Highlights

- Crude oil prices hovered around US$58 per barrel last week. The extremely bullish U.S. inventory report was offset by another round of downward demand revisions from the EIA, OPEC and the IEA, with the latter forecasting the sharpest drop in consumption since 1981.

- Extending the rally from the week prior, natural gas prices shot up 11.8% last week. While the uptrend was largely due to spillover from other markets, the fundamentals in the natural gas market remain extremely weak. Once again, the EIA downgraded their demand forecast, and U.S. inventories continue to build steadily. Furthermore, the massive reduction in global demand will force LNG imports to rise as Storage capacity is limited elsewhere.

- Copper prices slid 4.7% last week, on signs that the Chinese market is well supplied. Inventories on the Shanghai Futures Exchange soared by 28% on the week, while industrial production in China advanced at a slower-than-expected pace in April. Weak economic data out of the U.S. also weighed on prices.

- An uptick in demand drove uranium prices up 11% last week, breaching the US$50 mark for the first time since January. Over the past year, uranium prices have experienced a similar jump in prices three times, before resuming a downward trend. Hence, it is too early to determine whether this 5-week uptrend will be sustained.

- Hog prices were up 9.3% on the week, driven largely by gains seen early in the week as concerns regarding the relationship between the H1N1 flu and pork consumption eased. Prices were relatively flat throughout the rest of the week, and are down 21.3% from year-ago levels.

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