COMMODITIES-Mostly up on US economy optimism; corn, sugar jump

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:34pm EDT

* Stronger U.S. jobs market underpins recovery hopes
    * Corn rises 1 pct, sugar up as well
    * Robusta coffee hits 5-month high on dry weather worry

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, March 11 (Reuters) - A number of commodities were
higher for a second straight session on Monday on hopes that a
recovering U.S. economy will lead to better demand, while
coffee, sugar and corn rallied on worries about harsh weather
and supply tightness.
    A fresh record high on the Dow Jones industrial average for
U.S. stocks added support across the sector. 
    The dollar fell against the euro, but remained near a
3-1/2-year high against the yen on speculation that the
rebounding U.S. labor market could prompt the U.S. Federal
Reserve to retreat sooner than expected from its ultra-loose
monetary policy. 
    The energy and metals markets, however, traded more on the
bullish U.S. job numbers for February, released on Friday,
ending broadly up or off the lows of the day.
Data from China pointing to higher inflation and slower factory
growth and spending offset some of the positive sentiment.
    
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
bellwether for commodity prices, settled up 0.1 percent.    
Twelve of the 19 markets tracked by the CRB ended up, with corn
rising about 1 percent or more to lead gains.
    
    ROBUSTA COFFEE, RAW SUGAR RALLY
    Coffee futures traded in London rose to a five-month high,
buoyed by concerns about dry weather in the world's largest
producer Vietnam. Raw sugar prices in New York also rose.
    London-traded robusta coffee have risen more than 14 percent
so far this year, boosted by a combination of strong demand and
concern that the 2013/14 crop in Vietnam could fall
significantly due to dry weather.
    "The drought is a continuing problem, and what it's doing is
causing farmers to want to hold onto the current production,"
said Sterling Smith, futures specialist with Citigroup in
Chicago.
    In Monday's session, May robusta coffee futures in London
 rose $9, or 0.4 percent, to close at $2,190 a tonne
after earlier touching $2,198, the highest level for the
benchmark second month since October 2012.
    May raw sugar futures in New York inched up 0.07
cent, or 0.4 percent, to finish at 18.82 cents a lb.
    "We had a lot of activity last week in sugar, and we're
taking a breather right now," said Michael McDougall, a vice
president at Newedge USA in New York.
    Sugar prices also found support from efforts by Brazil's
federal government to support the country's cane industry and to
rein in inflation. The Brazilian government plans to reduce
taxes on ethanol, which may guide more cane into ethanol rather
than sugar production, and also on food staples, seen as likely
boost internal consumption. (Full Story)
    
    CORN UP FOR 3RD DAY IN ROW
    Corn futures in Chicago rose more than 1 percent, posting
advances for the third straight day on tight stocks and on
spillover from the rally that followed the bullish corn supply
numbers the U.S. government released Friday.
    "Corn is leading everything higher today and it's technical
support after the USDA report. Managed money is buying after the
aggressive fund liquidation that we've seen," said Shawn
McCambridge, an analyst for Jefferies Bache.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's March supply/demand
report on Friday kept projected corn stocks unchanged at a
17-year low. The market had expected higher inventories.
    U.S. corn for May delivery ended up 7-3/4 cents per
bushel at $7.11-1/4.
   
 Prices at 6:28 p.m. EST (2228 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    91.76    -0.30  -0.3%   -0.1%
 Brent crude                110.04    -0.81  -0.7%   -1.0%
 Natural gas                 3.649    0.000   0.0%    8.9%
 
 US gold                   1578.00     1.10   0.1%   -5.8%
 Gold                      1581.24     0.85   0.1%   -5.6%
 US Copper                  350.00     0.85   0.2%   -4.2%
 LME Copper                7758.00    17.50   0.2%   -2.2%
 Dollar                     82.608   -0.088  -0.1%    7.6%
                             
 
 US corn                    734.50     9.25   1.3%    5.2%
 US soybeans               1514.75     6.25   0.4%    6.8%
 US wheat                   694.00     4.00   0.6%  -10.8%
 
 US Coffee                  143.75    -0.30  -0.2%    0.0%
 US Cocoa                  2130.00    10.00   0.5%   -4.7%
 US Sugar                    18.82     0.07   0.4%   -3.5%
 
 US silver                  28.853   -0.095  -0.3%   -4.5%
 US platinum               1601.20    -2.70  -0.2%    4.1%
 US palladium               779.20    -3.55  -0.5%   10.8%
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.