Gold bulls retreat as higher prices deter jewelers

Sugar Survey

Six of 11 people surveyed expect raw sugar to fall next week and five were bullish. The commodity slid 16% to 16.42 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York this year.

Corn analysts were the most bearish since August 2009 and soybean traders the most negative since November that year. Cool, wet weather may boost prospects for crops in the U.S. Midwest, said Mark Schultz, the chief market analyst at North Star Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis.

Fifteen of 23 surveyed anticipate lower corn prices and three said the grain will rise, while 15 of 23 said soybeans will drop and five expect higher prices. Twelve traders predicted declines in wheat and four were bullish. Corn fell 32% to $4.7725 a bushel this year in Chicago. The December contract, which reflects supply after the U.S. harvest, declined 20% this year. Soybeans lost 13% to $12.2475 a bushel, as wheat slipped 16% to $6.5025 a bushel.

Ten traders and analysts surveyed expect copper to retreat next week, seven were bullish and three were neutral. The metal for delivery in three months, the London Metal Exchange’s benchmark contract, fell 13% to $6,863 a ton this year.

Industrial Metals

The LME index of six industrial metals slid to a three-year low on June 24 on concern economic growth will slow in China, the biggest user of the materials. China’s expansion will fall to 7.5% in 2013 and 2014, from 7.8% last year, according to as many as 65 economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Industrial metals could plunge 40% with an “extreme” hard landing in China, Societe Generale SA estimates. Copper is “particularly exposed” because it’s trading above production costs, it said this week.

“The copper market still looks sluggish,” said Bill O’Neill, a partner at Logic Advisors in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. “When one fully examines the supply-demand equation it is hard to be overly bullish. China remains a question mark.”

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