January 7, 2014 / 11:26 PM / 4 years ago

COMMODITIES-Cotton jumps on China news; gasoline spikes on U.S. cold

By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - U.S. cotton prices jumped their
most in two weeks on Tuesday on news that top producer China
could be paring plantings, and gasoline prices also rallied to
lead gains in commodities.
    Heating oil, natural gas and crude oil 
prices rose as well, boosted by the coldest U.S. weather in
nearly two decades.
    Still, the Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index
, a bellwether for commodities, closed slightly lower
  after a sharp drop in prices of arabica coffee and
silver. Ten of the 19 commodities tracked by the CRB
closed lower.
    Cotton futures rallied for a second consecutive day in New
York after a survey by a Chinese industry group said it expected
farmers in that country to cut cotton plantings by 9 percent
this year. It would be a third straight year of declines in
planting by the No. 1 producer and consumer of natural fiber.
    U.S. cotton's front-month contract, March, settled up
1.04 cents, or 1.2 percent at 84.67 cents after news of the
China survey. 
    Also fueling the cotton rally was speculation that the U.S.
Department of Agriculture could cite a lower-than-expected
inventory figure for cotton in its monthly supply-demand report
due on Friday.
    "There's anticipation that the USDA report could spring a
surprise, and together with the Chinese plantings survey, it was
enough for the market to rally," said Sharon Johnson, senior
cotton analyst at KCG Futures, a division of commodities broker
Knight Capital, in Roswell, Georgia. 
    The energy complex rose as frigid weather in North America
boosted demand for heating while hurting some refinery
operations.
    U.S. RBOB gasoline futures rose 3.26 cents to $2.6786
a gallon, up 1.2 percent on the day.
    At least five refineries in the United States and Canada
curtailed supply after bitterly cold temperatures caused
malfunctions and, in a few cases, full-scale closures. 
    Prices at 6:13 p.m. EST (2313 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
US crude              93.99     0.32   0.3%    2.4%
Brent crude         107.45     0.72   0.7%   -3.3%
Natural gas           4.299    0.000   0.0%   28.3%
                                                          
US gold             1229.60    -8.40  -0.7%  -26.6%
Gold                1231.44    -0.05   0.0%  -26.5%
US Copper              3.36     0.00   0.0%   -8.0%
LME Copper         7351.00    26.00   0.4%   -7.3%
Dollar               80.863    0.210   0.3%    5.3%
CRB              276.826   -0.278  -0.1%   -6.2%
                                                          
US corn               426.00    -1.75  -0.4%  -39.0%
US soybeans          1299.50     2.75   0.2%   -8.4%
US wheat              602.50    -3.25  -0.5%  -22.6%
                                                          
US Coffee            117.25    -3.75  -3.1%  -18.5%
US Cocoa            2675.00     8.00   0.3%   19.6%
US Sugar              16.06    -0.02  -0.1%  -17.7%
                                                          
US silver            19.787   19.586   1.6%  -34.5%
US platinum         1412.70    -1.00   0.0%   -8.2%
US palladium         741.70     3.20   0.4%    5.5%

 (Editing by David Gregorio)

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