Xstrata and Chugoku Electric have settled on an annual coal contract for the Japanese fiscal year starting April 1, at a record level between $129.5 to $129.85 a ton. That's below some market expectations of $140 a ton, but consistent with ANZ's forecasts. The contract is 32% higher than the previous year's prices, and exceeds the 2008 record of $125 a ton, according to the analyst. The price is also $10 above current Australian spot prices of about $120 a ton, according to Robertson. Negotiations between Xstrata and Japanese utilities providers were delayed after the earthquake in Japan, the analyst said.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Coal prices have been climbing, according to ANZ Global Markets Commodity Research analyst Natalie Robertson.
Deutsche Telekom, General Electric's ( GE) GE Capital, Hormel Foods ( HMR) and Raymond James ( RJF) are among companies that are expected to issue high-grade bond sales this week, according to Reuters.
The U.S. dollar was gaining 0.1% against the euro at EUR 0.70330, down 0.1% against the Japanese currency at 83.962 yen and flat against the British pound at GBP 0.62025 after Lockhart sounded cautious optimism about the U.S. economic recovery -- dampening predictions of monetary tightening in the U.S. PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bearish ( UDN) was flat at $28.16.
(Published at 12:26 pm EDT) May copper futures were flat at $4.26 a pound as metals advanced on stronger battery demand and investors digested mixed news on the copper supply-demand front. Mitsubishi said it will accelerate lead production by 16% in the April-to-September period to meet increasing demand for batteries following the country's massive earthquake and tsunami.
Natural gas for May delivery was falling 0.3% to $4.35 per million British thermal units as weather forecasters predict more normal or warmer weather in the eastern U.S. over the next two weeks.
(Published at 10:30 am EDT) Raw sugar for May delivery was rising 1.9% to 27.97 cents a pound amid news of higher sugar output, offset by predictions of higher ethanol demand. India's sugar output rose about 23% at 20.5 million tons during the first half of the 2010 to 2011 production period, while Brazil's sugar harvest is expected to be plentiful.
Corn for May delivery was rising 1.7% to $7.48 ½ a bushel on tight supply concerns. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said corn stocks dropped 15% from a year ago to 6.52 billion bushels on March 1.
Cocoa for May delivery was up 0.2% to $3,016 a metric ton as the world's leading supplier continues to battle political strife. The battle over main Ivory Coast city Abidjan persists for the fifth straight day, with fighters favoring President-elect Alassane Ouattara gaining control. The Ivory Coast continues to be embroiled in political turmoil. The conflict involves Laurent Gbagbo, a 10-year incumbent who refuses to step down, and Alassane Ouattara, who declared victory during the country's 2010 presidential elections, and wants Gbagbo to formally resign. Food companies with significant cocoa exposure were trading mixed. Kraft Foods ( KFT) was falling 0.1% to $31.57 and Hershey ( HSY) was rising 0.1% to $54.37.
Coffee for May delivery was flat at $2.597 a pound even amid tight supplies in the short term as coffee producers wrestle with high energy prices.
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