Copper Falls as Global Inventories Swell: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities declined 0.6 percent to 644.67 by 5:11 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials fell 0.2 percent to 1,538.786.

BASE METALS

Copper futures fell for the fourth time in five sessions on signs of ample global supplies as a measure of inventory climbed to the highest in nine years.

Stockpiles monitored by exchanges in the U.S., London and Shanghai have surged 45 percent this year to the highest since November 2003. Refined copper production exceeded demand by 168,600 metric tons in December, the biggest surplus in six years, the International Copper Study Group said today.

Copper futures for May delivery fell 0.3 percent to $3.435 a pound on the Comex in New York. Through yesterday, the metal dropped 5.6 percent this year.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.3 percent to $7,601 a ton. Aluminum, tin and lead dropped, while nickel and zinc gained.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rallied the most in more than two weeks on speculation that importers will shift purchases to the U.S. because of shipping delays in Brazil. Corn and wheat declined.

Soybean futures for delivery in May gained 1.2 percent to $14.3625 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after rising as much as 1.4 percent to $14.395, the most since March 4.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 0.2 percent to $7.31 a bushel in Chicago, halting a five-session rally. The price through yesterday was up 4.1 percent this month.

Wheat futures for May delivery lost 0.6 percent to $7.315 a bushel on the CBOT, heading for the first decline in three days.

Grains markets: NI GRMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Gasoline slipped after crude fell as Europe’s service and manufacturing sectors contracted and debate over a bailout for Cyprus threatened the euro region’s economic stability.

Gasoline for April delivery fell 1.5 percent to $3.0704 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil for April delivery declined 0.5 percent to $2.8774 a gallon.

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold climbed to the highest in three weeks after applications for jobless benefits in the U.S. rose and as concern that the European slowdown is worsening boosted demand for haven assets.

Gold futures for April delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,612.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,616.50, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 26.

Silver futures for May delivery jumped 1.2 percent to $29.16 an ounce in New York, after rising to $29.325, the highest since Feb. 19.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

CRUDE OIL

Oil dropped as German manufacturing output unexpectedly contracted in March, signaling the euro-zone debt crisis is slowing growth in the region’s biggest economy.

Crude oil for May delivery declined 0.2 percent to $93.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contract expired yesterday at $92.96. The volume of all futures traded was 43 percent below the 100-day average.

Brent oil for May settlement fell 55 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $108.17 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 18 percent lower than the 100-day average.

The European benchmark grade was at a $14.87 premium to West Texas Intermediate crude traded in New York. The gap narrowed to $14.93 on March 19, the lowest level at settlement since July.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures fell to a one-week low on signs that farmers will plant more of the crop than expected in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Sugar and coffee also fell, while orange juice and cocoa gained.

Cotton for May delivery slumped 0.9 percent to 88.29 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching 87.96 cents, the lowest since March 13. Prices are down about 6 percent since reaching an 11-month high on March 15.

Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for delivery in May slid 0.9 percent to 18.19 cents a pound, after touching 18.16 cents, the lowest since March 7. Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $1.328 a pound, heading for the eighth loss in nine sessions.

Orange-juice futures for delivery in May advanced 1.7 percent to $1.375 a pound on ICE, while cocoa futures for May delivery jumped 0.6 percent to $2,164 a ton.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline slipped after crude fell as Europe’s service and manufacturing sectors contracted and debate over a bailout for Cyprus threatened the euro region’s economic stability.

Gasoline for April delivery fell 1.3 percent to $3.0747 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude oil for May delivery on the Nymex declined 0.4 percent to $92.60 a barrel while Brent crude for May delivery on the London ICE Futures exchanged retreated 1.2 percent to $107.45.

Heating oil for April delivery declined 0.6 percent to $2.8737 a gallon.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures rose the most in two weeks, after Congress approved a spending plan to avoid a government shutdown that will help avert furloughs of U.S. meat inspectors. Cattle also rose.

Hog futures for June settlement climbed 0.7 percent to 89.125 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A close at that price would mark the biggest gain since March 7. The contract is down 2.6 percent this month after a 6.8 percent drop in February.

Cattle futures for June delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1.22325 a pound on the CME. The price was down 7.9 percent this year through yesterday.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement added 0.7 percent to $1.40925 a pound in Chicago.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Sharon Lindores in London at slindores@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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