Soybeans, Corn Fall Most in Three Weeks: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.4 percent to settle at 632.88 at 3:56 p.m. New York time, led by agriculture and energy.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices dropped 0.3 percent to 1,576.1.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans and corn fell the most in three weeks on speculation that planting delays will end in Argentina, while rain improves crop conditions in Brazil.

In Argentina, mostly dry weather in the next 10 days will allow farm equipment to return to fields muddied by storms in the past month, according to Commodity Weather Group Inc. In Brazil, as much as 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) of rain in the next five days was forecast to boost soil moisture.

Soybean futures for January delivery declined 1.3 percent to $14.7225 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Nov. 16. This week, the price gained 2.3 percent, the third straight increase.

Corn futures for March delivery slid 1.9 percent to $7.3725 a bushel, the biggest decline since Nov. 12. This week, the price dropped 2.1 percent.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.1 percent to $8.61 a bushel. The price declined 0.3 percent this week.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas fell, capping the second weekly decline, on forecasts for moderate weather that may limit U.S. heating-fuel demand next week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for January delivery fell 3.1 percent to $3.551 per million British thermal units. The price dropped 0.3 percent this week.

U.K. gas for same-day delivery fell for the second straight day as withdrawals from storage surged following the end of restrictions at Centrica Plc’s Rough facility, Britain’s largest.

The price dropped 1.2 percent to 68.95 pence a therm at 3:52 p.m. London time. Next-month gas was little changed at 69.4 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $11.13 per million Btu.

LIVESTOCK

Hogs fell, capping the biggest weekly decline since August, on signs that demand for ham is slowing after U.S. grocers filled meat orders for Christmas.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for February settlement declined 1.2 percent to 83.475 cents a pound. This week, the price slumped 4 percent.

Cattle futures for February delivery slipped 0.5 percent to $1.304 a pound. The commodity has gained 7.4 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement rose 0.4 percent to $1.48775 a pound.

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil slid to a four-month low after U.S. consumer confidence dropped to the lowest in four months and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said there was no progress on budget talks.

On the Nymex, heating-oil futures fell 0.9 percent to $2.9153 a gallon, the lowest settlement since Aug. 2.

Gasoline futures for January delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $2.5974 a gallon.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil fell, capping the first weekly decline since early November, as the dollar rose against the euro after the U.S. jobless rate declined and Germany cut its growth forecast.

On the Nymex, oil futures for January delivery decreased 0.4 percent to $85.93 a barrel. The price dropped 3.4 percent this week.

Brent oil for January settlement fell less than 0.1 percent to $107.02 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Daily exports of North Sea Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes, which make up the Dated Brent benchmark, will drop by 0.2 percent in January from this month, according to loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold three cargoes of Russian Urals of 100,000 metric tons each from two Baltic Sea ports via a tender to Eni SpA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said three traders with knowledge of the matter.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar fell to the lowest in almost two weeks on mounting concern that higher output in Brazil, the world’s top producer, will add to a global surplus.

Raw sugar for March delivery slid 0.8 percent to 19.21 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price touched 19.05 cents, the lowest since Nov. 26. The commodity has dropped 18 percent this year.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery jumped 1.9 percent to $1.5385 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.5515, the highest since Nov. 30. This week, the commodity rose 2.2 percent, the most since mid-September.

Cotton for March delivery advanced 0.3 percent to 73.79 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for January delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1.2455 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $2,412 a metric ton.

BASE METALS

Copper futures rose, capping the longest run of weekly advances in 10 months, as U.S. payrolls gained more than projected, boosting economic optimism and signaling more metal demand.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $3.663 a pound. This week, the price advanced 0.4 percent, the fourth straight gain and the longest rally since Feb. 3.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.4 percent to $8,035 a ton ($3.64 a pound). Aluminum, zinc, nickel and lead rose, and tin declined.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rose from a four-week low after U.S. consumer confidence fell more than forecast, fueling speculation that the Federal Reserve will buy more debt to boost the economy. the outlook for the Fed to announce more bond purchases.”

On the Comex, gold futures for February delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,705.50 an ounce. Earlier, the metal touched $1,684.10, the lowest since Nov. 6.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $33.131 an ounce. The metal fell 0.4 percent this week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery gained 0.4 percent to $1,607 an ounce.

Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $698 an ounce. This week, the price rose 1.4 percent, the sixth straight increase and the longest rally since November 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick McKiernan in New York at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net

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

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