Copper Rises; Soybeans, Palm Oil Decline: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.1 percent to 654.16 at 5:08 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials increased 0.02 percent to 1,579.270.

CRUDE OIL

Oil traded near the highest level in four months in New York as a surprise drop in U.S. crude stockpiles countered concern the global economic recovery may falter and curb fuel demand.

Crude for February delivery was at $93.99 a barrel, down 25 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:39 p.m. Singapore time. The contract climbed 96 cents to $94.24 yesterday, the most since Jan. 2. It was the highest close since Sept. 18.

Brent for March settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange was up 7 cents at $109.75 a barrel. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $15.76 to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate for the same month. The spread was at $16.37 yesterday, the narrowest since Sept. 19.

OIL PRODUCTS Asia gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude rose to the highest level in four months. Fuel oil’s discount shrank by the most in almost two weeks.

• Middle Distillates • Gasoil crack rises 47 cents to $20.71/bbl at 9:53 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates • Crack is the widest since Sept. 19 • Feb. gasoil swap falls 35 cents to $125.70/bbl • Jet fuel’s premium to gasoil unchanged at 55 cents/bbl, the widest in seven weeks

• Fuel Oil • High-sulfur fuel oil’s discount to Dubai narrows 74 cents to $5.50/bbl, PVM data show • Fuel oil crack shrinks 12 percent, the most since Jan. 4, signaling smaller refining losses from the fuel • HSFO swap for Feb. falls 50 cents to $631.75/ton • March swaps trade at discount of 50 cents/ton to Feb. swaps • Viscosity spread unchanged at $7.25/ton

• Light Distillates • Japan’s naphtha crack to Brent falls $3.70 to $83.22/ton, according to Bloomberg data • Feb. naphtha swap slips $10.25 to $910/ton, PVM data shows • Gasoline reforming margin widened $1.88 to $15.52/bbl yesterday, according to Bloomberg data

BASE METALS

Copper climbed for the first time in five days after economic data raised expectations that demand will improve in China and the U.S., the two largest users.

Metal for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.4 percent to $7,978.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $7,958 at 2:06 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper fell to $7,920 yesterday, the lowest level since Dec. 31. Futures for March delivery on the Comex in New York gained 0.2 percent to $3.615 per pound.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold traded little changed as investors weighed concern about slowing global economic growth and expectations for more stimulus. Palladium dropped from the highest level since September 2011.

Spot gold was at $1,681.05 an ounce at 3:52 p.m. in Singapore from $1,679.95 yesterday. The metal reached $1,685.25 on Jan. 15, the most expensive since Jan. 3, as U.S. lawmakers wrangled over increasing the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. Since 1960, Congress has raised or revised the debt limit 79 times, including 49 times under Republican presidents, according to the Treasury Department.

Gold for February delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,680.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Cash palladium dropped 0.5 percent to $719 an ounce after climbing as much as 0.4 percent to $725.25. The price touched $727.50 yesterday, the costliest since Sept. 19, 2011. Palladium, used in autocatalysts, is expected to outperform platinum as demand outpaces supplies, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Spot platinum slid 0.6 percent to $1,679.02 an ounce, snapping a seven-day gain. The metal jumped to a three-month high of $1,701 on Jan. 15 after Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS), the world’s largest producer of the metal, announced plans to reduce jobs and output. Holdings in exchange-traded products reached a record 52.9039 metric tons yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES

Soybeans declined from the highest price in three weeks as forecasts of increased production in South America outweighed estimates of improving demand for U.S. supplies. Corn was poised to advance for a ninth session.

Soybeans for March delivery fell as much as 0.7 percent to $14.26 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and were at $14.27 by 3:32 p.m. Singapore time. The most-active contract earlier advanced to $14.415, the highest level since Dec. 26. The oilseed is heading for a 3.9 percent gain this week, the biggest since August.

Corn for March delivery was little changed at $7.3175 a bushel after gaining as much as 0.3 percent. Prices advanced for an eighth straight session yesterday, the longest rally since December 2011, and reached $7.35, the highest since Dec. 10. A ninth day of advance would be the longest winning run since December 2010.

Wheat for March declined 0.3 percent to $7.825 a bushel.

Palm oil extends decline to 2% After Indian export tax news. Trades at 2,382 ringgit/t after dropping to 2,378 ringgit. • NOTE: Tariff value of imported edible oils to be linked to prevailing international prices, Indian government says on website. • India has not changed tariff value of crude palm oil, RBD palm oil, crude palmolein and crude soybean oil since 2006 • Tariff value of crude palm oil is currently $447/t, while crude soybean oil is $580/t • “An alignment of notified tariff values with international prices will have a positive impact on the duty collected from import of edible oils and will provide an even-field to the domestic refining industry,” statement says • Tariff values are benchmark prices used to calculate taxes payable on imports

Rubber advanced for the first time in four days as crude oil traded near the highest level since September, boosting the appeal of the commodity used in tires.

Rubber for delivery in June rose 0.4 percent to close at 305.4 yen a kilogram ($3,445 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange after touching 301 yen, the lowest level since Dec. 28.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at christian.s@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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