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Commodity prices slump

June 24, 2012


LONDON, June 23: Commodity prices slumped this week as more dark clouds appeared over an already troubled global economy.

Base metals prices plunged to multi-month lows, with losses accelerating late in the week on poor Chinese manufacturing data.

“Weaker... data in China, Germany, the EU and the US, all weighed on sentiment,” said William Adams, an analyst at Fast Markets research group.

“With the US showing more signs of slowing, the outlook for the global economy has deteriorated as it looks more likely that all regions are now suffering including the likes of India and Brazil. As such, it is not surprising that the metals are under pressure,” he added.

Copper on Friday hit a six-month low at $7,219.50 a ton, while aluminium struck a two-year trough at $1,854 a ton.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slumped to $7,339 a ton from $7,516.50 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminium dropped to $1,878 a ton from $1,937.

Three-month lead decreased to $1,820 a ton from $1,933.75.

Three-month tin slid to $18,410 a ton from $19,700.

Three-month nickel retreated to $16,350 a ton from $16,750.

Three-month zinc fell to $1,813 a ton from $1,907.25.

COFFEE: Coffee prices struck fresh two-year lows at 150.10 US cents a pound in New York on expectations of ample Brazilian supplies, before pulling higher on bargain hunting.

“Expectations of a large coffee yield from Brazil provided... bearish sentiment,” said The Public Ledger, a leading commodities publication.

By Friday on NYBOT-ICE, Arabica for delivery in September grew to 157.95 US cents a pound from 152.30 cents a week earlier.

On LIFFE, Robusta for delivery in September dropped to $2,071 a ton from $2,108.

COCOA: Cocoa futures retreated after rising over the previous two weeks.

“Profit taking at the highs on Tuesday was... responsible for some of the downward price slide in cocoa,” said The Public Ledger.

By Friday on LIFFE, London's futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in September stood at £1,486 a ton compared with £1,579 for the expired July contract a week earlier.

In New York on the NYBOT-ICE, cocoa for September stood at $2,137 a ton compared with $2,250 for July.

SUGAR: Sugar prices gained on tight supply concerns.

Rainy “weather in Brazil has been the main driver of the markets in the past two weeks,” said Sucden brokers analyst Nick Penney.

“What is also supporting values is the weakening dollar,” which makes dollar-denominated sugar cheaper for buyers using rival currencies.

By Friday on LIFFE, the price of a ton of white sugar for delivery in August jumped to $604 from $571.20 a week earlier.

On NYBOT-ICE, the price of unrefined sugar for July grew to 20.56 US cents a pound from 20.18 cents.—AFP