YoY India’s wholesale-price index rose 8.66% in April

  • Japanese core machinery order rose 2.9% in March.

  • Voters in the Swiss region of Zurich, which has become known as a hub for "death tourism", have voted against restrictions being placed on assisted suicides.

  • [AP] - Toxic bean sprouts, filthy cooking oil, drug-tainted pork: The relentless headlines in Chinese media have churned up queasy feelings for months about the dangers lurking in the nation's dinner bowls.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Sales of gold coins are on track for the best month in a year amid the worst commodities rout since 2008, a sign that bullion’s longest bull market in nine decades has further to run, if history is a guide.

  • The  New York FED's general economic index fell to 11.9 from a one-year high of 21.7 in April

  • (Bloomberg) -- Farmers in France, the European Union’s largest producer of wheat, barley and sugar beets, faced more restrictions on water use amid a worsening drought, with no sign of relief in the next few weeks.
Fears grow that US unready for larger Panama canal
From 2014 some of the largest ships in the world will again fit through the 80 kilometer (50-mile) Panama Canal. Vessels carrying around 14,000 containers rather than today's 5,000 will be able to cross the isthmus

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Quick Overview

  • Bank of Korea unexpectedly keept rates unchanged

  • The median home-sale price in the Las Vegas area in 2006 was $313,500; in 2010 it fell to $138,100.

  • Germany’s GDP grew 1.5% in Q1, compared with the previous quarter, when the growth stood at 0.4 % in rarely harsh winter weather.

  • For the first time since the last quarter of 2009, the Greek GDP grew in the first quarter of 2011 by 0.8%.

  • Consumer prices in the U.S. rose 0.4% in April, pushing inflation to its highest level in two and a half years.

  • French GDP grew 1% in Q1, the strongest expansion since the second quarter of 2006.

  • Eurozone economy would grow by 1.6 % this year, with downside risks to growth prevailing amid increased uncertainties, the European Commission said on Friday.

  • The Spanish economy grew by 0.3% in Q1

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hindering harvests Using such data researchers have now compiled an estimate of global changes in crop yields which can be put down to recent increases in temperature and decreases in rainfall (the world as a whole is getting wetter, but the rain has stayed away from some agricultural plains). The bad news is that they find that climate change has lowered the amount of maize (or corn, if you prefer) and wheat produced in a given area. The good news is that the effect is so far reasonably small.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Quick Overview

  • S & P has again cut Greece’s credit rating, downgrading it by two notches to B.

  • Apple’s products are great and its earnings are soaring, so it’s not unreasonable to think the company is worth $2 trillion, writes James Altucher -- Really?

  • Brazil rapeseed production to rise to 70k tonnes, up 65% YoY.

  • Forecaster WeatherEdge Ltd. warned that France and Germany may have lost 15-20% of their wheat crops due to weeks of persistent dryness across the north of the countries.

  • Arlan Suderman: Abandonment is the key for U.S. winter wheat; Prev yrs w similar crop ratings saw 25 to 30% abandonment

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Quick Oveviewr

  • (Arlan Suderman) Historically, December corn has a strong tendency to take out the spring high when new-crop stocks are projected below a 50-day supply. I expect USDA to peg new-crop stocks closer to a 20-day supply on Wednesday.

  • Canada's unemployment rate fell 0.1% to 7.6 percent in April.

  • YoY France's budget deficit rose by 16.3% to 33.6 billion Euros (48.83 billion U.S. dollars).

  • The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.0% in April, and nonfarm payroll employment added 244,000 positions.

  • China became the main export destination of Argentine soya products in 2010 -- buying 83%.

  • Unilever (China) (UN) faces a fine of 2 million yuan (about 303,000 U.S. dollars) over statements of planned price hikes that enhanced the public's inflationary expectation and triggered panic buying. The fine, handed down by the Shanghai municipal pricing authority, came amid China's efforts to nail down runaway inflation that has spiked prices across the country.

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Friday that its first-quarter profit tumbled 58 percent from a year ago due to insurance losses from major disasters in Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

  • (Bloomberg) -- European Union officials may require Greece to provide collateral for aid as policy makers struggle to prevent the euro area’s first sovereign debt restructuring

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Quick Overview

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Friday lifted its inflation forecasts for the next two years, with a statement saying that further tightening of monetary policy is likely.

  • ECB holds rates at 1.25%.

  • The number of U.S. people initially applying for unemployment aid last week rose to its highest level in eight months.

  • The water level of the drought-stricken Yangtze River has been sharply reduced since February of this year, with its middle reaches decreasing to levels not seen in fifty years. In addition, water levels near the river's Three Gorges Dam are at five-year lows.

  • (Bloomberg) Drought conditions may persist in wheat-growing areas from China, the world’s largest grower and consumer, to the U.S. and Western Europe, hurting crops and lifting prices, British Weather Services said.

  • The GOP said plan to replace Medicare with vouchers will have to wait.

    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    Quick Overview

    • The central bank of Mexico bought nearly 100 tonnes of gold in February and March.

    • The DOE said:
    • Crude oil inventory rose by 3.42 million barrels
    • Gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.05 million barrels

    • Intel  redesigned the chip -- now in 3D!

    • Spain's unemployment rate fell by 1.48% in April

    • Retail trade volume in the Eurozone dropped 1.0% MoMThe

    • ISM service index dropped to 52.8% for April, down from 57.3% in March

    Tuesday, May 03, 2011

    Quick Overview

    • Brazil's industrial production rose 2.3 in Q1

    • Industrial producer prices in the Eurozone rose by 0.7 % MoM

    • Funds led by well-known investors such as George Soros and John Burbank have been selling off their gold and silver holdings recently, helping fuel the metals' price falls, The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday.

    • (MW) Legislation proposed in California that would mandate a means for Web users to easily prevent websites from gathering their personal information is moving forward, despite intense opposition from some of the state’s largest Internet firms — including Facebook and Google.

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    No update today

    Quick Overview

    • Two weeks until the U.S.debt ceiling is hit, Treasury Sec. Geithner says

    • U.S. Corn planting progress as of Sunday: 13% v 40% average.

    • Japan's domestic vehicle sales collapsed by more than 50pc last month as the impact of March's earthquake and tsunami crippled the supply chain

    • YoY South Korea's CPI rose 4.2% in April

    • (FT) Britons with billions of pounds hidden in Switzerland will pay tax at 50 per cent under a groundbreaking deal that will legitimise their undeclared assets, according to a source familiar with negotiations between the Swiss and British governments.

    Sunday, May 01, 2011

    I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure - Mark Twain

    Quick Overview

    • South Korea’s exports expanded 26.6% YoY, compared with a revised 28.9% gain in March.

    • Chinese manufacturing index fell to 52.9 in April from 53.4 in March.

    • Buffett says not raising debt ceiling would be ‘Most Asinine’.

    • Obama says oil companies are profiting from rising pump prices and he wants Congress to end $4 billion in annual tax breaks.

    • Russia's Central Bank will raise its key interest rate by 0.25% from 8 to 8.25%.

    • The unemployment rate in the euro zone was 9.9 in March, unchanged from February.

    • Annual inflation in the euro zone rose to 2.8 in April.

    • The world is facing an increasingly severe food crisis as rapid population growth and climate change are taking their toll on agricultural production around the world, the Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center said.