Singapore — China continues to gobble up the world’s commodities, setting new records for consumption of everything from crude oil to soybeans. In a year of flux marked by industrial capacity cuts, environmental curbs and financial de-leveraging, demand for raw materials has continued to grow in the world’s biggest consumer, helping drive a second annual gain in global commodity returns. The Bloomberg Commodity Index was up 0.3% at 7.19am London time, climbing for a fourth day. The gauge of returns from raw materials rose 0.8% last year after advancing 11.4% in 2016. As President Xi Jinping consolidates power behind an economy that may have posted its first full-year acceleration since 2010, there are few signs of the Chinese commodity juggernaut slowing as it rolls into 2018. "China’s economic expansion has been beating expectations since the second half of last year, boosting demand for all kinds of commodities," Guo Chaohui, an analyst with Beijing-based China International Capit...

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