Hedge funds’ fourth bullish week boosts copper positions

Copper Wagers

Copper net-long positions jumped 57% to 22,650 contracts, the highest since Dec. 18. Global demand for the metal will climb by 4.7% in 2013, driven primarily by a rise in Chinese consumption, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. analysts led by Mark Pervan said in a report Feb. 8.

A measure of net-longs for 11 U.S. farm goods jumped 15% to 459,806 contracts, the biggest increase since July, the CFTC data show.

Traders boosted their bullish corn position by 11 percent to 182,967 contracts, the highest since Dec. 11. Bets on cocoa gains jumped 19% to 18,294 contracts, the biggest increase since November.

Bullish soybean wagers surged 29% to 135,644 contracts, the biggest advance since March. Dry weather and shipping delays in South America are boosting demand for supplies of the oilseed from the U.S., the top grower and shipper. Exports are up 27% from a year earlier, driven by demand from China, the biggest buyer, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

“This will be a better year as the larger economies like China and the U.S. are showing signs of improvement,” said John Kinsey, who helps manage about C$1 billion ($1 billion) at Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. in Toronto. “The interest in commodities is increasing, and we expect higher prices.”

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