Corn Falls on Slowing Demand for U.S. Crop: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials slid less than 0.1 percent to settle at 636.92 at 3:53 p.m. in New York, paced by corn.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices dropped less than 0.1 percent to 1,580.62.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn fell the most in a week on slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

As of Dec. 6, corn sales for delivery before Sept. 1 fell 46 percent to 12.488 million tons from a year earlier, the lowest since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began reporting the data in 1990, the USDA said. Output of grain-based ethanol, a gasoline additive, tumbled 1.3 percent in the week ended Dec. 7 from a week earlier, and inventories rose to the highest since June 29, U.S. Energy Department data show.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for March delivery declined 0.9 percent to $7.24 a bushel, the biggest drop since Dec. 10.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 0.2 percent to $14.8825 a bushel.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.7 percent to $8.08 a bushel.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures rose to the highest in almost eight weeks in New York amid an improving demand outlook in China, the world’s largest consumer.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cotton for March delivery increased 1 percent to 75.85 cents a pound, after reaching 76.25 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 23.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery climbed 2.1 percent to 19.41 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery jumped 2 percent to $1.4595 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1.385 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $2,425 a metric ton.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures extended a rally to a record amid signs of shrinking supplies of U.S. beef.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for February delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $1.335 a pound after reaching $1.337, the highest ever for the most-active contract. Prices are up 9.9 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement rose 0.8 percent to $1.5425 a pound.

Hog futures for February settlement dropped 0.8 percent to close at 84.75 cents a pound. Prices are up 0.5 percent this year.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas climbed for the first time in eight sessions as revised forecasts showed below-normal temperatures that would spur heating demand.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for January delivery surged 1.3 percent to $3.358 per million British thermal units. The futures are up 12 percent this year,

U.K. gas for same-day delivery declined as warmer-than- average weather was predicted through the end of the year, cutting demand for the heating fuel.

Gas fell 0.95 pence, or 1.4 percent, to 65.7 pence a therm at 4 p.m. London time. Month-ahead gas dropped 0.5 percent to 66.85 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.83 per million Btu.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures advanced for a second session after a report showed manufacturing in the New York area contracted more than expected, bolstering prospects for expanded U.S. monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for February delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1,698.20 an ounce. Prices are up 8.4 percent this year.

Silver futures for March delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $32.28 an ounce.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for January delivery lost 0.4 percent to $1,608.50 an ounce.

Palladium futures for March delivery decreased 0.5 percent to $698.30 an ounce.

BASE METALS

Copper fell to a one-week low in New York as a jump in stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange and a U.S. budget standoff added to demand concerns.

On the Comex, copper futures for March delivery slid 0.5 percent to $3.666 a pound after touching $3.6475, the lowest since Dec. 7.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined less than 0.1 percent to $8,063 a metric ton ($3.66 a pound). Aluminum and nickel were also lower in London. Tin, lead and zinc rose.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil rose for a second session on optimism that a U.S. budget agreement will be reached, narrowing the discount to Brent crude to less than $20 for the first time in eight weeks.

On the Nymex, oil futures for February delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $87.67 a barrel.

Brent oil for February settlement fell 54 cents to $107.64 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) bought a cargo of North Sea Forties crude at the highest premium in about six weeks. Socar Trading SA sold two lots of Azeri Light blend.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, will export 40 consignments of crude in February, a partial loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed. The plan excludes Palanca, Saturno and Plutonio grades.

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil fell as a report showed manufacturing shrank more than forecast in the New York region, raising concern about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery and fuel demand.

On the Nymex, heating-oil futures for January delivery retreated 0.8 percent to $2.9563 a gallon.

Gasoline futures for January delivery slid 0.3 percent to $2.6546 a gallon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

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

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