Sun, Oct 23, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Commodity prices slide on eurozone debt tensions


Commodity prices mostly fell this week on eurozone debt tensions, weaker-than-expected Chinese growth data and the death of Muammar Qaddafi, the former strongman in oil-producer Libya.

There were late rallies, however, on hopes that European leaders would use summit meetings today and on Wednesday to find a concrete solution to the eurozone debt crisis.

OIL: Oil prices were mixed as traders reacted to weaker-than-expected economic growth figures in China — the world’s biggest energy consumer.

China said economic growth slowed to a still-impressive 9.1 percent in the third quarter, as government efforts to tame inflation and turbulence in Europe and the US curbed activity.

Libya’s oil output has risen to more than 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) in recent weeks after slowing to a trickle during heavy fighting.

OPEC sees member Libya restoring production to 1 million bpd within six months, then attaining pre-conflict levels by the end of next year.

By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December stood at US$110.77 a barrel compared with US$114.18 for the expired contract for next month a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for December, traded at US$87.93, up from US$86.51 for next month’s contract.

PRECIOUS METALS: Prices mostly retreated.

By late on Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold fell to US$1,642.50 an ounce from US$1,678 the previous week.

Silver dropped to US$30.80 an ounce from US$31.82.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum slipped to US$1,510 an ounce from US$1,553.

BASE METALS: Industrial metals fell across the board.

“The biggest casualty was copper ... setting off substantial weakness in lead, zinc, nickel and aluminum, with all four metals crashing to fresh 2011 lows,” MF Global analyst Ed Meir said.

By late on Friday on the London Metals Exchange, copper for delivery in three months tumbled to US$7,163 a tonne from US$7,511 the previous week.

Three-month aluminium fell to US$2,137 a tonne from US$2,216.

COCOA: Prices hit the lowest levels for more than two years on ample supplies following record output in Ivory Coast and Ghana — the world’s biggest cocoa exporters, dealers said.

Cocoa prices on Tuesday dropped to £1,652 a tonne in London and US$2,523 a tonne in New York — the lowest since July 2009.

By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in December fell to £1,678 a tonne from £1,707 the previous week.

In New York on the NYBOT-ICE, cocoa for December decreased to US$2,583 a tonne from US$2,655.

COFFEE: Coffee tumbled in London to a 10-month low of US$1,805 a tonne on expectations of a strong Brazilian crop.

By Friday on LIFFE, Robusta for delivery next month slumped to US$1,856 a tonne from $1,995 a week earlier.

On NYBOT-ICE, Arabica for December dropped to US$0.236 a pound (0.45kg) from US$0.240.

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