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cameco sees japan uranium recovery: commodities

two years after the fukushima disaster caused some countries to abandon atomic power generation, cameco corp. says japan is stepping up uranium imports on speculation the government will allow more idled reactors to restart.

world food prices stable, low stocks pose risk of spikes: u.n.

(reuters) - world food prices stabilized in january after falling in the previous three months, the united nations food agency said on thursday, but it warned that adverse crop weather could cause violent price spikes due to tight grains stocks.

global food prices surged in mid-2012 following the worst u.s. drought in more than half a century and dry weather in other key grains exporters, raising fears of a food crisis similar to the one in 2008.

but prices eased in the last three months of 2012 due to expectations that large south american production will replenish tight global cereals supplies.

rubber falls; copper declines; wheat drops: commodities at close

the standard & poor’s gsci gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.1 percent to 663.24 at 5:26 p.m. singapore time. the ubs bloomberg cmci index of 26 raw materials decreased 0.01 percent to 1,596.851.

crude oil

oil traded near the highest price in four months in new york on speculation that the u.s. will lift its debt limit, countering forecasts that stockpiles increased in the world’s largest crude consumer.

west texas intermediate crude for march delivery was at $96.55 a barrel, down 13 cents, in electronic trading on the new york mercantile exchange at 4:04 p.m. singapore time. the average volume of all futures traded was 15 percent above the 100-day average. the february contract expired yesterday at $96.24, the highest close since sept. 17, 2012.

bulls rewarded with best january rally since 2006: commodities

speculators increased their bullish commodity wagers for a third straight week before prices capped the biggest january rally since 2006 on signs that the global recovery will be sustained by central bank stimulus.

hedge funds and other money managers raised net-long positions across 18 u.s. futures and options in the week ended jan. 29 by 5.6 percent to 800,738 contracts, the highest since dec. 11, u.s. commodity futures trading commission data show. traders became the most bullish on cotton since october 2010 and increased wagers on silver gains. crude-oil holdings rose a seventh week, the longest stretch, data starting in 2006 show.

commodities climb to three-month high after japan’s policy shift

commodities rose to a three-month high after the bank of japan (8301) said it will introduce open-ended asset purchases from 2014, boosting speculation that a revival of the economy will raise demand for natural resources.

the standard & poor’s gsci index of 24 raw materials rose as much as 0.6 percent to 664.62 today, the most since oct. 19. natural gas jumped 2.1 percent and soybeans gained 1.2 percent. bank of japan governor masaaki shirakawa and six of nine board members voted for a 2 percent inflation target, a pace not sustained in japan since the early 1990s, which is aimed at reviving the economy.

“japan going for more growth, and preparing to see higher inflation as a result of it, is another way of trying to generate more activity in the economy,” ole hansen, head of commodity strategy at saxo bank a/s said by phone from copenhagen. “better economic sentiment is doing the trick here” and boosting commodity prices, he said.

cotton leads gains as emissions tumble 40%: commodities at close

the standard & poor’s gsci gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.4 percent to 664.53 at 4:54 p.m. in london. the ubs bloomberg cmci index of 26 raw materials was down less than 0.1 percent at 1,595.593.

soft commodities

cotton futures rose for the seventh straight session, the longest rally in almost two years, on bets that production will drop in the u.s. as demand rebounds in china. sugar, cocoa and orange juice declined.

cotton for march delivery rose 1.5 percent to 81.66 cents a pound on ice futures in new york, after reaching 81.82 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since may 10. prices rallied 6.6 percent in the six previous session.

speculators boost bullish bets most since november: commodities

hedge funds raised bullish commodity wagers by the most since november as a jump in u.s. housing starts and the first acceleration in chinese growth since 2010 drove prices to a three-month high.

speculators increased net-long positions across 18 futures and options by 4.3 percent to 682,521 contracts in the week ended jan. 15, the biggest gain since nov. 27, u.s. commodity futures trading commission data show. wagers on a soybean rally rose for the first time in four weeks on signs of improved demand for supplies from the u.s., the biggest exporter. gold holdings rebounded from the lowest since august.

u.s. housing starts jumped 12 percent to a four-year high in december, capping the best year for the industry since 2008, the commerce department said jan 17. china expanded a faster- than-expected 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter, government data showed the next day. investors boosted commodity holdings by $20.4 billion last year, up from $14.6 billion in 2011, barclays plc estimates.

copper falls; oil trades at one-week low: commodities at close

the standard & poor’s gsci gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.01 percent to 661.91 at 5:05 p.m. singapore time. the ubs bloomberg cmci index of 26 raw materials decreased 0.3 percent to 1,592.227.

crude oil

oil traded near the lowest level in a week in new york after u.s. crude stockpiles gained and capacity on the seaway pipeline was reduced.

west texas intermediate crude for march delivery was at $95.39 a barrel, up 16 cents, in electronic trading on the new york mercantile exchange at 4:04 p.m. singapore time. the contract dropped $1.45 yesterday, the most since dec. 21, to the lowest price since jan. 16. the average volume of all futures traded was 32 percent above the 100-day average.

south africa may leave corn plantings and wheat output unchanged

south africa will probably leave its estimates for corn plantings and wheat output unchanged, according to a survey.

farmers may sow 2.74 million hectares (6.77 million acres) with corn, according to the median prediction in a survey of six traders, matching the pretoria-based crop estimates committee’s october forecast. growers will probably reap 1.9 million metric tons of wheat this season, according to the median estimate in the survey, equal to the committee’s dec. 20 forecast. the committee releases its forecasts at 3:30 p.m. on jan. 24.

white corn is a staple food in south africa and yellow corn is mainly used as animal feed. the free state province produces 40 percent of the country’s corn and mpumalanga grows 21 percent. the nation is the continent’s largest producer of the grain.

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