Jumaat, 20 September 2013

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The Star Online: Business

Australia sells wheat to Malaysia, Indonesia


SINGAPORE: Australian exporters sold wheat to millers in Indonesia and Malaysiathis week, while a strengthening Indian rupee lifted soymeal prices for exports from the South Asian country.

New-crop Australian standard wheat was quoted around $300-$310 a tonne, including cost and freight toSoutheast Asia, up around $10 from last week. Australian prime wheat was being offered around $315-$317 a tonne and Australian hard wheat at $330 a tonne.

"Australian wheat has been traded in Southeast Asia in the last few days as prices are firming up on strong global demand," said one Singapore-based trader.

Chicago wheat futures have gained almost 5 percent this week, its biggest weekly gain in 14 months, driven by strong global demand for the grain.

U.S. exporters loaded and shipped more wheat last week to global buyers than in any week in at least the past 23 years, with most of the grain headed for China and Brazil, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Exporters shipped 1.204 million tonnes of U.S. wheat in the week ended Sept. 12, including 406,700 tonnes of mostly soft red winter wheat and white wheat to China, and 186,400 tonnes of hard red winter wheat to Brazil, data going back to 1990 showed.

Australian wheat is also in strong demand as its spread with Black Sea wheat has narrowed in Asia, traders said. Australian standard wheat is selling at premium of $12-$15 to Black Sea wheat, down from a spread of $30 a tonne a couple of weeks ago.

"Mills in Southeast Asian will any day prefer Australian wheat to Black Sea wheat at the current price difference," said one Sydney-based trader.

Japan's Ministry of Agriculture bought 108,901 tonnes of food wheat from the United StatesCanada andAustralia in a regular tender this week.


In the feed grains market, Indian soymeal was being offered for export this week at higher prices as the rupee strengthened against the dollar.

Indian soymeal has risen to $515 a tonne, free alongside ship, compared with $500-$505 last week, while rival South American soymeal values have eased following a decline in the U.S. futures.

U.S. soymeal futures slid more than 5 percent this week, tracking weakness in the soybean market, which lost ground on forecasts for crop-friendly weather that is expected to aid the development of late-planted soybeans.

The Indian rupee hit its highest in nearly five weeks on Thursday, as the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision not to dial back its easy money policy is expected to provide a reprieve to the local central bank in its policy making.

This has narrowed the spread between Indian and South American soymeal prices to around $20 a tonne from $35 a tonne last week.

"Indian soymeal is still attractive but the firming rupee has eroded its attractiveness," said anotherSingapore-based grains trader. "Buyers will still take Indian meal but sales might slow down."

Asian grain buyers are keeping a close watch on U.S. corn and soybean harvests, which are likely to influence prices. "People are looking at yields from early harvests and corn looks to be every good," the first Singapore trader said.- Reuters

EU, S'pore Finalise Details Of Far-Reaching Trade Deal


BRUSSELS/SINGAPORE: The European Union and Singapore have finalized the details of one of the world's most comprehensive free trade agreements, a pact the EU sees as a stepping stone towards a wider deal with booming economies in Southeast Asia.

The European Union, the world's largest trading bloc, hopes the deal will open the door to a deal with other members of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has set a goal of economic integration by 2015.

"In the long term we want to have an agreement with all the 600 million ASEAN consumers and with all the countries of ASEAN and beyond, this is the first milestone," Rupert Schlegelmilch, chief EU negotiator for the pact, said in Singapore where both sides initialed the roughly 1,000-page document.

While still subject to approval in Singapore and by the EU's 28 member states and the European Parliament, the agreement should enter into force in late 2014 or early 2015.

Friday's presentation of the full text follows an agreement on terms struck by Karel De Gucht, the EU trade commissioner, and Singapore's trade and industry minister, Lim Hng Kiang, last December.

Singapore has a population of just 5 million people but accounts for about a third of all EU-ASEAN trade, more than 60 percent of all investment between the two regions and is host to more than 9,000 European companies.

Trade in goods between the two topped 52 billion euros in 2012 and 28 billion euros in services in 2011. Mutual investment has reached 190 billion euros.

Singapore is one of the world's biggest oil refining centers and the agreement will likely boost the export of petroleum products from Singapore to the EU because it will reduce tariffs, provided the refiners meet certain conditions.

The major refiners operating in Singapore are Royal Dutch Shell PLC <RDSa.L> and Exxon Mobil <XOM.N>.

The agreement will also make it easier for European banks and insurers operating in Singapore to expand, potentially benefiting the retail businesses of Standard Chartered <STAN.L> and HSBC <HSBA.L> as well as banks with wholesale operations such as Deutsche Bank AG <DBKGn.DE> and Barclays PLC <BARC.L>.

