Copper has surged more than 30% from June’s lows, lifted by improving industrial demand and concerns about global supply.
The most actively traded copper futures contract, for December delivery, settled up 1.1%, or 4 cents, at $3.6370 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since July 2008. Nearby but thinly traded September copper ended 1.1%, or 4.05 cents, higher at $3.6340 a pound, also a two-year high.
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Written by Cal Harrison of Beyond Referrals
Sugar rose to the highest price in seven months in New York today and has jumped 29 percent this month because of concern the South American drought threatens global supplies. Orange juice gained 15 percent this month and coffee soared 33 percent this year. The dry weather will persist at least until mid- October, said Willians Bini, a meteorologist at Sao Paulo-based weather forecaster Somar Meteorologia.
For only the second time since the Civil War, cotton for near-term delivery is priced at more than $1 a pound. Its spectacular 35% leap this year has doubled the better-publicized rally in gold. And in large part, it reflects a fundamental imbalance of global supply and demand.
Gold prices are up around 36% in the past year. It has been one of the best-performing assets through the financial crisis because of its perceived “safe haven” status.
The current run, however, which helped the metal last week crack its former record of $1,265 an ounce—a high that had been in place since June—has been primarily on the back of currency moves, market players say.
Natural gas for October delivery rose 9.7 cents (2.5%) to close at $3.919 per million BTUs in New York yesterday, on concern a storm developing in the Caribbean may move into gas production regions in the Gulf of Mexico.
Despite predictions that world-wide steel prices would remain weak for the rest of 2010, they have started to climb for several types of the metal used in products ranging from ships to tin cans, appliances and oil pipelines.
Natural Gas for October delivery fell 20.2 cents to close at $3.822 per million BTUs in New York yesterday, as Atlantic storms moved away from production regions in the Gulf of Mexico, and temperate weather reduced demand from power plants.
Natural gas’s unprecedented share of U.S. power generation is likely to keep growing as the biggest price slide in a year and the prospect of stricter pollution rules erode the market for coal.
Electricity generated using natural gas will rise to 2.46 billion kilowatt-hours a day this year from 2005’s 1.874 billion, according to the Energy Department. Coal-powered electricity will average 5.10 billion kilowatt-hours a day, down from 2005’s 5.458 billion.