Cocoa Jumps on Ivory Coast Supply Concern: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose a second day, by 0.8 percent to 703.06, at 4:10 p.m. in New York as Greece moved closer to completing its debt restructuring. Cocoa, gasoil and zinc led the gain.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices also rose for the second day, by 0.5 percent to 1621.326 at 4:19 p.m. in New York.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa futures jumped the most in three weeks on political concerns in Ivory Coast, the world’s top grower, while prospects for European commodity demand improved. Coffee and sugar also rose.

Guillaume Soro, the former Ivory Coast rebel leader who became prime minister, resigned his position, along with the rest of the government. The smaller of two harvests in the country may drop 26 percent from a year earlier, Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI) said on March 6. Stocks rose as Greece moved closer to restructuring its debt, and the dollar eased.

Soro’s resignation “in conjunction with the outside markets like the weak dollar and strong equities help propel cocoa higher,” Hector Galvan, a senior broker at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in an e-mail.

Cocoa for May delivery climbed $118, or 5.2 percent, to settle at $2,395 a ton at 12:10 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the largest gain for a most-active contract since Feb. 15. The rally was the biggest among 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.

Arabica coffee for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1.894 a pound in New York, halting a four-session drop.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery advanced 0.2 percent to 23.96 cents a pound, snapping a three-day slide.

In London futures trading, cocoa, robusta coffee and refined sugar gained on NYSE Liffe.

BASE METALS

Copper futures rose for the second straight day as Greece moved closer to restructuring its sovereign debt, easing concern that commodity demand will contract.

Investors with about 60 percent of Greek bonds eligible for a debt swap agreed to participate. Copper also rose as the dollar’s decline against a basket of major currencies boosted the appeal of raw materials as alternative assets. Global stock prices advanced.

Copper futures for May delivery climbed 0.7 percent to settle at $3.7915 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal, up 0.8 percent yesterday, has gained 10 percent this year.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.4 percent to $8,330 a metric ton ($3.78 a pound).

Zinc, lead and tin climbed in London, while nickel and aluminum fell.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline advanced a second day, following Brent crude higher on optimism that Greece will be able to restructure its debt and that the U.S. will report more employment.

Futures rose as Brent surged 1.1 percent on the reports from Greece. Economists in a survey by Bloomberg News forecast the U.S. Labor Department will report that employers boosted February payrolls.

Gasoline for April delivery rose 2.66 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $3.314 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have gained 23 percent this year, making gasoline the best performer in the GSCI index.

April-delivery heating oil rose 5.01 cents, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $3.2695 a gallon on the exchange. Prices are up 11 percent this year.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold jumped the most in two weeks as the improved prospects for a debt swap in Greece sent the euro higher against the dollar, boosting the appeal of the precious metal as an alternative to the U.S. currency.

The euro strengthened the most against the dollar in two weeks as Greece moved closer to completing its debt swap. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said inflation will probably breach the bank’s 2 percent limit this year even as the economy stalls. The ECB kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1 percent.

Gold futures for delivery in April rose 0.9 percent to settle at $1,698.70 an ounce at 1:42 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices advanced 0.7 percent yesterday.

Silver futures for May delivery increased 0.7 percent to $33.831 an ounce on the Comex. The commodity’s 21 percent gain this year is the biggest among precious metals.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for June delivery advanced 2.1 percent to $699.45 an ounce. Platinum futures for April delivery climbed 1.8 percent to $1,656.70 an ounce.

CRUDE OIL

Oil climbed after German industrial production increased more than forecast and Greece moved closer to completing its debt swap.

Prices gained 0.4 percent as Germany’s Economy Ministry said output rose 1.6 percent in January, greater than the 1.1 percent estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Oil shipments from Iran have dropped by as much as 400,000 barrels a day, Barclays Capital said.

Crude oil for April delivery rose 42 cents to settle at $106.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are up 7.8 percent this year.

Brent oil for April settlement advanced $1.32, or 1.1 percent, to end the session at $125.44 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

The European benchmark contract’s premium to New York- traded West Texas Intermediate widened to $18.86 at the close, the most since Feb. 6. The spread increased after the U.S. Energy Department said yesterday that crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for New York-traded futures, surged to the highest level since July.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose the most in more than a week on signs that drought-reduced crops in South America are boosting demand for supplies from the U.S. Corn fell.

In the week ended March 1, U.S. exporters sold 1.015 million metric tons of soybeans for delivery before Aug. 31, up 85 percent from the previous week, the Department of Agriculture said today. A separate report showed China, the world’s biggest consumer, bought 165,000 tons from exporters. The country may boost imports 5.7 percent next year, the agency said yesterday.

Soybean futures for May delivery advanced 0.9 percent to close at $13.385 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since Feb. 27.

Corn futures for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to $6.355 a bushel in Chicago, the third straight drop.

Wheat fell for a fourth straight session, the longest slump in almost a month, on speculation that a government report tomorrow will show ample global supplies as crop prospects improve in the U.S. Great Plains.

Global inventories before the 2012 harvest in the Northern Hemisphere may total 212.83 million metric tons, according to a Bloomberg News survey before tomorrow’s U.S. Department of Agriculture report on supplies. While the estimate would be down 0.1 percent from last month’s forecast, supplies would still be the highest on record. Parts of Oklahoma and Texas may have showers today through March 10, Telvent DTN forecast.

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 0.7 percent to settle at $6.3475 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after sliding 5.2 percent in the previous three days. The last time prices dropped for four straight sessions was the period ended Feb. 10. The most-active contract is down 19 percent in the past year.

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures rose for the second straight day on speculation that demand for U.S. meat exports will climb as the dollar eases. Cattle increased for the first time in a week.

The appeal of U.S. shipments increased as the dollar fell for the third time in four days against a basket of six major currencies. Yesterday, wholesale pork rose 0.7 percent to 85.42 cents a pound, the biggest gain since Feb. 23, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.5 percent to settle at 87.75 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity has advanced 4.1 percent this year.

Cattle futures for April delivery gained 0.9 percent to $1.2665 a pound. The price, down 4.1 percent in the previous four sessions, has climbed 4.3 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement increased 0.6 percent to $1.58575 a pound.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures settled at a 10-year low for a second day after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles dropped by less than expected last week.

Gas slid 1.3 percent after the Energy Department said inventories fell 80 billion cubic feet in the week ended March 2 to 2.433 trillion cubic feet. Analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg showed an expected withdrawal of 85 billion. Above- average temperatures and record production have led to the biggest surplus of the heating fuel in more than five years.

Natural gas for April delivery fell 3 cents to $2.272 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since Feb. 15, 2002. The futures dropped to a 10-year intraday low of $2.231 on Jan. 23. Gas, down 24 percent this year, is the worst performer on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI commodity index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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