COMMODITIES-Soy at 1-month high, cotton 7-month peak; sugar down
* Soybeans up on China demand outlook, Brazil worry
* Cotton also jumps bets of more China buying
NEW YORK, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Oil and metals prices rose on Tuesday as more monetary easing from Japan appeared likely, while soybeans hit a one-month high on expectations of more China buying and worries whether the Brazilian shipments of the crop would make it port. Cotton prices also rallied, hitting seven-month highs, as speculators bet on robust demand from China, the world's biggest textile market. Soft commodities declined, with sugar hovering near a 2010 low as investors exited long positions amid signs of a growing surplus. Coffee and cocoa saw their biggest one-day drop in more than two months. The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index edged just 0.1 percent higher at the close, after five of the 19 markets it tracks ended in the negative and nine others that gained less than 1 percent each. Cotton was one of the largest gainers, rising about 2 percent, while coffee was the biggest loser, sliding nearly 5 percent.
OIL, METALS UP Oil prices rose after news that the Bank of Japan would switch to an open-ended commitment to buying assets next year and double its inflation target to help end years of economic stagnation gave crude an early lift. Optimism also increased in oil markets after a surprisingly strong German ZEW reading on investor sentiment, a sign the euro zone crisis was no longer hitting Europe's largest economy as hard as it did last year. Oil's benchmark Brent crude rose 71 cents to settle at $112.42 a barrel. Three-month copper in London ended up 0.97 percent to $8,133 a tonne, up from $8,055 at the close on Monday. It earlier hit $8,135 a tonne, its highest since Jan. 11. The spot price of gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,691.24 an ounce by 3:29 p.m. EST (2029 GMT).
SOY, COTTON RALLY Soybeans advanced after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters reported sales of 120,000 tonnes of optional origin soybeans to China for delivery in 2013/14.
"There is talk that China is back in, shopping for February and March," said Roy Huckabay at the Linn Group, a Chicago brokerage, adding that cash basis values for soybeans had firmed in some U.S. locations. Support also stemmed from rumors that Brazil has over-booked soybean sales. Investors also worried about infrastructure limitations in Brazil, projected as the world's top soybean producer and supplier for the 2012/13 marketing year. Analysts have questioned whether Brazil will be able to move its expected record-large soy crop to port in a timely manner. Adding to the concern, rains forecast in northern Brazil over the next two weeks are likely to slow the harvest. U.S. soybeans front-month contract in Chicago settled up 22-1/2 cents at $14.51-3/4 per bushel, after reaching $14.60-3/4, its highest since Dec. 19. Cotton rallied as expectations of buying from mills and Beijing's state reserve helped offset fears about stagnating demand and record inventory levels expected in 2012/13. Rising for a fifth straight session, benchmark U.S. cotton settled at 79.93 cents per lb, up 1.38 cents, or 1.75 percent. That was its best one-day performance since Dec. 10 and the front month's peak of 80.2 cents was its loftiest since June 21.
Prices at 5:27 p.m. EST (2227 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 96.13 0.68 0.7% 4.7% Brent crude 112.39 0.68 0.6% 1.2% Natural gas 3.558 -0.008 -0.2% 6.2%US gold 1693.20 6.20 0.4% 1.0% Gold 1692.02 0.42 0.0% 1.1% US Copper 370.50 2.60 0.7% 1.4% LME Copper 8133.00 78.00 1.0% 2.5% Dollar 79.865 -0.171 -0.2% 4.0%US corn 728.50 1.00 0.1% 4.3% US soybeans 1451.75 22.50 1.6% 2.3% US wheat 779.25 -12.00 -1.5% 0.2%US Coffee 148.60 -7.70 -4.9% 3.3% US Cocoa 2213.00 -72.00 -3.2% -1.0% US Sugar 18.12 -0.25 -1.4% -7.1%US silver 32.177 0.245 0.8% 6.5% US platinum 1698.40 26.30 1.6% 10.4% US palladium 729.90 7.15 1.0% 3.8%