COMMODITIES-Arabica jumps on Brazilian heat; natgas slumps

Wed Feb 5, 2014 5:23pm EST

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By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee rose 5 percent on
Wednesday, reinforcing its position as the year's
best-performing commodity, while natural gas tumbled more than 6
percent as investors took profits on the previous session's
rally.
    Silver, gasoline and lean hogs were
other markets that saw significant gains of between 1 and 2
percent on the day.
    Key commodities such as crude oil, gold and
copper were little changed.   
    The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity Index
, a global benchmark for commodities, settled up nearly
a quarter percent.
    Arabica coffee futures hit a nine-month high on speculation
that output for the commodity might be severely affected by one
of hottest and driest January in 30 years in Brazil's
coffee-growing regions.
    "If they don't get rain soon (in Brazil), it'll be an issue
for production," said Nick Gentile, senior partner at commodity
trading consultancy Atlantic Capital Advisors.
    Arabica's front-month contract in New York reached a
session high of $1.4370 per lb, before paring gains to settle up
6.85 cents, or 5 percent, at $1.4310. 
    "We ran into some buy-stops," Gentile, said, describing the
market action.
    It was the seventh straight day of gains for arabica, and
the market's steepest week-long rally since July 2000.
    Arabica prices have risen nearly 30 percent this year,
making it the best performing commodity. Natural gas, No. 2 on
the slot, is up by less than 20 percent.
    On Wednesday, natural gas prices were pressured by
moderating weather forecasts after five weeks of frigid
temperatures and snowstorms across the United States sharply
boosted prices. 
    Gas futures rose 5 percent earlier in the session to a
four-year high, extending the 10-percent rally on Tuesday.
    But by mid-afternoon, the market's attention turned toward
moderating weather forecasts that would curb demand for the
heating fuel, and traders started taking profit on the gains. 
    "Once they realized they couldn't push it any higher, they
pushed it the other way," said Brad Schaeffer, principal and
founder of Occam Commodity Brokers in Red Bank, New Jersey.
    New York's front-month gas contract settled down
34.50 cents, or 6.4 percent, at $5.03 per million British
thermal units, after the four-year high at $5.737.
    
Prices at 5:13 p.m. EST (2213 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG
US crude              97.30     0.11   0.1%
Brent crude         106.18     0.40   0.4%
Natural gas           5.030   -0.345  -6.4%
                                                          
US gold             1257.30     5.60   0.4%
Gold                1257.15    -0.50   0.0%
US Copper              3.19     0.00  -0.1%
LME Copper         7039.00    -2.00   0.0%
Dollar               81.058   -0.063  -0.1%
CRB              287.107    0.670   0.2%
                                                          
US corn               443.25     1.50   0.3%
US soybeans          1316.25     3.00   0.2%
US wheat              587.50     3.00   0.5%
                                                          
US Coffee            143.10     6.85   5.0%
US Cocoa            2884.00     7.00   0.2%
US Sugar              16.10     0.04   0.2%
                                                          
US silver            19.805   19.611   1.6%
US platinum         1379.30     5.90   0.0%
US palladium         707.10     7.00   1.0%

 (Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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