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The 10 Hottest Commodities of 2011

2011's Hottest Commodities... So Far
Commodities are something many investors can relate to. What's not to like about corn, crude oil, or copper? Some commodities have been on a tear in recent months. In fact, the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, a global commodity benchmark tracking 19 commodities that are mostly U.S. traded, is near a two-and-a-half year high. In 2010 the CRB index rose by 17% compared to a 13% gain for the S&P 500. Several individual commodities continue to greatly outperform the broader market year-to-date, affecti
Photo: Microzoa | The Image Bank | Getty Images

Commodities are something many investors can relate to. What's not to like about corn, crude oil, or copper?

Some commodities have been on a tear in recent months. In fact, the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, a global commodity benchmark tracking 19 commodities that are mostly U.S. traded, is near a two-and-a-half year high.

In 2010 the CRB index rose by 17% compared to a 13% gain for the S&P 500. Several individual commodities continue to greatly outperform the broader market year-to-date, affecting equities and indexes particularly exposed to fluctuating commodity prices.

CNBC’s analytics team compiled a list of the 10 best-performing commodities in the CRB index so far this year, based on the closing prices on March 29, 2011. Click ahead to learn the hottest commodities of the first quarter of 2011!

By Giovanny Moreano
Posted 30 Mar 2011

10. Corn
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 6.8% Closing Price: $6.7175 / bushel 52-Week High: $7.42 52-Week Low: $3.245 +6%
Photo: Chris Ted | Photodisc | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 6.8%
Closing Price: $671.75 / bushel
52-Week High: $742
52-Week Low: $324.5

Related ETF:
CORN, +6%

9. LME* Aluminum
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 6.9% Closing Price: $2,648 / metric ton 52-Week High: $2,650 52-Week Low: $1,830 +6%
Photo: Greg Pease | Stone | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 6.9%
Closing Price: $2,648 / metric ton
52-Week High: $2,650
52-Week Low: $1,830

Related ETF:
JJU, +6%

*Alumiunum as it trades on the London Metals Exchange

8. Coffee
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 8.7% Closing Price: $2.6145 / pound 52-Week High: $2.9665 52-Week Low: $1.3020 +9%
Photo: Vincenzo Lombardo | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 8.7%
Closing Price: $2.6145 / pound
52-Week High: $2.9665
52-Week Low: $1.3020

Related ETF:
JO, +9%

7. Live Cattle
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 8.8% Closing Price: $117.9 / pound 52-Week High: $118.1 52-Week Low: $87.2 +6%
Photo: AP

% Chg in 2011: 8.8%
Closing Price: $117.9 / pound
52-Week High: $118.1
52-Week Low: $87.2

Related ETF:
COW, +6%

6. Crude Oil
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 15% Closing Price: $104.79 / barrel 52-Week High: $106.95 52-Week Low: $67.15 +11%
Photo: Harold Sund | The Images Bank | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 15%
Closing Price: $104.79 / barrel
52-Week High: $106.95
52-Week Low: $67.15

Related ETN:
OLO, +11%

5. Lean Hogs
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 17% Closing Price: $93.6 / pound 52-Week High: $94.80 52-Week Low: $65.15 +8%
Photo: Tim Sloan | AFP | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 17%
Closing Price: $93.6 / pound
52-Week High: $94.80
52-Week Low: $65.15

Related ETF:
GSG, +8%

3. (Tied) Silver
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 20% Closing Price: $36.987 / ounce 52-Week High: $38.180 52-Week Low: $16.935 +10%
Photo: iStock Photo

% Chg in 2011: 20%
Closing Price: $36.987 / ounce
52-Week High: $38.180
52-Week Low: $16.935

Related ETF:
SLV, +10%

3. (Tied) Heating Oil
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 20% Closing Price: $3.0415 / gallon 52-Week High: $3.1372 52-Week Low: $1.8483 +19%
Photo: AP

% Chg in 2011: 20%
Closing Price: $3.0415 / gallon
52-Week High: $3.1372
52-Week Low: $1.8483

Related ETF:
UHN, +19%

2. RBOB Gasoline
% Chg in 2011 Q1: 25% Closing Price: $3.0458 / gallon 52-Week High: $3.0936 52-Week Low: $1.7849 +15%
Photo: Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 25%
Closing Price: $3.0458 / gallon
52-Week High: $3.0936
52-Week Low: $1.7849

Related ETF:
DBE, +15%

1. Cotton
% Chg in 2011: 35% Closing Price: $194.88 / bushel 52-Week High: $219.70 52-Week Low: $72.96 +38%
Photo: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm | Digital Vision | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 35%
Closing Price: $194.88 / bushel
52-Week High: $219.70
52-Week Low: $72.96

Related ETF:
BAL, +38%