* Copper caught in cross-commodity liquidation
* Goldman warning triggers commodity rout
* Japan crisis spurs econ recovery concerns
* Coming up: U.S. retail sales data on Wednesday (Recasts, adds New York dateline/byline, updates with New York closing copper price, adds graphic and analyst comments)
By Chris Kelly and Silvia Antonioli
NEW YORK/LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - Copper ended Tuesday with its biggest one-day loss in about five weeks, caught in a broad-based commodity rout led by a sharp drop in oil and fears that Japan's nuclear crisis could stall a global recovery.
Oil traded in New York has surrendered more than 7 percent of its value in just two days after Goldman Sachs warned for a second straight day prices in crude oil and other commodities would fall. For details, see [ID:nN11117735]
Without the support of a stronger oil price, the legs holding up this latest commodity rally began to buckle.
"All of these markets ... aluminum, oil, copper ... all had big, big runs over the past few weeks. So what we are seeing is just a sharp pullback," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital.
The Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell nearly 2 percent in its sharpest one-day decline in a month.
"They all took the stairs up, but are now taking the elevator down. The question is how far down will this elevator ride go?" Sarhan said.
London Metal Exchange three-month copper CMCU3 shed $225, or nearly 2.3 percent, to close at $9,630 a tonne, its largest daily decline since March 9.
On Monday, the metal rallied to a 5-week peak at $9,944.75, just 2.4 percent away from its mid-February record at $10,190.
COMEX May copper HGK1 fell 7.65 cents to settle at $4.3835 per lb, near the lower end of its $4.3610 to $4.4750 session range.
COMEX trading volumes grew to a hefty 65,800 lots by 2:01 p.m. EDT (1801 GMT), nearly two-thirds above the 30-day norm, according to Thomson Reuters preliminary data.
"Confidence has taken a hit now," said Alex Heath, head of base metals at RBC Capital Markets.
The confidence was also shaken after Japan's economic minister warned damage wrought by last month's earthquake and tsunami could be worse than initially thought for the world's third largest economy. [ID:nL3E7FC092]
"There is a lot of uncertainty, and whenever there is a lot of uncertainty about the future and the risks of the unknown are elevated, people, especially people sitting on gains, become jittery, and they hit the sell button," Sarhan said.
As a result, prices for U.S. government debt rallied, with safe-haven demand boosting 10-year Treasuries by a full point. [ID:nN12171148]
Higher inventories of copper in LME warehouses also pressured prices, fanning concerns about sluggish Chinese demand in the first part of the new year.
Stocks have risen since mid-December and last rose 1,000 to 446,700 tonnes, the highest level since July 1. <MCU-STOCKS <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Graphic: link.reuters.com/qyd98r ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
China's copper imports are unlikely to surge in April after a 29.2 percent rise in March since importers are worried about high stocks in Shanghai. [ID:nL3E7FB1K9]
RISING ALUMINIUM COSTS
Aluminium stocks fell 2,275 tonnes to 4,575,250 tonnes, but held near a record 4,640,750 tonnes hit on Jan. 20 last year.
Aluminium CMAL3 closed down $29 at $2,660 a tonne, under pressure after Alcoa Inc (AA.N), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, missed Wall Street's first-quarter revenue target. [ID:nN1199754]
"When a company like Alcoa misses revenues during a surge in commodity prices ... if they can't make money during that type of environment in the first quarter, what does that mean for other industries and the rest of the market," Sarhan said.
Nonetheless, soaring power costs, lucrative bank deals that keep metal away from the market and strong demand growth are likely to boost aluminium prices this year. [ID:nLDE72U13F]
China is considering plans to either scrap or reduce export tax rebates on some aluminium extrusion products.
This comes after the metals-consuming giant decided to halt plans to build new aluminium plants to tackle serious overcapacity in the industry. [ID:nL3E7FC0WI] and [ID:nL3E7FB0OR] Metal Prices at 1806 GMT COMEX copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2010 Ytd Pct move COMEX Cu 437.90 -8.10 -1.82 444.70 -1.53 LME Alum 2659.00 -30.00 -1.12 2470.00 7.65 LME Cu 9622.00 -233.00 -2.36 9600.00 0.23 LME Lead 2725.00 -130.00 -4.55 2550.00 6.86 LME Nickel 26700.00 -1005.0 -3.63 24750.00 7.88 LME Tin 32500.00 -550.00 -1.66 26900.00 20.82 LME Zinc 2469.00 -76.00 -2.99 2454.00 0.61 SHFE Alu 16780.00 -100.00 -0.59 16840.00 -0.36 SHFE Cu* 72310.00 -1060.00 -1.44 71850.00 0.64 SHFE Zin 18590.00 -215.00 -1.14 19475.00 -4.54 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07 (Additional reporting by Rebekah Curtis in London; editing by Keiron Henderson and Jeffrey Benkoe)