Coffee Rallies on Tight Supplies

Features Reuters

Coffee rallied on Tuesday on tight supplies of robusta beans in top producer Vietnam, and gold and silver surged too, pushing the commodities complex broadly higher.

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U.S. crude oil climbed 1 percent after news of progress toward the opening of a major pipeline that will expedite shipment of domestic crude to refineries. Brent crude, the world benchmark for oil, dipped, finishing down a penny after news of a possible end to the blockade of Libyan oil that would bring more supplies to the global market.

Wheat was one of the few commodities that fell, sliding more than 1 percent to a three-month low after a U.S. government crop report put estimates for the grain's global supplies above analysts' expectations.

The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index closed up 0.7 percent, extending Monday's slight gain. Thirteen of the 19 components on the CRB rose in one of the index's broadest rallies in recent weeks, Reuters data showed.

Robusta coffee rose as much as 4.6 percent to $1,803 a tonne in London, before closing 4 percent higher at $1,793. Robusta is not a CRB component, but its rally inspired arabica coffee, which is, to a 3.9 percent gain in New York. Arabica finished at $1.1025 per lb, outperforming the rest of the index.

Coffee's runup came as growers in Vietnam, the world's top robusta producer, held off selling their crop on hopes that prices would rise more.

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Gold rose about 2 percent to a three-week high, boosted by technical buying and funds' short-covering in thin trade ahead of the Federal Reserve's December policy meeting in which it is expected to begin trimming its monetary stimulus.

The spot price of bullion surged 2 percent to $1,267.26 an ounce, its highest since Nov. 20. It was last up 1.8 percent at $1,263.44 an ounce by 3:38 p.m. EST (2038 GMT), its biggest one-day gain since Oct. 22.

Spot silver, riding on the coattails of gold, did better, rising 2.7 percent to $20.35 an ounce.

(By Barani Krishnan; Editing by David Gregorio)