Commodity Weekly Commentary 5th-9th April

In the week gone by interesting moves were witnessed in gold futures. Gold prices surged high on international bourses while strong rupee kept domestic gold prices under check. International gold futures ended the first quarter with a positive note on buying driven by volatile currencies, firm stock markets and oil as well as euro zone debt but it struggled to sustain gains since hitting a record above $1,200 an ounce last December.


The world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust said that its holdings stood at 1,129.823 tonnes as of March 31, 2010. Even, silver showed smart gains on international as well as on domestic exchanges. In base metal pack; copper futures hit 20-month highs last week, starting the second quarter in upbeat mood as improving demand sentiment and investor cash supported metals.


Falling LME inventories helped aid sentiment in recent weeks, with copper stocks dipping 1,875 tonnes to 512,450 tonnes, having hit 6-1/2 year highs at 555,075 tonnes in mid-February. Nickel stood as outperformer last week among all the base metals as prices rose 34.9 percent in the first quarter of this year, outperforming other metals traded on the LME.


The buying was triggered by expectations of stronger demand from stainless steel mills. In energy counter;  crude oil futures hit their highest level this year and posted the loftiest settlement for a front-month crude  contract in almost 1.5 years as a weakening dollar attracted buying.


Bearish trend was witnessed in most of agri commodities in the week gone by. Guar pack futures fell last week tracking weakness in the spot market, hopes of normal monsoon rains in 2010 and sufficient stocks. The movement in guar seed is largely driven by the monsoon report as it is a rain-fed crop.


However, in top producer Rajasthan, output is likely to drop by 80% to 241,000 tonnes in 2009/10 as scanty  rains trimmed area and yields. Profit booking at higher levels, drop in spot prices and rising arrivals  kept chana futures under check last week. In oil seeds section; soya bean and soya oil futures also  tad down tracking losses in the U.S. market, while rapeseed traded sideways tracking weakness in soya  market on output concerns.


Traders are now speculating that output would be lower for mustard than the estimates considering the arrivals in spot market. In spices pack; jeera and chilli prices settled in red zone while pepper futures surged high for the third consecutive week due to extended bargain buying on the exchange platform. The factors supporting the rise in prices are firm rates in the international markets and active buying of exchange because of tight supply situation in the physical markets.

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