Funds bought gold in biggest rally since 2011

Copper Holdings

The funds trimmed the net position in copper to a short 26,284 contracts, from 26,963 a week earlier. Imports of the metal by China, the biggest user, rose to a nine-month high in June, government data show. The decade-long bull market in commodities may extend for an additional 15 to 20 years, driven by urbanization and growing populations in countries including China and India, Michael Haigh, the head of commodities research at Societe Generale SA, said in Singapore last week.

A measure of net-long positions across 11 agricultural products tumbled 29% to 126,962 futures and options, the lowest since April. Investors more than doubled the bets on a decline in corn to 55,767 contracts, the highest since the data begins in 2006. Stockpiles in the U.S., the top grower, will more than double by the start of the 2014 harvest, the government said July 11.

Wheat Buying

Bearish wheat holdings declined to 47,844 contracts from 50,152 a week earlier. The U.S. last week cut its forecast for global inventories by 4.9% amid rising demand in China. U.S. export sales jumped to 1.47 million metric tons in the week to July 4, more than double a week earlier, with China buying 1.02 million tons, according to government figures.

“I’d be a buyer of commodities,” said James Paulsen, the Minneapolis-based chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management who helps oversee more than $340 billion of assets. “Demand for commodities is going to hinge on whether the emerging world does a little better in the second half, and my feeling is that it will.”

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