(Corrects third paragraph in ‘Soft Commodities’ section to show that the drop for the July cotton contract was the most since March 1, 2011.)
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 1.9 percent to settle at 575.29 at 3:46 p.m. in New York, led by crude oil.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials declined 0.9 percent to 1,440.20.
Crude oil dropped to an eight-month low after the Energy Department reported that U.S. crude inventories climbed to the highest level in 22 years.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for July delivery fell 2.7 percent to $81.80 a barrel, the lowest settlement since Oct. 5. The July contract expired today. The more actively traded August contract dropped 3.4 percent to $81.45.
Brent oil for August declined 3.2 percent to $92.69 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange,
Vitol Group sold North Sea Forties blend at the lowest price in six weeks. No bids or offers were made for Russian Urals in the Mediterranean or northwest Europe.
Forties crude production is forecast to fall by 28 percent to 238,000 barrels a day in September, compared with August, according to BP Plc. (BP/)
Orange-juice futures climbed to a five-week high on speculation that storms churning in the Caribbean may threaten groves in Florida, the world’s second-largest citrus grower.
On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, orange juice for July delivery rose 2.6 percent to $1.229 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.2365, the highest for a most-active contract since May 14.
Cotton futures for July delivery plunged 5.5 percent to 83.17 cents a pound, the biggest drop for the contract since March 1, 2011. Yesterday, the price climbed 5 cents, the exchange limit. Cotton futures for December delivery, the contract with the highest open interest, slid 2.3 percent to 72.71 cents.
Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery tumbled 4 percent to $1.524 a pound, the biggest decline since May 23.
Raw-sugar futures for October delivery rose 0.9 percent to 20.97 cents a pound.
Cocoa futures for September delivery fell 3 percent to $2,169 a metric ton.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery declined 1.3 percent to $3.396 a pound. The metal gained in the previous five sessions, the longest rally since May 1.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.8 percent to $7,545 a metric ton ($3.42 a pound).
Gold had the biggest drop in almost two weeks after the Federal Reserve said it would extend its Operation Twist program, while refraining from announcing additional debt purchases.
On the Comex, gold futures for August delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,615.80 an ounce, the biggest drop for a most- active contract since June 7.
Silver futures for July delivery rose 0.1 percent to $28.389 an ounce.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery fell 0.9 percent to $1,466.80 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery slipped 1.6 percent to $619.50 an ounce.
Gasoline sank to the lowest level since December after the Energy Department reported that demand for the motor fuel sank 4.8 percent last week.
On the Nymex, gasoline futures for July delivery fell 1.9 percent to $2.5902 a gallon.
Heating-oil futures for July delivery slid 1.8 percent to $2.5874 a gallon, the lowest settlement since Jan. 10, 2011.
Natural gas slid for a second day in New York as forecasts showed the weather will cool following this week’s heat wave in the eastern U.S.
On the Nymex, gas futures for July delivery declined 1.1 percent to $2.517 per million British thermal units.
U.K. gas for delivery today rose as imports from Norway and the Netherlands declined.
Gas added 1.2 pence to 55 pence a therm at 4:44 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $8.66 per million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btu.
Wheat rose for the third straight day after dry weather in Russia damaged crops, eroding prospects for global inventories.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for September delivery, the contract with the highest open interest, rose 2.1 percent to $6.83 a bushel. The contract gained 9 percent in three days.
Soybean futures for November delivery, after the U.S. harvest, rose 0.8 percent to $13.955 a bushel.
Corn futures for December delivery gained 0.5 percent to $5.665 a bushel in Chicago.
Hog prices fell for a second straight day on speculation that demand for U.S. meat will decline as economic growth weakens.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for August settlement fell 0.7 percent to 92.15 cents a pound.
Cattle futures for August delivery declined 0.3 percent to settle at $1.171 a pound.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement slumped 0.6 percent to $1.5275 a pound.
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