COMMODITIES-Soy slumps on worries of record large crop; sugar up
NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) - U.S soybean prices hit two-month lows on Thursday and soymeal futures again dropped by their daily trading limit as a giant crop loomed, while raw sugar rebounded after mill shutdowns in Brazil. Copper snapped a 5-day run-up on worries about growing stockpiles of the metal and possible waning of demand from top buyer China. Gold rose, recovering from an early slide extended by Wednesday's sell-off. Oil edged higher too after the previous session's tumble. One reason for the higher gold and oil prices was the weaker dollar. The U.S. currency fell after being undercut by positive economic reports from the euro zone and expectations of tighter monetary policy in New Zealand. A weaker dollar tends to inflate prices of commodities denominated in the currency. The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index settled down 0.3 percent as the drop in soybeans negated strength in the likes of gold, oil and sugar. Traders said end-users of soybeans were beginning to quit buying expensive old-crop soybean supplies on prospects of a record harvest. Favorable U.S. weather further weakened the outlook for prices. "This week's price action is a real sign that the party is over from the high prices due to the 2012 drought," said Rich Feltes, director of research for trade house R.J. O'Brien. The front-month soybeans contract on the Chicago Board of Trade, August, lost 37-1/4 cents, or 2.6 percent, to settle at $13.55-1/4 per bushel. August soymeal finished down the daily $20-per-ton limit, or 4.3 percent, at $447.80.
Sugar posted its biggest gains since early July, recovering from a recent 3-year low, as rains in top grower Brazil spurred trade buying. Raw sugar for October delivery ended New York trade up 0.25 cent, or 1.5 percent, at 16.39 cents per lb.
In copper, the 3-month contract on the London Metal Exchange was last bid at $7,010 a tonne, down from a close of $7,055 on Wednesday, when it touched a one-month high at $7,119. Copper, used in construction, is down 12 percent this year on weaker Chinese growth.
Prices at 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 105.52 0.13 0.1% 14.9% Brent crude 107.74 0.55 0.5% -3.0% Natural gas 3.644 -0.054 -1.5% 8.7% US gold 1328.80 9.30 0.7% -20.7% Gold 1330.60 9.91 0.8% -20.5% US Copper 3.19 0.01 0.2% -12.7% LME Copper 7015.00 -40.00 -0.6% -11.5% Dollar 81.783 -0.508 -0.6% 6.5% CRB 286.903 -0.842 -0.3% -2.7% US corn 496.00 -12.25 -2.4% -29.0% US soybeans 1355.25 -36.50 -2.6% -4.5% US wheat 649.25 -4.00 -0.6% -16.5% US Coffee 124.80 3.55 2.9% -13.2% US Cocoa 2347.00 -13.00 -0.6% 5.0% US Sugar 16.39 0.25 1.5% -16.0% US silver 20.154 19.954 1.5% -33.3% US platinum 1447.90 -7.30 0.0% -5.9% US palladium 740.75 -4.55 -0.6% 5.3%
(Reporting by Barani Krishnan)