Crude Drops on Emergency Supply: Commodities at Close

(Corrects description of Caturra Coffee Corp. in 14th paragraph.)

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.8 percent to 697.76 at 4:35 p.m. in Singapore. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down than 0.4 percent at 1,623.171.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell in New York for the second time in three days after France said industrialized nations are considering a release from strategic stockpiles and a report showed Chinese manufacturing may contract.

Crude for May delivery slid as much as 92 cents to $106.35a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $106.68 at 3:19 p.m. Singapore time. The contract gained $1.20 yesterday to $107.27, the highest close since March 19. Prices are 7.9 percent higher this year.

Brent oil for May settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange declined as much as 70 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $123.50 a barrel. The European benchmark contract was at a premium of $17.14 to New York futures. The difference was $16.93 yesterday, the smallest in three weeks. Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Singapore gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude fell 24 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $15.22 a barrel at 12:24 p.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The spread is at the narrowest since March 13.

Gasoil , or diesel, swaps for April fell 95 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $136.30 a barrel.

PRECIOUS METALS

Spot gold traded little changed at $1,651.80 an ounce at 3:13 p.m. in Singapore, paring a 0.4 percent advance. The preliminary 48.1 reading of the HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics index today is a four-month low, and compares with a final 49.6 in February. A number below 50 indicates contraction. Silver futures for May delivery gained 1.2 percent to $32.22 an ounce on the Comex.

Spot platinum , this year’s best-performing precious metal, dropped for a third day, falling as much as 0.4 percent to a two-week low of $1,632.75 an ounce, and last traded at $1,636.22. Prices dropped below gold for a second day, with 1 ounce of platinum buying as little as 0.9885 ounce of bullion, the least since March 12, according to data tracked by Bloomberg. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper declined to the lowest in almost two weeks after a preliminary report showed manufacturing in China, the biggest consumer, may contract for a fifth month, eroding demand prospects amid high local stockpiles.

Three-month copper fell as much as 1.1 percent to $8,365.50 a metric ton, the lowest level since March 9, on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $8,379 by 3:58 p.m. Tokyo time. The metal had gained 0.3 percent earlier. The Comex May-delivery contract was down 1 percent at $3.8085 a pound. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Arabica coffee rose for the third straight session, the longest rally in three weeks, on signs that supplies are tightening. Cocoa and sugar declined.

Stockpiles at warehouses monitored by ICE Futures U.S. have fallen 1.4 percent in March, after climbing for four consecutive months. Brazil’s production of arabica beans may drop 7 percent from the previous high-yielding cycle of the biennial harvest, Sao Paulo-based Archer Consulting said in a report on March 18.

“Inventories may not be replenished to sufficient levels before Brazil harvests a smaller crop,” Rodrigo Costa, the director at White Plains, New York-based Caturra Coffee Corp., a dealer, said in a telephone interview.

Arabica-coffee futures gained 0.6 percent to settle at $1.847 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE. Still, the has price slumped 19 percent this year. Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose for the first time this week on speculation that reduced output in South America will force Chinese importers to buy more from the U.S., the world’s largest grower.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $13.50 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after plunging 1.6 percent yesterday, the most since Jan. 30. Before today, the oilseed gained 13 percent in the past two months as hot, dry weather reduced crops in Brazil and Argentina, the two biggest producers after the U.S.

Wheat futures rebounded from a one-week low in Chicago on speculation that U.S. farmers won’t boost spring-crop acres as corn and soybeans provide better profit potential.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to $6.435 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after falling to $6.3875, the lowest since March 12. The benchmark contract primarily reflects the soft, red winter-wheat grown in the Midwest.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 0.5 percent to $6.445 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after gaining as much as 0.5 percent. Prices are headed for a third straight decline. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Anderson in Singapore at manderson34@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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