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Jumat, 22 Juni 2012

Arch Coal cuts tenth of workforce on weak market

Thu, Jun 21 18:13 PM EDT
(Reuters) - Arch Coal Inc (ACI.N) will cut about a tenth of its workforce, or 750 jobs, as it closes three higher-cost mining complexes and associated plants in response to the weak U.S. market for thermal coal.

Coal producers are suffering because of the vast new supply of natural gas in North America, which has prompted electricity producers to switch off many older coal-fired power plants.

Apart from the three closures, Arch will also temporarily idle the Hazard/Flint Ridge complex and cut production at other operations in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. The mine locations affected by the closures are the East Kentucky, Eastern and Knott County complexes, the company said.

The St. Louis-based company as of February 15 employed 7,442 full and part−time employees.

"This decision was difficult but necessary in order to weather the current downturn and to position the company for long-term success," Chief Executive John Eaves said in a statement.

Arch Coal expects to incur one-time, non-cash write-down charges of about $425 million this quarter, and $14 million in severance and related costs between the second and third quarters.

The moves will reduce Arch's annual thermal coal production by more than 3 million tons, though it still expects thermal coal sales of 128 million to 134 million tons this year.

The cutbacks will mean a reduction in annual capital expenditures of $30 million to $40 million, after investing $571 million in 2011.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

me @ LOTS Trading Club (LTC)

Kamis, 21 Juni 2012

Plantation Companies Beware of weak Rupiah

Plantation Companies
Beware of weak Rupiah

• May12 palm oil exports continued to recover by 4.8% m-o-m, but was still 0.6% lower y-o-y
• Palm oil inventory fell 4.5% m-o-m as seasonally higher output may be backloaded in June
• Jump in Wilmar’s refining capacity in 3Q12 (by 3m MT) may shift demand to Indonesia in 2H12, supported by weak Rupiah
• Top BUYS: Astra A., Sampoerna A., Genting P., Sime, TSH R., Bumitama A., and First R.

May12 palm oil production slightly below forecast.
Output for the month grew 8.7% m-o-m to 1.383m MT, but remained 21% lower y-o-y and was below our forecast of 1.67m MT. M-o-m growth was driven by  improving FFB yields in Sabah, Sarawak and Johor, which accounts for 61% of Malaysia ’s total output YTD. We expect strong 26% growth in June output to 1.746m MT in anticipation of backloaded FFB yield recovery. A possible onset of El Nino in Jul-Aug should not impact near term FFB yields, but 18-24 months after.

Lower inventory is bullish, but beware of shift in exports
. Malaysia ’s May12 palm oil exports grew 4.8% m-om to 1.398m MT, led by stronger demand from the EU, Pakistan , and Bangladesh , but offset by lower Chinese and Indian imports. Increasing exports coupled with slower-thanexpected FFB yield recovery had resulted in further inventory drawdown to 1.765m MT (-4.5% m-o-m) by end May, below our 1.944m MT forecast. However, Malaysian palm oil inventories may increase again from here on premised on the following: (i) output will recover strongly in June, (ii) Wilmar will complete additional c.3m MT refining capacity, and (iii) aweaker Rupiah could shift international demand towards Indonesian refined products. Thus far, we understand the bottleneck has been Indonesia ’s limited refining capacity.

More headwinds for Malaysian refiners in 3Q12.
This is premised on the projected significant increase in Indonesia ’s refining capacity. We expect processors in Indonesia – led by Wilmar – to progressively deplete CPO inventories and consume more 3Q12 output there. For this reason, refining capacity utilisation in Malaysia could drop in the near-term, and reverse the inventory downtrend observed thus far.

BUY Sampoerna A., Bumitama and First R.
They should benefit from the expected shift in demand. We also like Genting P., TSH and Sime, which continue to offer upside from Indonesian output and/or consistent dividends.

Senin, 18 Juni 2012

Greek pro-bailout parties set for ruling majority

Greek pro-bailout parties set for ruling majority

Sun, Jun 17 18:10 PM EDT

By Renee Maltezou and Harry Papachristou

ATHENS (Reuters) - Parties committed to a bailout saving Greece from bankruptcy were set to win a slim parliamentary majority on Sunday, beating radical leftists who reject the terms of the lifeline and bringing relief to a world braced for fresh financial turmoil.

The election result looked likely to yield a coalition government led by conservative New Democracy but leaves an emboldened SYRIZA bloc to rally angry opposition in the streets to the punishing terms of the bailout.

An official projection released by the interior ministry showed New Democracy taking 29.5 percent, with SYRIZA just behind on 27.1. The PASOK Socialists were set to take 12.3 percent of the vote.

Because of a 50-seat bonus given to the party which comes first, that result would give New Democracy and PASOK 161 seats in the 300-seat parliament, in an alliance broadly committed to the 130 billion euros ($164 billion) bailout.

Later, with 80 percent of the votes counted, New Democracy looked slightly better placed with 30.1 percent of the vote to SYRIZA's 26.6 percent.

If confirmed, it buys time for the euro zone, which was braced for a SYRIZA victory and the prospect of having to cut debt-ridden Greece loose, potentially unleashing shocks that could break up the single currency.
me @ LOTS Trading Club (LTC)

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s largest pro-bailout parties, New Democracy and Pasok, won enough seats to forge a parliamentary majority, official projections showed, easing concern the country was headed toward an imminent exit from the euro. The currency rose on the result.

The election would give New Democracy and Pasok 163 seats if they agree to govern together in the 300-member parliament, according to the official projection by the Interior Ministry in Athens based on 63 percent of today’s vote.

“For markets, a majority for an ND-Pasok coalition would be a relief,” Holger Schmieding, London-based chief economist at Berenberg Bank, said in a note today. “It would very much reduce the risk of a Greek euro exit.”

The vote forced Greeks, in a fifth year of recession, to choose open-ended austerity to stay in the euro or reject the terms of a bailout and risk the turmoil of exiting the 17-nation currency. The election threatened to dominate a summit of world leaders that starts tomorrow in Mexico.

Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy had 30.1 percent, or 130 seats, and Socialist Pasok took 12.6 percent for 33 seats, the projection showed. Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza, which advocated reneging on the terms of the bailout, won 26.5 percent, or 71 seats. Samaras called for a government of national salvation.

“The Greek people expressed their will to stay anchored with the euro, remain an integral part of the euro zone and honor the country’s commitments,” Samaras told supporters. “There’s no time to lose.”