Grains Reach Highs on Drought Fears: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.1 percent to 631.04 by 5 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down 0.2 percent at 1,545.328.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn futures rose to a 13-month high after a government report showed that an expanding drought is damaging the crop in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Soybeans touched a four- year high.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 0.6 percent to $7.77 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $7.89, the highest for a most-active contract since June 9, 2011.

Soybean futures for November delivery reached $16.07, the highest since July 2008.

Wheat futures for September delivery rose 0.3 percent to $8.875 a bushel at 10:36 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. A gain today would be the fifth straight increase. The price earlier reached $8.9775, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 15, 2011.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures gained in New York as hot weather boosted demand from power plants, helping to trim a supply surplus.

Natural gas for August delivery gained 1.2 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.813 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after falling to $2.72 earlier.

U.K. within-day natural gas was stable as imports from Norway rebounded while exports to Belgium jumped to an eight- month high. Day-ahead power fell.

Same-day gas traded up 0.15 pence, or 0.3 percent, at 54.70 pence a therm. August gas fell 1.2 percent to 54.15 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $8.44 percent million British thermal units and compares with $2.83 per million Btu for front- month U.S. gas.

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

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar fell for the first time in three sessions amid concerns that global supplies may exceed demand. Coffee, cocoa, cotton and orange juice also dropped.

Raw sugar for October delivery fell 0.7 percent to 22.61 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price gained 1.4 percent in the previous two sessions.

Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery dropped 1.6 percent to $1.8095 a pound.

Cocoa futures for September delivery declined 0.1 percent to $2,195 a metric ton. Earlier, the price touched $2,159, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 27.

Cotton futures for December delivery tumbled 2.9 percent to 71.2 cents a pound. A close at that price would mark the biggest decline since June 21.

Orange-juice futures for September delivery fell 1 percent to $1.168 a pound. The price headed for the sixth straight decline, the longest slump since early May.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

CRUDE OIL

Oil declined after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said progress in reducing unemployment is likely to be “frustratingly slow” and refrained from discussing specific monetary actions to spur the economy.

Crude for August delivery fell 36 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $88.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising to $89.28. Prices have declined 11 percent this year.

Brent oil for September settlement advanced 24 cents to $103.61 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke disappointed investors by not giving specific indications in testimony to Congress of when and how the Fed would act to boost the economy.

August-delivery gasoline fell 1.17 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.843 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $2.8898 before Bernanke’s comments.

Heating oil for August delivery rose 0.78 cent to $2.8355 a gallon on the exchange.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, increased 1 cent to $3.406 a gallon, according to AAA. Prices have risen every day but two since July 1, gaining 8 cents. Gasoline reached a year-to-date high of $3.936 on April 4.

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

BASE METALS

Copper fell the most in a week on speculation that demand will wane after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke refrained from disclosing steps the central bank may take to revive the slowing U.S. economy.

Copper futures for September delivery lost 1.2 percent to $3.444 a pound on the Comex in New York. A close at that price would be the biggest decline since July 6

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.2 percent to $7,600.25 a metric ton ($3.45 a pound).

Aluminum, lead, nickel, tin and zinc also declined in London.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold retreated the most in a week after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank is ready to take further action to boost the U.S. recovery, while refraining from discussing specific steps.

Gold futures for August delivery slid 1.2 percent to $1,573.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York. A close at that price would mark the biggest drop for the most-active contract since July 6. Prices gained 1.6 percent this year through yesterday.

Silver futures for September delivery fell 1.7 percent to $26.845 an ounce on the Comex..

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures for October settlement fell 1.7 percent to 77.875 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching 77.85 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 5, 2011.

Cattle futures for October delivery slid 0.4 percent to $1.20075 a pound on the CME, heading for a seventh straight decline.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

European Carbon Permits

EU carbon for December increased 1.7 percent to 7.70 euros ($9.39) a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Metcalf in London at tmetcalf7@bloomberg.net

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

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