It will ensure the right to sell directly or establish branches in each other's markets and promises to provide greater transparency over the award of licenses.

"We made a very determined effort to go as far as we can in liberalizing further what our banks and insurances companies can do, we were quite successful in that respect," said Schlegelmilch.

The deal goes beyond many other free trade accords in committing to open up public procurement, an area where the EU has many leading suppliers, and agreeing on technical standards in areas such as motor vehicles, electronics and green technologies.

A car made according to EU standards, for example, will be accepted for sale in Singapore.


The European Union also gains better protection of "geographical indications", region-specific products such as Parma ham or champagne. Singaporean delicacies such as pork floss and fish balls will be allowed to enter the EU tariff-free within an annual quota.

EU tariffs on virtually all items from Singapore will disappear over five years. Singapore has committed to its existing zero tariffs on EU imports.

Singapore is likely to benefit from reduced tariffs for pharmaceutical and petrochemical products.

The EU and ASEAN launched free trade talks in 2007, but abandoned them two years later, the EU choosing instead to conduct bilateral talks with individual members.

The European Commission is already negotiating free trade accords with Malaysia and Vietnam and launched talks with Thailand in March.- Reuters

Palm Ends Lower Again As Strong Ringgit Weighs, But Exports Support


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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures fell for the third straight session on Friday and extended declines for a second week as a stronger local currency curbed appetite from overseas buyers, although strong export numbers
limited losses.
    Despite easing slightly, the ringgit was still near
3-month highs hit as it surged nearly 3 percent after the U.S.
Federal Reserve's surprise decision not to taper its economic
stimulus just yet. 
    But healthy exports in September reined in losses and kept
prices in a tight range of 2,303-2,318 ringgit per tonne. Cargo
surveyor Intertek Testing Services showed that shipments of
Malaysian palm oil rose 13.1 percent to 996,377 tonnes during
Sept. 1-20 compared to a month ago. 
    Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance
showed exports for the same period climbed 9.2 percent.
    "The strong ringgit is definitely weighing on the market,
both yesterday and today," said a trader with a foreign
commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.
    "But the fact that prices went down so little shows the
resilience and friendliness that the market feels towards palm
oil," the trader added.
    By Friday's close, the benchmark December contract 
on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had lost 0.9 percent
to 2,297 ringgit ($725) per tonne, bringing prices down 2.2
percent for the week. 
     Total traded volumes stood at 21,822 lots of 25 tonnes
each, much lower than the average 35,000 lots.
    On the technical front, a bearish target at 2,270 ringgit
per tonne remains unchanged for Malaysian palm oil as it has a
better chance to break support at 2,311 ringgit, said Reuters
market analyst Wang Tao. 
    Investors have turned bearish on forecasts that Southeast
Asian palm oil output could start rising from September onwards,
with the seasonally higher cycle seen dragging on until at least
April 2014. 
    Expectations of bumper crops of competing oilseeds such as
soybeans could cause a flood of edible oils in the market and
depress prices in the coming months. Palm prices have already
lost 5.8 percent so far this year -- extending declines into a
third year.
    But palm oil exports seem to be holding for now, lending
hope that the strong demand will eat into stocks and prevent
inventories from surging to record levels last seen in December.
Stocks at end-August stood at 1.67 million tonnes.
    Prices could also get support from rising Indian demand. 
    Edible oil imports of the world's top buyer are likely to
rise 4 percent to a record 10.7 million tonnes in 2013/14 due to
rapid growth in consumption, with the entire rise met by palm
oil, a leading trade expert said on Friday.   
    In other markets, oil edged up to $109 a barrel on Friday,
supported by the Federal Reserve's decision this week to leave
its stimulus programme unchanged, falling U.S. crude inventories
and persistent concerns about supplies. 
    The U.S. soyoil contract for December fell 0.9
percent in late Asian trade. 
    The Dalian Commodities Exchange will resume trading on
Monday after closing from Sept. 19 for the mid-autumn festival.
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1010 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      OCT3    2305   -17.00    2302    2315     350
  MY PALM OIL      NOV3    2298   -20.00    2298    2319    1932
  MY PALM OIL      DEC3    2297   -20.00    2296    2318   12957
  CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN4    5392    +2.00    5378    5452  402222
  CHINA SOYOIL     JAN4    7070    -6.00    7056    7126  485690
  CBOT SOY OIL     DEC3   42.58    -0.38   42.47   42.98    3552
  NYMEX CRUDE      OCT3  106.21    -0.18  106.01  106.46    4662
  Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
  CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound
  Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne
  Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel
($1 = 3.16 Malaysian ringgit) 
- Reuters

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