Sugar Slumps Amid Signs of Slack Demand: Commodities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.4 percent to settle at 650.05 at 4 p.m. New York time, led by sugar.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices declined 0.9 percent to 1,578.39.
Sugar fell the most in eight weeks on signs that global demand remains sluggish amid prospects for abundant supply.
The amount for loading at ports in Brazil, the world’s top producer, fell 7.2 percent from a week earlier, data from Williams Servicos Maritimos Ltda., a Recife, Brazil-based shipping agency, showed yesterday. In the year starting April 1, the nation’s cane output may climb 9 percent from a year earlier, according to Sao Paulo-based Unica, an industry group.
On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, raw sugar for March delivery sank 3 percent to 19.1 cents a pound, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Nov. 7.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery tumbled 4.3 percent to $1.116 a pound after touching $1.114, the lowest since Nov. 14.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery fell 1.9 percent to $1.465 a pound.
Cocoa futures for March delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $2,256 a metric ton.
Cotton futures for March delivery advanced less than 0.1 percent to 75.39 cents a pound.
Gold fell in electronic trading as the dollar extended a rally after Federal Reserve policy makers said they probably will end their $85 billion monthly U.S. bond purchases sometime in 2013.
On the Comex in New York, gold futures for February delivery fell 1.5 percent to $1,663.70 an ounce at 4:44 p.m. Earlier, the price settled down 0.8 percent at $1,674.60.
Silver futures for March delivery slumped 2.7 percent to $30.18in electronic trading. Earlier, the price settled down 0.9 percent at $30.72.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery gained 0.8 percent to settle at $1,579.90 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $697.15 an ounce.
Copper dropped for the first time in three sessions on speculation that U.S. policy makers will struggle to reach agreement on raising the nation’s debt limit, threatening economic growth and demand prospects.
On the Comex, copper futures for delivery in March slid 0.5 percent to $3.717 a pound.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 0.5 percent to $8,164 a metric ton ($3.70 a pound). Lead, zinc, aluminum, nickel and tin also fell.
Crude oil slipped from yesterday’s three-month high as more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, and concerns mounted that new budget legislation won’t reduce the deficit fast enough.
On the Nymex, oil futures for February delivery slid 0.2 percent to $92.92 a barrel. Yesterday, the price climbed to $93.12, the highest close since Sept. 18.
Brent oil for February settlement fell 0.3 percent to $112.14 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Vitol Group failed to buy a cargo of North Sea Forties crude even as the company bid at the highest differential in almost 10 months.
Ghana will ship one more cargo of Jubilee crude in January, bringing total exports for this month to four, a revised loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.
Heating oil slipped for the first time in three days as a forecast for warmer weather in the U.S. Northeast indicated less demand.
On the Nymex, heating-oil futures for February delivery declined 0.7 percent to $3.0251 a gallon.
Gasoline futures for February delivery rose 0.1 percent to $2.7977 a gallon.
Natural gas declined to a three-month low on forecasts for milder weather that would cut demand for the heating fuel.
On the Nymex, gas futures for February delivery slipped 1.1 percent to $3.198 per million British thermal units, the lowest settlement since Sept. 26.
U.K. gas for next-day delivery advanced as flows into the grid declined more than demand, tightening the delivery network.
The price rose 1.8 percent to 62.9 pence a therm at 3:34 p.m. London time. Next-month gas climbed 1.8 percent to 65.8 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.63 per million Btu.
Soybeans tumbled to a six-week low after China, the world’s top importer, scrapped its third U.S. purchase in two weeks, while prospects improved for Brazil’s crop.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $13.865 a bushel. Earlier, the oilseed touched $13.725, the lowest since Nov. 16.
Corn futures for March delivery declined 0.2 percent to $6.8925 bushel.
Wheat futures for March delivery gained 0.25 cent to $7.555 a bushel.
Cattle rose the most in three weeks on speculation that U.S. animal supplies are shrinking as demand for beef climbs.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for February delivery climbed 1.1 percent to $1.3385 a pound, the biggest gain since Dec. 11.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.6 percent to $1.549 a pound.
Hog futures for February settlement gained 0.3 percent to close at 86.4 cents a pound.
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