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Copper, Grain Prices Rise: Market Bits

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- High-grade copper prices were rising Wednesday morning on stronger fundamentals.

High grade copper for May delivery was up 2.6% to $4.42 a pound.

The International Copper Study Group said its preliminary data shows that the refined copper market balance for 2010 indicated a market deficit of about 305,000 metric tons, compared with a surplus of 175,000 in 2009. "Stronger than anticipated refined copper usage, which grew by 1.3 million tons, coupled with a smaller than anticipated growth in supply (770,000 tons) pushed the market into deficit," the group said.

Copper producer Teck Resources (TCK - Get Report) said it expects its annual copper sales to be in the range of 330,000 to 340,000 tons due to bad weather and unresolved production issues at one of its plants.

Tom Albaneses, the CEO of mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO) anticipates that world copper consumption over the next 20 to 30 years will surpass the total historical consumption to date, Reuters reported.

Copper-related stocks were generally trading in positive territory, with Freeport-McMoRan (FCX - Get Report) up 1.3%, Southern Copper (SCCO - Get Report) up 1%, Newmont Mining (NEM - Get Report) up 0.6%, BHP Billiton (BBL) up 0.7% and Anglo American ( AAUKY) up 1.1%.

Grains popped on Wednesday amid news that Japan may need to increase imports.

Rough rice for May delivery popped by 2.1% to $14.14 per 100 pounds, while oats for May delivery rose 1.3% to $3.46 ½ a bushel.

This, amid potential damage to key farming regions of Japan after being hit by the tsunami.
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AAUKY $1.69 -4.79%
BBL $25.81 -6.35%
FCX $12.01 -11.37%
NEM $33.84 -1.50%
SCCO $28.91 -2.10%


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