JOFC INDUSTRIAL PRICE INDEX EDGED UP IN WEEK

JOFC INDUSTRIAL PRICE INDEX EDGED UP IN WEEK

The Journal of Commerce Industrial Price Index edged higher last week as recently depressed prices for metals and textiles spurted higher.

Cotton prices turned up by around 1/2 cent a pound to 55.04 cents, based on a seven-market average that includes Memphis, Tenn., a major cotton merchant center.Many traders were holding back buying new supplies, dealers said, ahead of this week's U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report.

The report is set for release today. The USDA is expected to lower its estimate for U.S. 1993-94 cotton production because of poor yields in the Mississippi Delta area.

Such reductions could give futures a bullish spark. But some traders have said the cuts are already factored into the market, dealers said. Scrap steel prices bounced by $9 a metric ton to an average $128.67 from $119.67 a week earlier. The JofC Index tracks a composite of No. 1 heavy melting scrap steel in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Chicago.

The scrap market, weakened by slow U.S. automobile demand and weaker demand for steel-making scrap from abroad, especially in Japan.

Tin prices rose to $2.05 a pound last week following recent downside

pressure. The week's penny gain on commission house demand took "everybody by surprise," a dealer told Knight-Ridder Financial News. "People scrambled for cover, and we went up rather rapidly," a trader said.

In the New York copper market, prices remained fairly steady in contrast to recent sharp loses.

No. 2 scrap copper - a barometer of demand for the industrial metal and a JofC component - sold for around 58 cents a pound last week. London Metal Exchange warehouse copper stocks, meanwhile, fell 6,150 metric tons to 594,550 tons. Stock decreases can indicate stronger demand.