Cattle Touches Record on U.S. Winter Storm: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.7 percent to settle at 644.73 at 3:53 p.m. in New York.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices declined 0.1 percent to 1,578.92.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures climbed to a record for the fourth straight session on speculation that a U.S. winter storm will lower animal weights and delay meat shipments, further shrinking beef supplies.

Blizzard conditions are forecast for tonight and tomorrow with 2 inches to 5 inches (5 centimeters to 13 centimeters) of snow expected in the Central Plains and as much as 15 inches in parts of Iowa and Wisconsin, Joel Widenor, a vice president for Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a telephone interview. During cold, wet weather, livestock need to use more energy to stay warm, leading to lower weights.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for February delivery advanced 1.1 percent to $1.3435 a pound. Prices rallied to a record $1.345, marking the fourth straight session that the contract has reached an all-time high.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement added 0.9 percent to $1.5575 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for February settlement rose 1.5 percent to 86.575 cents a pound, after reaching 86.775 cents, the highest for the most-active contract since Dec. 3.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil rose to a two-month closing high after the Energy Department said inventories decreased as refineries ramped up operations, increasing demand for crude.

On the Nymex, oil futures for January delivery surged 1.8 percent to $89.51 a barrel.

Brent oil for February settlement increased 1.4 percent to $110.37 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Trafigura Beheer BV failed to sell a cargo of North Sea Forties crude, the first offer to emerge in about five days. Statoil ASA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc didn’t find sellers for the grade for a third day as they bid at the same price as yesterday.

OAO Surgutneftegas, Russia’s fourth-largest oil producer, issued a tender to sell three cargoes of Urals blend for loading in January from two Baltic ports, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose as President Barack Obama and House Republican leaders continued budget negotiations and as supplies of the motor fuel fell on the East Coast.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for January delivery advanced 1.9 percent to $2.7431 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for January delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $3.0356 a gallon.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas dropped for the first time in three days as weather forecasts for late December and early January turned warmer.

On the Nymex, gas futures for January delivery fell 2.9 percent to $3.32 per million British thermal units.

U.K. gas prices were little changed as volumes declined and the network manager forecast a balanced system.

Gas for January climbed 0.09 pence, or 0.1 percent, to 66.95 pence a therm at 4:14 p.m. London time. That’s equal to $10.89 a million British thermal units.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn futures tumbled to a five-month low after the government said production of ethanol fell and inventories rose last week.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for March delivery declined 2.4 percent to $7.03 a bushel, after touching $7.015, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 11. The grain still is up 8.7 percent this year.

Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 2 percent to $14.31 a bushel, after touching $14.2625, the lowest since Nov. 27.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.7 percent to $8.0575 a bushel.

BASE METALS

Copper futures declined in New York to the lowest in more than two weeks as rising inventories signal demand is weakening.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for March delivery retreated 1.3 percent to $3.6055 a pound, after touching $3.598, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 30.

On the London Metal exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.2 percent to $7,926 a ton ($3.60 a pound), the biggest drop in six weeks.

Aluminum, tin, zinc and nickel were also lower in London. Lead rose.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold fell for a second day in New York on speculation that a recovery in U.S. housing and improving prospects for a budget deal in Congress will ease pressure on the Federal Reserve to expand monetary stimulus.

On the Comex, gold futures for February delivery slid 0.2 percent to $1,667.70 an ounce.

Silver futures for March delivery slumped 1.7 percent to $31.116 an ounce, after dropping to $31.085, the lowest since Nov. 6.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for January delivery lost 0.1 percent to $1,592.90 an ounce, capping a third straight decline.

Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 1.1 percent to $698.35 an ounce.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa dropped to a five-week low on signs of rising supplies from Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cocoa for March delivery retreated 1.6 percent to $2,358 a ton, after touching $2,345, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 12.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery declined 0.8 percent to 19.23 cents a pound.

Cotton futures for March delivery fell 0.1 percent to 75.89 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery gained 0.6 percent to $1.449 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery rose 1.4 percent to $1.42 a pound.

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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