Archive for the ‘Commodity Trading’ Category

SUGAR……. “Ambas as extremidades de cana de açúcar não pode ser doce”

In Portuguese language “Ambas as extremidades de cana de açúcar não pode ser doce” means both ends of sugar cane cannot be sweet. Sugar travelling though its notorious cycle has always been continuously gathering news & issues all along these years. Starting with the sugar cycle, it follows a 3-4 years cycle with a bumper harvest resulting in higher inventory levels. Declining prices pressurizes the profits of sugar companies. Going around the downtrend in the sugar cycle starts with increased availability of sugars, decline in sugar prices. This prompts the farmers to switch over to other crops resulting in lower cane production. All these leads to higher sugar prices and the cycle turns around.

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FOREIGN NEWS

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•Mexico published a quota to import 100,000 tonnes of sugar to cover a shortfall in supply until the end of the year.

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•Tight supply supports raw sugar.

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•The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has pegged India’s sugar production at 23.6 million tonnes, marking an increase of over 26 per cent from last year.

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•Brazil crops shrivel as Amazon dries up to lowest in 47 years.

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•Brazil will harvest 639 million tons in the year started May 1, 3.2 percent less than estimated in April.

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•Australia’s 2010/11 sugar output is being threatened by heavy rain in the northeastern cane growing state of Queensland, disrupting this year’s cane crush.

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•Liffe front-month, December white sugar ends $24.20 higher at $649.80 per tonne after earlier setting a 7-month high for the front month of $661.80 a tonne.

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•Market buoyed by a fresh wave of fund buying and crop concerns in South Africa, Argentina, Mexico and Australia.

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DOMESTIC NEWS

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•Sugar production in Uttar Pradesh, may rise to 6.2 million tonnes from 5.18 million tonnes in the review period.

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•Sugar output in Karnataka is likely to decline marginally to 2.3 million tonnes this year from 2.53 million tonnes last year.

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•Sugar output in Tamil Nadu may jump sharply to 2.1 million tonnes in the 2010-11 crop year from 1.25 million tonnes last year.

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•The output in Gujarat is pegged at 1.3 million tonnes against 1.19 million tonnes last year.

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•Cane growers seek higher prices of 200 rupees ($4.49) per 100 kilograms.

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•NCDEX seeks permission to do futures trading in sugar.

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•The Government has declared lower October sugar quota at 17.50 lakh tonnes (lt) against September’s 19 lt.

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•Sugar imported from India will be tested before its sale in Pakistan, said a minister who rejected the impression that Indian sugar was substandard.

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Seasonality – Indian Scenario

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Analyzing the seasonal index of Indian sugar prices, the prices remain under the pressure till the third quarter of the year. The fourth quarter is a seasonal buying period, as the market witness a recovery because of the festive season.As far as the medium to long-term outlook is considered, the price trends in international markets would be the key determinants of future profitability with the crude oil price trends, which determine the diversion of cane crop to ethanol.

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COMMODITY WEEKLY COMMENTARY 11th – 15th October

International gold hit yet another new high and tested $1364 as the US currency slumped to fresh 15-and-a-half year lows against the Japanese Yen. The euro and British pound both neared 8-month highs vs. the dollar after their central banks failed to cut rates or expand their quantitative easing. The shiny metal continued breaching new high records by taking advantageof concerns surrounding global recovery which raise speculations that central banks will add tostimulus to bolster growth. This time domestic gold and silver also rose to their fresh highs on MCX. Base metal prices traded on the mixed note with lead prices ending in red while copper along with aluminium and nickel prices managing to end in the green territory.

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The base metal prices remained volatile mainly due to weakness in the dollar index and profit taking at highlevels. In energy counter crude oil remained volatile as prices got support by a weaker dollar and investors’ demand for higher-yielding assets. Prices were also under pinned by the drop in motor gasoline and distillates inventories off setting the buildup in crude inventories.Regarding agro commodities, oil seeds and edible oil counter revived on some bargain buying atlower level amid falling dollar index. Strong buying by soyabean millers together with rising soyameal export also encouraged buying in both spot and future market. Fresh arrivals in Haryana and Rajasthan washed out the profit of guargum and guarseed futures. Prices were also discouraged by strong production estimates of guarseed in the current year.

