Wheat Leads Slump as Nickel to Crude Fall: Commodities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 1.4 percent to 659.226 by 4:39 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 1.1 percent to 1,565.823.
Wheat fell for the second time in three sessions as snowfall expected in Kansas, the biggest U.S. grower of winter varieties, eased concern that drought in the Great Plains will damage crops. Corn fell, and soybeans rose.
Wheat futures for delivery in May fell 1.6 percent to $7.3325 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, down 5.8 percent for the year. In 2012, prices jumped 19 percent after the worst drought in more than 70 years left crop conditions in the Plains at their worst since at least 1985. Trading today was more than double the 100-day average for that time of day.
Corn futures for delivery in May declined 1 percent to $6.8925 a bushel in Chicago. Farmers in the U.S., the largest grower and exporter last year, will produce a record 14.53 billion bushels this year, up 34.8 percent from last year’s drought-reduced harvest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today.
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to $14.7175 a bushel on the CBOT, heading for a fourth straight gain. Earlier, the contract fell 1 percent.
Grains markets: NI GRMKTS
Platinum slumped to the lowest level in six weeks in New York as commodities declined after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it may consider slowing the pace of asset purchases and China called for property curbs. Palladium fell to a five-week low.
Platinum for April delivery fell 2.2 percent to $1,610.30 an ounce by 7:53 a.m. in New York after falling as much as 2.9 percent to $1,599, the lowest since Jan. 10. Palladium slumped 2.3 percent to $719.60 an ounce after dropping earlier today to the lowest level since Jan. 16.
Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,570.60 an ounce in New York after slumping to as low as $1,554.30, the lowest since June 29. Bullion for immediate delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1,571.32 an ounce in London. There is a potential for pent-up demand from India to “kick in” given the magnitude of the price declines, UBS AG said in a report today.
Silver for March delivery traded 0.2 percent higher at $28.68 an ounce in New York.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Sugar and coffee declined in New York on speculation producers may increase sales after yesterday’s price rally just as a stronger dollar reduces the appeal of commodities. Cocoa rose.
Raw sugar for delivery in May declined 0.9 percent to 17.96 cents a pound by 10:11 a.m. on ICE, while arabica coffee for May delivery was down 1.6 percent to $1.394 a pound. Trading volume in sugar was 98 percent more than the average of the last 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
Cocoa for delivery in May gained 0.9 percent to $2,132 a ton in New York.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Copper, tin and nickel fell to the lowest this year on signs of a deepening slump in Europe and concern that the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of economic stimulus in the U.S.
Copper futures for May delivery slumped 1.7 percent to $3.5625 a pound at 10:28 a.m. on the Comex in New York after touching $3.5585, the lowest since Dec. 24.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.6 percent to $7,830.75 a ton ($3.55 a pound). Prices touched $7,824, dropping below the 200-day moving average of $7,831.
Nickel touched as low as $16,600, the cheapest since Nov. 27 and below the 200-day moving average of about $16,917. Tin touched $22,980, the lowest since Dec. 20.
Lead, zinc and aluminum also retreated in London.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Natural gas futures rose after a government report showed that U.S. inventories fell by more than forecast last week.
Natural gas for March delivery rose 2.2 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $3.301 per million British thermal units at 10:34 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas traded at $3.275 before the storage number was released at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. Volume was 16 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
West Texas Intermediate oil in New York fell to a six-week low as a government report showed that U.S. crude supplies increased to the highest level since December.
WTI oil for April delivery dropped $2.01, or 2.1 percent, to $93.21 a barrel at 11:07 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $92.63, the lowest level since Jan. 7. The contract traded at $92.96 before the release of the EIA report at 11 a.m. in Washington. The March contract fell 2.3 percent when it expired yesterday, the biggest drop since Nov. 20. The volume of all futures traded is 41 percent above the 100-day average.
Brent crude for April settlement fell $1.58, or 1.4 percent, to $114.02 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract touched $113.32, the lowest since Jan. 29. Volume was more than 77 percent more than the 100-day average.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
March gasoline fell 0.3 percent at $3.0501 a gallon and heating oil dropped 1.3 percent to $3.1152 a gallon.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
European Carbon Permits
European Union emission permits climbed 8.2 percent to 5.39 euros a metric ton.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
Hog futures fell, heading for the longest decline since October 2011, on signs of weakening overseas demand for U.S. pork. Cattle dropped.
Hog futures for April settlement declined 0.8 percent to 82.275 cents a pound at 10:06 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching 81.7 cents, the lowest since Nov. 12. Prices are headed for the seventh straight drop, the longest slump since Oct. 27, 2011.
Cattle futures for April delivery slid 0.1 percent to $1.2805 a pound. The commodity was down 3.1 percent this year through yesterday.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement were unchanged at $1.40725 a pound on the CME.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
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