Wheat Rises; Gold Set for Quarterly Loss: Commodities at Close
West Texas Intermediate crude advanced a fifth day and was set for a quarterly gain after government data showed U.S. refineries boosted operating rates.
WTI for May delivery climbed as much as 36 cents to $96.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $96.86 at 3:06 p.m. Singapore time. The volume of all futures traded was 39 percent below the 100-day average. The contract rose 0.3 percent yesterday to $96.58, the highest close since Feb. 19. Prices are set for their fourth weekly gain and are 5.1 percent higher this month.
Brent for May settlement was at $109.90 a barrel, up 21 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It climbed 0.3 percent yesterday. The volume of all contracts traded was 11 percent below the 100-day average. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $13.03 to WTI, down from $13.11 yesterday. It settled at $13.02 on March 26, the narrowest since July.
Asia gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude falls for a fifth week, indicating reduced profit from producing the middle distillate. Total sells three gasoline cargoes in Singapore.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude at $9.12/bbl as of 2:41 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The crack is poised to narrow for the first time in four weeks • April Japan naphtha swaps at $906.50/mt • April East-West naphtha spread at $14.84/mt. The spread rises for the fourth time in five weeks • Total SA sells three 50,000-bbl cargoes of 92-RON gasoline, according to Bloomberg survey of traders who monitor Platts window. • Shell buys for April 14-18 loading at $121.50/bbl, while Vitol bought the second and third cargoes for April 17-21 loading at $121.60/bbl and $122.10/bbl
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude at $15.55/bbl. The crack is set to fall for a fifth week • April gasoil swaps rise 68 cents to $122.81/bbl • April gasoil swap trades 40 cents/bbl below May contract. The contango widens for a second week • April East-West gasoil spread at $4.25/mt. The spread falls for a fourth week • Jet fuel regrade at 35 cents/bbl discount to gasoil. The discount widens 45 cents this week • April kerosene swap trades 56 cents/bbl below May contract. The contango widens for a second week • Morgan Stanley sells 100,000 bbls of jet fuel loading April 13-17 to BP at a discount of 20 cents to benchmark prices in Singapore, according to Bloomberg survey • Hin Leong sells 150,000 bbls of gasoil with 500 ppm sulfur, loading April 12-16 to Vitol at a discount of 20 cents to benchmark prices in Singapore
• Fuel Oil • Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude at $6.61/bbl. The crack widens for a second week • April 180-cst fuel oil swaps rise 88 cents to $638.36/mt • April fuel oil swap trades 48 cents/mt above May contract • Viscosity spread at $5.51/mt, narrows for a second week • April East-West fuel oil spread at $29.40/mt, narrows for a second week • Hin Leong buys three 380-cst fuel oil cargoes, according to the Bloomberg survey. • Lukoil sells 40,000 mt for April 17-21 at $2.75/mt premium to benchmark prices. Glencore sells 20,000 mt for April 17-21 at $2.25/mt premium to April average benchmark quotes. Vitol sells 20,000 mt for April 22-26 at $2/mt premium to April average prices. • Vitol buys 20,000 mt 180-cst fuel from BP at $641/mt for April 23-27 loading
Copper declined for a second day as a deepening debt crisis in Europe and tumbling stock prices in China, the biggest user, raised concern that demand will slow.
Copper for delivery in three months fell as much as 0.4 percent to $7,577 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $7,595 at 2:54 p.m. in Shanghai. The metal, which hasn’t dropped over consecutive quarters since 2008, has lost 4.2 percent this year after a 3.3 percent fall in the three-month period to December.
Gold headed for a second quarterly loss as holdings in exchange-traded products fell by the most on record and the dollar climbed on prospects for a U.S. recovery, eroding the metal’s allure as an alternative investment.
Bullion for immediate delivery traded little changed at $1,605.99 an ounce at 2:49 p.m. in Seoul from $1,605.25 yesterday. Prices have fallen 4.1 percent this quarter in the first back-to-back three-month losses since 2001. The metal touched $1,555.55 on Feb. 21, the cheapest since July 2012.
Spot platinum rose 0.2 percent to $1,585.16 an ounce, poised for a quarterly advance. Holdings in ETPs expanded to a record 52.346 tons, according to data tracked by Bloomberg.
Silver for immediate delivery rose 0.2 percent to $28.74 an ounce, paring a second quarterly decline. Palladium fell 0.3 percent to $764.95 an ounce, trimming a third quarterly gain.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Wheat advanced to trade near a five-week high as freezing weather in the U.S., the world’s largest shipper, threatened the winter crop that’s already forecast by the government to decline.
Wheat for May delivery gained as much as 0.4 percent $7.3975 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade after touching $7.4075 yesterday, the highest level for the most-active contract since Feb. 21. Futures, which traded at $7.395 by 3:12 p.m. Singapore time, are heading for a 3.5 percent increase this month, paring a quarterly drop to 5 percent.
Corn for May delivery was little changed at $7.345 a bushel on volume that was 42 percent below the 100-day average for that time of day. Futures are set for a 5.2 percent advance this quarter. Soybean futures dropped 0.3 percent to $14.4875 a bushel, heading for a 2.8 percent quarterly gain.
Rubber declined, headed for the first quarterly loss since June, on concern that demand will weaken as Europe’s debt crisis deepens and after data showed pending home sales fell in the U.S.
The contract for delivery in September fell 2.8 percent, the most since March 18, to end at 274.9 yen a kilogram ($2,920 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Most-active prices have lost 9.1 percent so far this quarter after two periods of gains.
Palm oil declined to head for a fourth quarterly loss on concern that demand for the most-consumed edible oil will weaken as Europe’s debt crisis drags on.
The contract for delivery in June lost as much as 1.5 percent to 2,411 ringgit ($779) a metric ton, the lowest level since March 19, on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange in Kuala Lumpur. Most-active prices traded at 2,423 ringgit at 4:15 p.m. local time, 0.6 percent lower this year. A fourth quarterly loss would be the worst streak since 1999.
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