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Despite tight supply position against strong demand pepper futures closed the week on negative note on profit booking. Turmeric rose on improved demand. Chilli was sideways with upside bias on mixed fundamentals while jeera and cardamom moved southward. Receding stocks in major mandies accompanied with strong export demand by traders and exporters gave terrific rise tothe mentha prices. Even in future market it breached the level of 950 on MCX. Mint exports inApril- August, 2010 surged by 2 percent to `723.95 lacs against 595.57 lacs reported last year inthe same period. Chana appeared shy to breach the resistance of 2300 and it closed down on profit booking at higher levels.

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NATURAL RUBBER

Natural rubber and the different types of synthetic rubbers are used in many different end-products. The most important is the tyre sector taking about half the total consumption. Currently, the only commercially important source of natural rubber is latex cultivated from the Heve a brasiliensis tree.


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Global production and consumption

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Thailand is the largest natural-rubber producer and exporter in the world followed by Indonesia and Malaysia, which together produced almost 70 percent of the natural rubber in the world. Other important producing nations are India, Vietnam and China.

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According to International Rubber Study Group global natural-rubber production is forecast to rise by 6.1% to 10.25 million tonnes in 2010 and by a further 7.3% to 11.0 million tonnes in 2011. But currently the world is headed for a shortfall in production due to rains and floods in the rubber-growing region of Thailand and Indonesia.

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Global rubber consumption reached 23.1 million tonnes in the twelve months to June 2010, 11.2% higher than at the same point in 2009, reflecting a recovery in the demand for vehicles and tyres. Global natural-rubber supply fell back in the second quarter of 2010, with production growth slowing from 4.9% to 3.5%. Global natural rubber demand is expected to be around 114,000 tonnes higher in 2010, at 10.3 million tonnes, compared to the previous forecast. According to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. consumption will outpace supply by 127,000 tonne, the most since 2007.

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China is the biggest importer of natural rubber followed by USA and Japan. General Administration of Customs reported that China’s natural rubber imports in August rose 4.9% from a year earlier to 158,589 metric tons.

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Production and consumption in India

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India is the fourth largest natural-rubber producer and second largest consumer. According to Rubber Board estimates, India is likely to produce 8.93 lakh tonnes of rubber in the current fiscal. During the April—August period of the current fiscal, the production of rubber increased to 2.97 lakh tonnes from 2.74 lakh tonnes in the same period last year. Rubber cultivation in India has been traditionally confined to
hinterlands of southwest coast. Kerala and Tamil Nadu together constitute the traditional rubber growing regions in the country. Kerala alone contributes 91% of the total rubber produced in India . Tyre makers constitute about 60-70% of the total rubber consumption in India.

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Correlation of Rubber and Crude Oil Prices

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There is a 91% correlation between rubber and oil prices from April 1998 to the recent period. Petroleum is used to produce the bulk of the synthetic rubber. Rubber prices have surged from around `2000 per quintal in April 1998 to `14,000 per quintal in October 2009, while crude prices have shot up from around USD 20 per barrel to USD 80 per barrel by October 2009. This shows astounding relativity between the global
economic indicator and rubber prices.

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Current scenario

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The global economic recovery and growth in China are powering demand for rubber products. World auto sales, propelled by Chinese demand, will increase 8 percent this year. In domestic market, since January 2010, tyre makers have already raised prices by 10-14 percent in four stages. A hike in March was due to the increase in excise duties, while the others were due to the rise in natural rubber costs.

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According to Rubber Board, the monthly average natural rubber (RSS-4) prices have gone up 75 percent year-on-year in August to `17952/quintal. Around the same time in 2009, the costs were at `10250 /quintal. From `13772 /quintal. in January 2010, rubber prices reached a high of `18900/quintal in July 2010.

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COMMODITY WEEKLY COMMENTARY 4th – 8th October

Once again international gold prices tested their new highs last week as prices breached the psychological level of $1300 and silver marked the 30 year high on COMEX division. However local gold prices were mostly remained sideways during the week amid stronger rupee and profit booking which limited the upside in prices.

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Nevertheless, silver once again overshadowed gold movements and surged high to claim 33000 mark on MCX. In base metal pack copper along with nickel, zinc and lead started the week with positive energy but dull economic data from U.S and Europe economies pressurized the prices in later part. However improved Chinese  manufacturing data once again underpinned the prices and supported copper and nickel to end the week in green zone.


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Earlier, shanghai copper dropped to its lowest in more than a month last week as China’s move to curb property prices dented sentiment, but losses were limited by improving demand prospects and ongoing weakness in the dollar. In energy counter crude oil settled up last week helped by data showing a drop in U.S. crude and product inventories.


