Corn, Soy Rise to Highest Since September: Commodities at Close

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials advanced 0.5 percent to 1,636.62 at 4:55 p.m. New York time, led by agriculture.

The energy-weighted Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 prices fell 0.3 percent to settle at 700.85.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn and soybeans rallied to the highest since September as U.S. farmers withheld inventories and export demand improved.

Yesterday, cash corn prices rose to the highest for the date in at least four years and were 40 percent above the four- year average, data from the Minneapolis Grain Exchange show. In the week ended March 8, U.S. exporters reported sales for delivery before Sept. 1 jumped 88 percent from a week earlier.

Corn futures for May delivery increased 1.6 percent to $6.69 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $6.73,, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 22.

Soybean futures for May delivery climbed 1.4 percent to $13.69. Earlier, the prices reached $13.70, the highest since Sept. 15.

Wheat futures for May delivery climbed 3.3 percent to $6.6475 a bushel, the biggest gain since Jan. 31.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar rose the most since early January on signs of tightening supplies in Brazil, the world’s largest grower.

Raw sugar for May delivery rose 4.3 percent to 25.5 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Cocoa for May delivery slid 4 percent to $2,221 a metric ton, the biggest drop since Jan. 30.

Cotton futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to 87.34 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery gained 0.9 percent to $1.853 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery dropped 0.1 percent to $1.876 a pound.

BASE METALS

Copper rose for the second time in three days amid more signs that the economy is recovering in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest user of the metal.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for May delivery advanced 1.3 percent to $3.8975 a pound.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 1.2 percent to $8,565 a metric ton ($3.89 a pound).

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

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold jumped the most in three weeks as the dollar’s decline boosted demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

On the Comex, gold futures for April delivery climbed 1 percent to $1,659.50 an ounce, the biggest gain since Feb. 21.

Silver futures for May delivery rose 1.7 percent to $32.72 an ounce.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for June delivery rose 1.8 percent to $709.90 an ounce. Platinum futures for April delivery gained 0.5 percent to $1,683.90 an ounce.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil fell for the third time in four days on reports that President Barack Obama discussed a release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

Oil futures for April delivery declined 0.3 percent to $105.11 a barrel on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since March 6.

Brent oil for April settlement fell 1.1 percent to $123.55 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Statoil ASA failed to sell North Sea Forties crude for a second day even after it lowered the price. Total SA bought Russian Urals blend in northwest Europe at the lowest in 10 months.

OAO Surgutneftegas, Russia’s fourth-largest oil producer, issued a tender to sell Urals from the Baltic Sea terminal at Ust-Luga for loading from March 21 to March 22, said three traders who participate in the market. The tender for 100,000 tons will be awarded at 3 p.m. Moscow time tomorrow.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas fell following a below-average supply drop, and a forecast for warmer-than-usual weather next week signaled reduced demand for the heating fuel.

On the Nymex, gas futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $2.279 per million British thermal units.

U.K. gas for next-day delivery advanced for the third straight day, the longest rally in five weeks, as higher exports to continental Europe bolstered demand.

Gas added as much as 0.75 pence to 60.3 pence a therm and was at 59.65 pence at 4:52 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $9.38 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline slid on speculation that demand will fall after prices at the pump jumped 17 percent this year. speculation in gasoline and it may be due for a correction.”

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for April delivery fell 1.7 percent to $3.2885 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for April delivery dropped 1.2 percent to $3.2225 a gallon.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle declined on speculation beef demand in the U.S. is slowing.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for June delivery fell 0.8 percent to $1.2285 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement declined 0.9 percent to $1.573 a pound.

Hog futures for June settlement dropped 0.4 percent to 94.125 cents a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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