Oil Slides on Seaway Limit, Sugar Rises: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.3 percent to 661.98. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials slipped 0.1 percent to 1,596.11.

CRUDE OIL

Oil dropped the most in a month in New York, widening its discount to Brent, as capacity on the Seaway pipeline was reduced and the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecasts.

West Texas Intermediate oil tumbled 1.5 percent as capacity of the Seaway line, which runs from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf Coast, was limited to 175,000 barrels a day at the Jones Creek delivery point. The normal capacity is 400,000. Oil slipped earlier after the IMF lowered its world growth forecast to 3.5 percent from 3.6 percent in October.

WTI crude for March delivery fell $1.45 to settle at $95.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the largest decline since Dec. 21.

Brent crude for March settlement rose 38 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $112.80 a barrel.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET

SOFT COMMODITIES

Coffee rose for the fourth time in a week on concern that a plant fungus will worsen and damage more crops in Latin America. Sugar, orange juice, cocoa and cotton also advanced.

Arabica coffee for March delivery rose 1.2 percent to settle at $1.504 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices fell 4.9 percent yesterday, the biggest drop since July 24, on signs of rising exports from Latin America.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery gained 2.1 percent to 18.5 cents a pound in New York, the first advance since Jan. 11.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1.156 a pound on ICE, the fifth straight increase. Cocoa futures for March delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $2,215 a metric ton on ICE.

Cotton futures for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to 80.48 cents a pound, capping a six-session advance that is the longest since March. Cotton still is down 19 percent in the past 12 months on concern that rising output in China would cut imports and expand a global surplus.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans and corn fell the most in two weeks on speculation that this month’s rally will curb demand from makers of livestock and poultry in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer of both crops.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 1 percent to close at $14.37 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, capping the biggest decline since Jan. 4. The most-active futures yesterday touched $14.6075, the highest since Dec. 19.

Corn futures for March delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $7.2075 a bushel in Chicago, the largest decline since Jan. 4.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Hog prices fell the most in two weeks on signs of increasing U.S. supplies of pork. Cattle futures were little changed.

Hog futures for April settlement declined 0.3 percent to close at 88 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest slump for the most-active contract since Jan. 9.

Cattle futures for April delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1.3045 a pound. Prices are down 1.4 percent this month.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.1 percent to close at $1.4715 a pound on the CME.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose to the highest level in three months on speculation refinery maintenance will keep supplies along the U.S. East Coast below normal.

Gasoline for February delivery rose 0.39 cent to $2.8338 a gallon on the Nymex, the highest settlement since Oct. 16. Volume was 15 percent above the 100-day average.

Heating oil for February delivery gained 0.99 cent to $3.0781 a gallon on the exchange. The March contract increased 0.95 cent to $3.0652. Volume was 25 percent below average.

The retail price for regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 0.6 cent to $3.316 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. That’s the sixth consecutive increase.

Gasoline: NI GASOLINE

Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures slipped for a second day in New York as forecasts for mild weather next week after a cold snap signaled reduced heating-fuel demand.

Gas for February delivery fell 0.4 cent to settle at $3.554 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. Prices yesterday rose to $3.645, the highest intraday price since Dec. 7, before declining.

Gas market: NI GASMARKET

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures declined as the U.S. House of Representatives voted to suspend the nation’s borrowing limit, curbing demand for the precious metal as a haven asset.

The measure, passed 285-144, lifts the government’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit until May 19. It goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid said lawmakers will pass the measure unchanged and send it to President Barack Obama.

Gold futures for February delivery fell 0.4 percent to settle at $1,686.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.8 percent to $32.439 an ounce on the Comex. Today’s advance was the seventh straight, the longest rally for a most-active contract since August 2011.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,691.80 an ounce.

Palladium futures for March delivery retreated 0.5 percent to $726.20 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper fell in New York for the first time in four sessions on signs of ample supply and a cut in the International Monetary Fund’s global growth forecasts.

Copper futures for delivery in March slid 0.6 percent to settle $3.6845 a pound on the Comex.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months dropped 0.4 percent to $8,103 a metric ton ($3.68 a pound).

Tin also fell in London, while lead, zinc and nickel advanced. Aluminum was little changed.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

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

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