Cocoa Slumps on Rain, Oil Pares Decline: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities dropped 0.2 percent to 701.93 at 4:52 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.6 percent at 1,637.112. In the GSCI, raw sugar was up the most, at 3.9 percent, and cocoa was down the most, at 4.1 percent.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa fell to a one-month low in New York as rains help boost crops in West Africa, bringing the market closer to a second surplus after forecasts for a shortage earlier this year. Sugar advanced.

Cocoa for May delivery slid 4.1 percent to $2,219 a ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices earlier today dropped to $2,177 a ton, the lowest price since Feb. 14.

Sugar futures headed for the biggest gain since early January on signs of tightening supplies from Brazil, the world’s largest grower.

Raw sugar for May delivery rose 3.9 percent to 25.38 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

CRUDE OIL

Oil pared a drop in New York after an Obama administration official said a report that the U.S. and the U.K. agreed to cooperate in an agreement to release oil from strategic reserves wasn’t accurate.

Crude oil for April delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $105.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price earlier declined to $103.78 a barrel.

Brent crude for April fell 1.2 percent to $123.50 a barrel. The price ranged from $120.97 to $125.35.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline slipped on speculation that higher retail prices will lower demand and after a report that President Barack Obama discussed a release of oil from U.S. reserves to try and stem increases at the pump.

Gasoline for April delivery fell 6.36 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $3.2834 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have gained 22 percent this year, making the fuel the best performer in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1 cent to $3.821 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA, the nation’s biggest motoring group. Prices are 7.5 percent higher than a year ago.

Heating oil for April delivery slipped 3.64 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.2254 a gallon on the exchange.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Trafigura Beheer BV bought gasoline barges within yesterday’s price range. April gasoil dropped on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Bayernoil Raffinerie GmbH, a joint venture between four European oil companies, is starting its Vohburg oil plant in Germany today after three weeks of maintenance, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Gasoline for immediate loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp traded at $1,136 and $1,137 a metric ton, according to a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with deals at $1,129 to $1,139 yesterday, when prices rose to the highest since May 4.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rebounded from an eight-week low in New York on signs that investors are stepping up purchases of the precious metal as an alternative to a weaker dollar.

Gold futures for April delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $1,647.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The precious metal climbed 4.9 percent this year through yesterday.

Silver futures for May delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $32.36 an ounce in New York. Yesterday, prices fell to $31.625, the lowest since Jan. 25.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper rose in New York for the second time in three days on signs of faster economic growth in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest user.

Copper futures for May delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $3.876 a pound on the Comex in New York. Before today, the metal climbed 12 percent this year.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for immediate delivery traded at a premium of $16 a metric ton to metal for delivery in three months, a sixth session of so-called backwardation that may signal concern that supplies are tightening. LME inventories of copper are down 28 percent this year to the lowest level since July 2009.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.8 percent to $8,530 a metric ton ($3.87 a pound).

Aluminum, lead and zinc also gained in London, while nickel fell and tin was little changed.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures rose the most this month on speculation that demand is improving for North American exports after shipments slowed from Eastern Europe.

Wheat futures for May delivery climbed 2.5 percent to $6.60 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest gain since Feb. 13. Before today, the most-active contract was down 3.6 percent this month.

Corn and soybean prices rallied to the highest prices since September as U.S. farmers withheld inventories from last year’s drought-reduced crop and overseas demand improved.

Corn futures for May delivery increased 1.6 percent to $6.69 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $6.73, the highest since Sept. 22.

Soybean futures for May delivery climbed 1.2 percent to $13.67 in Chicago. Earlier, the oilseed touched $13.6975, the highest for the most-active futures since Sept. 14. Before today, soybeans rose 15 percent since Jan. 14 as hot, dry weather threatened crops in Brazil and Argentina, the two biggest producers after the U.S.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures rose in New York following a government report that showed a drop in inventories last week greater than analysts expected.

Natural gas for April delivery rose 2.1 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.305 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading as low as $2.234 before the inventory data was released in Washington. The futures, which are down 23 percent this year, fell to $2.204 on March 13, the lowest intraday price since Feb. 15, 2002.

U.K. natural gas for next-day delivery advanced for a third day, its longest run of gains in five weeks, as higher exports to continental Europe added to demand.

Next-day gas added as much as 0.75 pence to 60.3 pence a therm.

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET

European Carbon Permits

Carbon for December fell 0.6 percent to 8.08 euros a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures headed for the biggest gain in a week on signs that warmer weather across much of the U.S. is increasing demand for pork. Cattle prices also rose.

Hog futures for June settlement climbed 0.4 percent to 94.925 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, heading for the biggest gain since March 8. Before today, the price increased 12 percent this year.

Cattle futures for June delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1.24225 a pound on the CME. Before today, the price increased 2 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement gained 0.1 percent to $1.58975 a pound.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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