Further fall in dollar index also helped the prices to move up. U.S. crude stocks fell 475,000 barrels last week, data from the Energy Information Administration showed. U.S. distillate inventories fell by 1.27 million barrels in the week to Sept. 24, counter to analyst expectations for a 300,000 barrel build.


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In agro commodities spices pack witnessed see saw moves during the week and remained volatile. Pepper futures ended the week with negative impression amid weak exports and low trading activity. As per Spices Board data, pepper exports from India have gone down by 5% in volume term during April-August 2010 as compared to same period last year. Jeera futures also traded on a negative note during the week on extended selling pressure backed by weak domestic and export demand. Expectations of rise in acreage under jeera crop this season have also supported the down side.

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In oil seeds section soya bean and mustard remained under pressure as factors like bumper soya crop expectation and pick up in fresh arrivals to the spot market led the market to show a negative trend. The chana futures traded on a positive note for most part of the week retreating from previous losses on fresh buying from retail sector.

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NATURAL GAS……….. THE FUEL OF THE 21ST CENTURY

Natural gas has emerged as the most preferred fuel and vital component of theworld’s supply of energy due to its environmentally cleanest, safest and most useful nature, greater efficiency and cost effectiveness among all energy sources.Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases. In its purest form, such as the naturalgas that is delivered to your home, is almost pure methane.

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Growing importance: We require energy constantly, to heat and cook food, and generate electricity. Due to clean burning and lower emission levels of potentiallyharmful byproducts into the air as compared to other fossil fuels, the importance of natural gas in our lives is growing constantly. The demand of natural gas has sharplyincreased in the last two decades at the global level. In India too, the natural gas sector has gained importance, particularly over the last decade, and is being termedas the fuel of the 21st Century.The industrial and electricity sector accounts for the greatest proportion of natural gas use across the world. The US residential sector consuming the second greatestquantity of natural gas.

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Global Production: According to U.S. Department of Energy, globally total provedreserves of natural gas is 6,254.364 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2009 with an increase of0.68% as compared to 2008. Russian federation has largest reserve of 1,680.00 tcffollowed by Iran and Qatar with 991.600 and 891.945 tcf reserve respectively. Russiais largest producer of natural gas with 23 tcf followed by USA with over 20 tcf. Majorexporters of piped natural gas are Russia (154 bcm), Canada (103 bcm) and Norway(93 bcm), the major importers are US (104 bcm), Germany (87 bcm) and Italy (75bcm). The major exporters of CNG are Qatar (40 bcm), Malaysia (29 bcm), Indonesia(27 bcm) and the major importers are Japan (92 bcm), South Korea (36 bcm) andSpain (30 bcm.)

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Production in India: Natural gas production in India grows at averaging 11.7percent per year. Total production is estimated to grow from 1.1 trillion cubic feet in2007 to 2.7 trillion cubic feet in 2015. Most of the production of gas comes from theWestern offshore area. The on-shore fields in Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat States are other major producers of gas. Fertilizer (41%) and power (37%) are themajor users of natural gas in India.

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Factors affecting demand for Natural Gas: There are two primary drivers thatdetermine the demand for natural gas in the short term-Weather and Fuel Switching.Natural gas demand typically peaks during the coldest months for heating homes anddips during the warmest months, with a slight increase during the summer to meetthe demands of electric generators. Hurricanes and severe weather also disrupt the supply.

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While most residential and commercial customers rely solely on natural gas to meetmany of their energy requirements, some industrial and electric generationconsumers have the capacity to switch between fuels. For instance, during a periodof extremely high natural gas prices, many electric generators may switch from using natural gas to using cheaper coal, thus decreasing the demand for natural gas.

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Generally the state of the U.S. economy can have a considerable effect on thedemand for natural gas in the short term, particularly for industrial consumers. When the economy is expanding or declining, the consumption of natural gas fromindustrial sectors is generally increasing or decreasing at a similar rate.Long term demand factors reflect the basic trends for natural gas use into the future.The analysis of factors that affect long term demand across all sectors arecomplicated.

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Probably the most important long term driver of natural gas demand isfuture residential heating applications. Due to the retirement of old nuclear,petroleum, and coal powered generation plants leaves a significant requirement fornatural gas use for electric generation to meet the commercial demand forelectricity generation and transportation.

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Outlook: Currently the future prices of natural gas in MCX are trading in sidewaysmanner. It has strong support at `170. Seasonal demand from mid oct can support therecovery upto `220 in mid term.

