COMMODITIES

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The Independent Online
n COPPER prices surged more than 5 per cent to a 12-week high last week as a strike at Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, and falling stockpiles exacerbated concern that not enough metal is being produced to meet steady demand. Copper stockpiles held at the London Metal Exchange have more than halved in the past year, and, at 145,200 tons, are approaching what analysts call "critical" levels.

n PORK belly futures soared 3.6 per cent in Chicago, reaching their highest level since August, amid falling supplies and anticipation of seasonally strong summer demand. Demand for pork bellies, from which bacon is made, peaks each summer as the tomato harvest tempts more Americans into eating bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.

n SOYABEAN futures jumped 3.4 per cent amid speculation that China purchased or sought US soyabean products last week. Traders speculated that China bought as many as three cargoes of US soyabeans for delivery during May and June and sought an unspecified amount of US soyabean meal. A cargo is generally about 50,000 metric tons.

n WHEAT futures fell 2.5 per cent last week as rain reached dry farms across Europe. Traders were betting storms would moisten fields further at the weekend. The much-needed showers are easing concern that a drought would reduce wheat production from European Union countries, which are, collectively, the world's largest exporter. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg

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