Sectors | Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:54am IST

COMMODITIES-Natgas jumps on cold weather; PGMs up on supply fear

* Natgas hits near one-year high on Eastern US weather
    * Palladium, platinum surge on worries of supply deficit
    * Arabica coffee off 5 percent, touches multi-month lows
    * CRB index flat as 10 markets up, nine down

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas hit a near
one-year high on Tuesday, stoked by colder weather in the
eastern part of the country which relies on gas heat, and
palladium also rallied on fears of a supply deficit.
    Most other commodities saw little price change as traders
remained focused on U.S. fiscal worries and renewed worries
about Greece's debt. 
    Arabica coffee sunk to multi-month lows and traders
said a stronger U.S. dollar, improved crop weather in top grower
Brazil and negative macro sentiment pressured arabica prices
down 5.0 percent. 
    Gasoline fell 1.1 percent to become another
significant loser aside from arabica. Soybeans gained 1.2
percent to join natural gas on the upside. 
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
commodities bellwether, settled flat, with 10 of the markets it
tracks in positive territory and another nine in the negative
    U.S. natural gas futures rose nearly 5.0 percent on Tuesday,
and nearly 7.0 percent in the past two sessions, backed by THE
colder Eastern U.S. weather, and expectations for the season's
first drawdown from inventories this week.
    Front-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile
Exchange rose 16.9 cents, or 4.73 percent, to settle at
$3.739 per million British thermal units. 
    The contract rose as high as $3.745 in electronic trade,
just under the $3.82 high from two weeks ago, its highest mark
in about a year, according to Reuters data. 
    Platinum group metals (PGM) rose sharply as well after a
bullish forecast that production outages earlier this year could
create a supply deficit.
    Palladium rose over 4.5 percent for its biggest one-day gain
in almost a year, after PGM specialist and refiner Johnson
Matthey said it expects palladium to record its biggest deficit
since 2000 this year as mine supply and sales of Russian state
stocks dwindle and auto demand climbs. 
    Johnson Matthey said it also expects the platinum market to
turn to a deficit in 2012 from last year's surplus on lingering
supply fears in South Africa, which accounts for 70 percent of
the world's supply.
    Palladium rose 4.6 percent to $633 an ounce by 2:29
p.m. EST (1929 GMT), while platinum was up 1.4 percent at
$1,581.99 an ounce. 
 Prices at 6:06 p.m. EST (2306 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    85.35    -0.03   0.0%  -13.6%
 Brent crude                108.24    -0.83  -0.8%    0.8%
 Natural gas                 3.739    0.000   0.0%   25.1%
 US gold                   1724.80    -6.10  -0.4%   10.1%
 Gold                      1724.89     0.00   0.0%   10.3%
 US Copper                  347.10     0.30   0.1%    1.0%
 LME Copper                7680.00    42.00   0.5%    1.1%
 Dollar                     81.110    0.075   0.1%    1.2%
 US corn                    723.50     5.50   0.8%   11.9%
 US soybeans               1427.00    16.00   1.1%   19.1%
 US wheat                   851.00    -6.75  -0.8%   30.4%
 US Coffee                  146.00    -7.05  -4.6%  -36.0%
 US Cocoa                  2395.00    14.00   0.6%   13.6%
 US Sugar                    19.35    -0.01  -0.1%  -16.7%
 US silver                  32.487   -0.035  -0.1%   16.4%
 US platinum               1584.40    19.90   1.3%   12.8%
 US palladium               636.60    28.55   4.7%   -3.0%