Markets: Commodities

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n Coffee futures soared to a 20-year high, jumping 27 per cent last week as forecasts for this summer's crop from Brazil, the world's largest producer, fuelled worries that roasters may be caught short of supply in coming months. The market was also set alight after Colombia, the second-largest producer, authorised its state-owned coffee federation to pay any price necessary to obtain supplies to meet export commitments.

n Coffee isn't the only thing making breakfast more expensive. Orange juice futures rose 12.6 per cent last week as traders bet retail demand will climb as summer approaches. Some even think a recent drop in futures prices to four-year lows could help keep retail prices low at the start of a seasonal jump in demand brought by warmer weather in the US and Europe.

n Copper prices surged 4.8 per cent to their highest price since last May - just weeks before Sumitomo Corp announced a $2.7bn loss as the result of unauthorised copper trading. Steady demand from a growing world economy and concern about supply disruptions pushed stockpiles registered with the LME to less than half their level of a year ago. The LME now holds less copper in its warehouses around the world than is consumed in a week.

n Wheat futures fell 6.5 per cent last week after a government report said improved crop conditions bolstered expectations that the harvest in June and July could exceed estimates. Wheat prices, which soared after an unexpected spell of freezing temperatures hit the US Mid-West, have retreated since warmer weather and good rainfall came to the region. Initial estimates that up to 300 million bushels were lost are now being pared. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg