Commodities as an asset class competed well with others and some of them gave reasonably good returns to investors including gold which rose 26%
The holdings of world's largest gold backed exchange traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) reached a high of 1,134 metric tonnes in June 1 this year and presently hovers at 1,134 MT.
Copper has risen to 15 month high in New York on declining inventory and growing demand. The Chilean strike is contributing to supply tightness. Copper for March delivery added as much as 1.4 percent to $3.3395 a pound, the highest price since September 2008. Futures more than doubled this year as China imported record amounts of the metal in the first half. Copper for April delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained as much as 2.3 percent to 59,180 yuan ($8,665) a ton, the highest price for a most-active contract since Aug. 28, 2008. It closed at 58,530 yuan, Bloomberg reported
Most agricultural commodities including rubber, sugar, cocoa, turmeric and pepper witnessed a bullish sentiment on fall in production and rising demand. Tight supplies and low investment by West African producers drove cocoa futures prices on the ICE market in New York to a 30-year high of $3,510 per tonne on December 16.
Turmeric futures surged by 254.95 to reach 13971 in November 17 this year due to erratic rainfall in main sowing areas and production fell to 41 lakh bags. Guar surged 73% at NCDEX to Rs 2872 per quintal on delayed and below normal monsoon.
In India rubber prices in spot and futures market have already doubled in a year due to lower production globally and rising demand from automobile industry. The spot market prices have surged above Rs 140/kg for RSS 4 while last year the prices were close to Rs 60 levels. The crude oil rally has also enhanced the appeal of natural rubber over its petroleum-based substitute, synthetic rubber.
Rubber futures in Tokyo have almost doubled this year as China, the world's largest consumer, led a recovery in demand under the government's stimulus measures that boosted the nation's car sales to a record.
Garlic prices in China rose 1500 percent since March this year while wholesale ginger prices rose 85% in China as a three-year drop in prices forced farmers to turn to more profitable crops resulting in supply shortage this year.
Ginger prices continue to soar on short supply, with the retail price moving up to Rs 100 a kg. International prices have also shot up to $1,800-$1,850 per tonne, according to news reports..
Soybean futures in India surged by 65% in April to Rs 2819 but fell 32% by September on higher global seeds production. Sugar prices have reached a 28/1/2 year high and is already up 165% this year on tight supplies in India and Brazil.
Production of agri-softs are concentrated in a small group of developing nations mostly in tropics where bad weather, political instability, credit shortages and inability of farmers to respond to higher prices often create supply shortages.
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