COMMODITIES-Soy at 1-month high, cotton 7-month peak; sugar down

Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:37pm EST

* Soybeans up on China demand outlook, Brazil worry
    * Cotton also jumps bets of more China buying

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Oil and metals prices rose on
Tuesday as more monetary easing from Japan appeared likely,
while soybeans hit a one-month high on expectations of more
China buying and worries whether the Brazilian shipments of the
crop would make it port.
    Cotton prices also rallied, hitting seven-month highs, as
speculators bet on robust demand from China, the world's biggest
textile market. 
    Soft commodities declined, with sugar hovering near a
2010 low as investors exited long positions amid signs of a
growing surplus. Coffee and cocoa saw their
biggest one-day drop in more than two months.
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index edged just
0.1 percent higher at the close, after five of the 19 markets it
tracks ended in the negative and nine others that gained less
than 1 percent each.
    Cotton was one of the largest gainers, rising about 2
percent, while coffee was the biggest loser, sliding
nearly 5 percent.
    
    OIL, METALS UP
    Oil prices rose after news that the Bank of Japan would
switch to an open-ended commitment to buying assets next year
and double its inflation target to help end years of economic
stagnation gave crude an early lift. 
   Optimism also increased in oil markets after a surprisingly
strong German ZEW reading on investor sentiment, a sign the euro
zone crisis was no longer hitting Europe's largest economy as
hard as it did last year.
   Oil's benchmark Brent crude rose 71 cents to settle
at $112.42 a barrel.
   Three-month copper in London ended up 0.97 percent to
$8,133 a tonne, up from $8,055 at the close on Monday. It
earlier hit $8,135 a tonne, its highest since Jan. 11.
    The spot price of gold was up 0.1 percent at
$1,691.24 an ounce by 3:29 p.m. EST (2029 GMT).
    
    SOY, COTTON RALLY
    Soybeans advanced after the U.S. Department of Agriculture
said private exporters reported sales of 120,000 tonnes of
optional origin soybeans to China for delivery in 2013/14.
 
    "There is talk that China is back in, shopping for February
and March," said Roy Huckabay at the Linn Group, a Chicago
brokerage, adding that cash basis values for soybeans had firmed
in some U.S. locations. 
    Support also stemmed from rumors that Brazil has over-booked
soybean sales. Investors also worried about infrastructure
limitations in Brazil, projected as the world's top soybean
producer and supplier for the 2012/13 marketing year. 
    Analysts have questioned whether Brazil will be able to move
its expected record-large soy crop to port in a timely manner.
Adding to the concern, rains forecast in northern Brazil over
the next two weeks are likely to slow the harvest.
    U.S. soybeans front-month contract in Chicago settled
up 22-1/2 cents at $14.51-3/4 per bushel, after reaching
$14.60-3/4, its highest since Dec. 19.
    Cotton rallied as expectations of buying from mills and
Beijing's state reserve helped offset fears about stagnating
demand and record inventory levels expected in 2012/13.
    Rising for a fifth straight session, benchmark U.S. cotton
 settled at 79.93 cents per lb, up 1.38 cents, or 1.75
percent. That was its best one-day performance since Dec. 10 and
the front month's peak of 80.2 cents was its loftiest
since June 21.
    
 Prices at 5:27 p.m. EST (2227 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    96.13     0.68   0.7%    4.7%
 Brent crude                112.39     0.68   0.6%    1.2%
 Natural gas                 3.558   -0.008  -0.2%    6.2%
 
 US gold                   1693.20     6.20   0.4%    1.0%
 Gold                      1692.02     0.42   0.0%    1.1%
 US Copper                  370.50     2.60   0.7%    1.4%
 LME Copper                8133.00    78.00   1.0%    2.5%
 Dollar                     79.865   -0.171  -0.2%    4.0%
                               
 
 US corn                    728.50     1.00   0.1%    4.3%
 US soybeans               1451.75    22.50   1.6%    2.3%
 US wheat                   779.25   -12.00  -1.5%    0.2%
 
 US Coffee                  148.60    -7.70  -4.9%    3.3%
 US Cocoa                  2213.00   -72.00  -3.2%   -1.0%
 US Sugar                    18.12    -0.25  -1.4%   -7.1%
 
 US silver                  32.177    0.245   0.8%    6.5%
 US platinum               1698.40    26.30   1.6%   10.4%
 US palladium               729.90     7.15   1.0%    3.8%
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