Rubber Drops; Crude Falls; Copper Slumps: Commodities at Close
West Texas Intermediate oil dropped for a second day, extending the biggest decline in three months. U.S. crude stockpiles gained for the sixth week in seven, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
WTI for April delivery slid as much as 92 cents to $94.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $94.36 at 3:45 p.m. Singapore time. The March contract fell to $94.46 yesterday, the lowest since Jan. 16. The volume of all futures traded is 66 percent above the 100-day average.
East-West spreads fell for gasoil, naphtha and fuel oil.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude widens 13 cents to $7.97/bbl at 10:55 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. • March Japan naphtha swaps down $3.45 at $967.29/mt • March East-West naphtha spread down 57 cents to $9.49/mt
• Middle Distillates • Singapore 0.05%-sulfur gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude narrows 26 cents to $22.12/bbl • March gasoil swap down 84 cents at $132.30/bbl • March gasoil swap trades 63 cents/bbl above April contract • March East-West gasoil spread down $1.43 at $2.25/mt • Jet fuel regrade up 6 cents at 15 cents/bbl • March kerosene swap trades $1.13/bbl above April contract
• Fuel Oil • Singapore fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrows 20 cents to $8.02/bbl • March 180-fuel oil swap down $1.64 at $649.52/mt • March fuel oil swap trades $1.35/mt below April contract • Viscosity spread up 20 cents to $6/mt • March East-West fuel oil spread down 22 cents to $27.83/mt
Copper slumped to the lowest level in almost eight weeks and nickel tumbled to a 12-week low after China called for property curbs and Federal Reserve minutes showed policy makers advocating more flexibility in stimulus.
Copper for delivery in three months lost as much as 1 percent to $7,880 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the lowest since Dec. 28, before trading at $7,911.25 at 2:22 p.m. in Shanghai. Nickel dropped as much as 2.4 percent to $16,754 a ton, the lowest since Nov. 27.
On the LME, aluminum slid to a three-week low as analysts estimated stockpiles in China may have climbed to a record level. Lead fell to a four-week low, zinc to the lowest level in three weeks and tin was at the lowest level since Jan. 2.
Gold swung between gains and losses after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting showed a debate over the risks and benefits of more stimulus. Platinum fell to a six-week low.
Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,567.71 an ounce at 3:46 p.m. in Singapore. The price earlier fell 0.6 percent to $1,555.55 an ounce, the lowest since July 12. Bullion for April delivery slumped as much as 1.5 percent to $1,554.30 an ounce on the Comex, the lowest price for futures since June 29, before trading at $1,567.10.
Platinum for immediate delivery dropped as much as 1.8 percent to $1,617 an ounce, the lowest since Jan. 11, and traded at $1,632.20. Palladium fell as much as 1.6 percent to $726.95 an ounce, the cheapest since Jan. 25, and was at $730.65. Spot silver gained 0.3 percent to $28.6375 an ounce after dropping 0.7 percent.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans declined on speculation that the U.S. government will forecast record planting this year, boosting the prospects for global oilseed supplies. Corn and wheat also fell.
The contract for delivery in May fell as much as 1 percent to $14.54 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, and was at $14.6375 at 3:03 p.m. Singapore time. Trading volume was 71 percent more than the 100-day average at that time of day.
Corn for May delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $6.94 a bushel. That puts the price of soybeans at 2.1 times the cost of corn, compared with a 10-year average of 2.43 times. Beans compete with corn for acreage.
Wheat for May delivery declined 0.4 percent to $7.4225 a bushel on trading volume that was 18 percent above the 100-day average for that time of day.
The contract for delivery in May lost as much as 2 percent to 2,513 ringgit ($811) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the biggest intraday loss since Feb. 13, and was at 2,534 ringgit at 4:54 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur.
Rubber futures slumped to an eight-week low, wiping out this year’s gains, as Federal Reserve minutes showed policy makers advocating more flexibility in economic stimulus and on concern Thailand will increase supplies.
The contract for July delivery lost 2.6 percent to 297.5 yen a kilogram ($3,184 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the lowest settlement since Dec. 26. Futures have retreated 1.7 percent this year.
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