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COMMODITY WEEKLY COMMENTARY 27th September – 1st October

Gold prices hover around its life time highs last week on international as well as on domestic bourses as European stock markets extended their losses and crude oil dropped below $75 per barrel. However domestic silver futures gain reclaimed a new life time high on MCX while U.S silver hit a 30-year high as precious and base metals were further aided by a weaker dollar along with new data meantime revealed a downturn in European services and manufacturing output.

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A further decline in U.K mortgage and business lending, plus higher-than-expected U.S jobless claims for last week also supported the bullion counter last week. Base metal prices which were mostly trading lower during the beginning of the week bounced back strongly in the later part as investors moved to buy dollar denominated commodities to take advantage of fall in the dollar index. US equity markets ended lower as data indicated that house prices fell in July marking the eighth consecutive decline. Fed bought $2.07 billion worth of bonds, thereby boosting treasury prices and dollar continued to lose ground. In energy counter crude prices witnessed see saw moves during the week on mixed fundamentals. Crude traded below $75 per barrel as jitters increased due to the rise in U.S inventories highlighting weak demand, in spite of the dollar’s continued drop against its major rivals.

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Yellow spice turmeric showed wonderful recovery on dip in arrivals amid lower level buying. Domestic demand is expected to be strong during the ongoing festival season. With the same reason of dip in arrival, chilli futures also spurt in both spot and future market. Pepper surrendered its strength on heavy selling pressure, weak export demand in the middle of sluggish spot market. Fresh arrivals put pressure on jeera and cardamom futures and they closed the week on negative note. Fresh buying noticed in chana futures. Indian oil seeds and edible oil futures were moving on their own fundamentals. Fall in dollar index supported the price. Comfortable stocks could not give much impact on the prices. Soyabean and crude palm oil moved northward. Refined soya oil and mustard seed also closed the week on positive note.

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Fear of yield loss due to excessive rain in producing areas lent support to the guar counter; however upside was limited on lack of aggressive fresh buying. Technical support zoomed up mentha oil. Furthermore, temporary supply propped up potato in both physical and future market.

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Weekly Update 27th September – 1st October 2010

Indian Markets posted fourth weekly consecutive gains led by rising optimism of growth and portfolio investments. The run up in the market was phenomenal and beyond expectations of market participants. Global investors seems to be going more anxious about India consumption and growth, complemented by continued monetary accommodation by developed nations in  order to propel growth. Indian Government recently raised the cap of foreign investments by $ 5 billion in federal and corporate bonds with a residual maturity of over five years. The step is viewed very positively in the sense that the ease of limit in federal bonds will take out interest rate pressure from the banks. The ease in corporate bonds issued by companies in the infrastructure sector will fill the estimated financing requirement of $1 trillion in the five years to 2017.


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U.S. central bank kept its benchmark interest rate in the range of zero to 0.25 percent .The bank said that they are prepared to provide additional accommodation in the light of slower economic recovery. The statement raised the speculation that the bank may buy more treasuries down the year. Weaker growth has still kept the unemployment at above 9 percent levels and reflects that companies are still cautious. The U.S. markets surged to highest level since May as the orders for durable goods rose the double of market expectations.

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Another happening that market is keeping an eye on is the political pressure building on Obama administration to take a stance on the China’s currency policy. The yuan has appreciated about 2 percent against the dollar since the central bank said it would pursue a more flexible exchange. However U.S. wants to see more rapid and “significant” rise in the yuan’s value.

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With the visible positivity across the globe, Indian markets are maintaining up move and managed to close above the psychological mark of 6000 levels on the weekly basis. The weakness in the dollar index clearly strengthens the equity markets and lead to the fresh breakout especially in US and European counterparts.

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One should maintain the stance of buying on dips. The Midcap stock may provide handsome return in the near future. Nifty has support between 5900- 5810 and Sensex between 19640-19200 levels.

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It appears that bullion counter is taking advantage of every opportunity and making new highs now and then on rock solid fundamentals. Weaker than expected growth in manufacturing and services industries of euro zone, sovereign debt crisis in Ireland, plummeting dollar index amid some poor economic releases fuelled rally in bullions. Negative tone of global economy capped the upside of base metals and energy  counter, even fall in dollar index could not give much impact and they appeared shy to break the resistance. Local currency appreciation locked the movement of commodities. This week is full of event risk. GDP data of US and UK, consumer confidence data and employment data of US may give further direction to  commodities. Crude oil is witnessing lackluster trading and thus moving in range on ambiguity in the world economy. Energy counter needs big news for further direction. Spices should revive in this week.

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