February 6, 2014 / 10:51 PM / in 4 years

COMMODITIES-Nickel jumps 1.4 pct; arabica down, oats hit record

By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Nickel prices jumped, nearing a
one-week high after Indonesia upheld a shipment ban on the ore
of the metal used in coin- and stainless steel-making, and
arabica coffee slumped 5 percent to reverse the previous day's
rally on profit-taking.
    Oats, a thinly traded grain, hit record highs due to
transportation bottlenecks that slowed shipments from Canada. 
    Raw sugar fell about 2 percent, hit by profit-taking
after a run-up this week triggered by Brazil's drought. Natural
gas fell similarly as a U.S. government report showed
lower-than-expected draws of gas stockpiles over the past week
amid freezing temperatures.  
    Copper settled about 1 percent up on expectations
that top metals importer China will increase purchases when it
resumes work next week from a long festive holiday. 
    The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity Index, a
bellwether for commodities, settled flat after the mixed
performance across the 19 markets it tracked. Eight of the CRB's
components moved less than half a percent on the day.
    Nickel led the index's gains as Indonesia's government
remained firm about its ban on exports of unprocessed minerals,
despite market hopes that the country, which has been one of the
leading exporters of nickel ore, may waver.
    "I think the market assumption is that there is going to be
some easing of the restrictions," BNP Paribas analyst Stephen
Briggs said. "There are no signs of that at the moment. As
things stand, the government in Indonesia is talking tough."
    Three-month nickel on the LME closed up $195, or 1.4
percent, at $13,970 a tonne. It rose to $14,066 during the
session, a dollar shy of a Jan. 31 peak.
    Oat prices surged after severe railroad delays and other
logistical problems in Canada sent the price of the grain above
corn for the first time in eight years.
    The front-month oat contract in Chicago soared by its
daily 20-cent limit to $4.63-1/4 a bushel, to set the
highest-ever spot price for oat. It settled up 3 percent at
    Arabica coffee fell after hitting a nine-month high, as
investors took profits late in the session on a commodity that
gained 26 percent over eight sessions on concerns about Brazil's
    Arabica for March delivery settled down 7.35 cents,
or 5.1 percent, at $1.3575 a lb, after scaling a 9-month peak of
    Prices at 5:32 p.m. EST (2232 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG
US crude              97.91     0.46   0.5%
Brent crude         107.35     1.10   1.0%
Natural gas           4.931   -0.099  -2.0%
US gold             1257.60     0.30   0.0%
Gold                1257.19    -0.07   0.0%
US Copper              3.23     0.04   1.3%
LME Copper         7129.50    90.50   1.3%
Dollar               80.890   -0.149  -0.2%
CRB              287.218    0.111   0.0%
US corn               443.00    -0.25  -0.1%
US soybeans          1325.75     9.50   0.7%
US wheat              580.75    -6.75  -1.2%
US Coffee            135.75    -7.35  -5.1%
US Cocoa            2886.00     2.00   0.1%
US Sugar              15.85    -0.25  -1.6%
US silver            19.928   19.730   1.6%
US palladium         710.35     3.25   0.5%

 (Editing by David Gregorio)
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