Wheat Falls as Global Supplies Seen Higher: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.1 percent to 631.93 at 4 p.m. New York time, led by agriculture and energy.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices fell 0.1 percent to 1,576.723.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat tumbled to a five-month low after a government report showed global inventories will shrink less than forecast, easing concern that droughts from the U.S. to Australia were creating a grain shortage.

Stockpiles will be 176.95 million metric tons on May 31, more than the 174.18 million projected in November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Analysts expected a cut to 173.61 million, based on 16 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The agency increased its forecasts on crops in Canada, Australia and China.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 3.2 percent to settle at $8.215 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop since Oct. 12.

Corn futures for March delivery slid 0.3 percent to close at $7.28 a bushel, a fourth consecutive decline and the longest slump since Oct. 29.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell 0.2 percent to $14.72 a bushel. Prices are down 18 percent since reaching a record $17.89 in September.

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose for the first time in six days as German investor confidence jumped in December.

Crude for January delivery increased 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $85.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent for January settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange gained 68 cents, or 0.6 percent, to end the session at $108.01 a barrel.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures dropped in New York, falling to a six- week low for a second day, on forecasts of milder-than-average weather that may limit demand for the heating fuel.

Natural gas for January delivery fell 4.8 cents to $3.412 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, the lowest settlement price since Oct. 26.

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil advanced as an increase in German investor confidence signaled greater fuel demand and amid optimism that U.S. lawmakers will reach a budget deal.

Heating oil for January delivery rose 3.08 cents to settle at $2.927 a gallon on the Nymex, the first increase in six days.

Gasoline for January delivery increased 1.24 cents, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $2.6105 a gallon, the third consecutive gain.

The average nationwide cost for regular gasoline fell 1.2 cents to a $3.328 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. That’s the lowest level since July 1. The pump price reached a 2012 high of $3.936 on April 4.

BASE METALS

Copper dropped for the first time in three sessions as investors awaited a Federal Reserve decision on whether to amplify its bond-purchases program to stimulate the U.S. economy.

Copper futures for delivery in March declined 0.5 percent to settle at $3.6865 a pound on the Comex in New York. The metal gained 1.7 percent in the last two sessions, including a seven- week high of $3.719 yesterday.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid 0.4 percent to $8,100 a metric ton ($3.67 a pound).

Zinc, tin, lead and aluminum fell in London. Nickel advanced.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold prices fell for the first time in four sessions as investors awaited signals on whether Federal Reserve policy makers will expand monetary stimulus as they start a two-day meeting today.

Gold futures for February delivery slid 0.3 percent to settle at $1,709.60 an ounce on the Comex. Prices capped a third straight session of gains yesterday, the longest rally since Aug. 27.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $33.017 an ounce, the first decline in five sessions.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for January delivery gained 1 percent to $1,640 an ounce, capping a fifth straight gain.

Palladium futures for March delivery declined 1.1 percent to $696.80 an ounce.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Orange-juice futures rose to a seven-month high after the U.S. government cut its forecast by 5.2 percent for Florida’s orange crop, the world’s second-largest.

Orange juice for January delivery jumped 3.6 percent to settle at $1.299 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1.34, the highest for a most-active contract since May 2.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery advanced 1.7 percent to $1.495 a pound on ICE.

Cotton for March delivery advanced 2 percent to settle at 74.9 cents a pound, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Oct. 17.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to 18.88 cents a pound in New York, snapping a three-session slump.

Cocoa futures for March delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $2,380 a metric ton.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures rose to a two-week high after a government report showed U.S. beef supplies are shrinking. Hog prices also gained.

Cattle futures for February delivery gained 1.3 percent to settle at $1.3195 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching $1.326, the highest since Nov. 28. The commodity has climbed 8.6 percent this year as the U.S. herd shrunk.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement advanced 1.5 percent to $1.52075 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for February settlement rose 0.3 percent to close at 84.15 cents a pound in Chicago. Prices are down 0.2 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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