REPEATING for all needing
Undated (AP) _ Massive speculative buying of coffee futures sent prices soaring Friday, concluding a week of wild trading on the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange in New York.
It was the sixth trading day out of the last seven that prices settled 6 cents a pound higher, the limit for a day’s trading set by the exchange.
The contract for delivery in March, on which there is no limit, was more than 23 cents higher before settling for an advance of 15.10 cents after profit taking.
Kim Badenhop, an analyst in New York with Merrill Lynch Futures, said the drought in Brazil, the world’s No. 1 grower, remains the driving factor on the coffee market.
The Brazilian Coffee Institute said Thursday it will not release a long- awaited crop estimate until some time in the future because some of the data is now out of date because of the drought.
″Prices were going to go sky high, anyway,″ Badenhop said, but the delay in the report ″just leaves more questions in the minds of traders.″
Coffee settled 6 cents to 15.10 cents higher with the contract for delivery in March at 240.78 cents a pound.
The petroleum markets continued in nervous trading, opening higher, declining under good trade selling and never able to mount a serious rally, analysts said.
Crude oil settled on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12 cents to 30.30 cents lower with the contract for delivery in February at $25.77 a barrel; heating oil was .48 cent lower to .20 cent higher with January at 80.44 cents a gallon.
Precious metal prices on the Commodity Exchange in New York were slightly higher with speculation that a cut in the Federal Reserve’s discount rate may be upcoming, analysts said. They said the Consumer Price Index advancing 0.6 percent in November appeared to have little effect.
Gold settled $1.50 to $1.60 higher with the contract for delivery in December at $325.90 a troy ounce; silver was 1 cent higher with December at 585.6 cents a troy ounce.
Orange juice futures were off sharply on the Cotton Exchange in New York.
″Cold weather forecasts have diminished significantly,″ said Judy Weissman, an analyst in New York with Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc. ″They now believe the cold front is only going through the northern sections of Florida″ and missing the main growing areas.
Cattle prices were mostly higher, while hogs were mostly lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Chuck Levitt, an analyst in Chicago with Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc., said buyers were attracted to cattle because the contracts for delivery in February and beyond were substantially lower than the December contract, which was going off the board Friday. Further, he said, a report coming out Monday is expected to show a significant decline in the number of cattle placed in feedlots during November.
Hog prices showed a similar discount between the December and later contracts, but another report coming Monday is expected to show the industry is on the brink of expanding the hog population, Levitt said.
Live cattle settled .23 cent lower to .40 cent higher with the contract for delivery in December at 64.47 cents a pound; feeder cattle were .28 cent to .70 cent higher with January at 65.77 cents a pound; live hogs were .20 cent lower to .20 cent higher with December at 50.20 cents a pound; and frozen pork bellies were .20 cent lower to .30 cent higher with February at 63.45 cents a pound.
Soybean futures prices closed mixed in very choppy trading on the Chicago Board of Trade Friday.
Wheat and corn prices were mostly higher.
The weather in Brazil remained in the underlying factor, analysts said, with a dry weekend forecast, but then some welcome rain was expected for Monday and Tuesday.
Wheat settled 11/4 cents lower to 11/2 cents higher with the contract for delviery in March at $3.411/2 a bushel; corn was 1/4 cent lower to 13/4 cents higher with March at $2.483/4 a bushel; oats were 1/2 cent higher with March at $1.383/4 a bushel; and soybeans were 3 cents lower to 4 cents higher with January at $5.31 a bushel.