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Corn Surges as Drought Seen Eroding Output: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.4 percent to 661.65 by 4 p.m. in New York. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials gained 0.4 percent to 1,578.


Corn surged to a record, leading rallies in soybeans and wheat, on mounting signs that the worst U.S. drought since 1956 will erode production from farmers that are the world’s largest exporters of the crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a report tomorrow, probably will cut its domestic corn-crop forecast to 10.929 billion bushels, the smallest in six years, according to the average estimate of 29 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. That would be down 16 percent from a July forecast, the biggest August reduction since 1974. The estimate for soybeans may drop 8.3 percent to 2.796 billion bushels, the smallest since 2007.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 0.9 percent to close at $8.2375 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching a record $8.2975. Prices have reached all-time highs four times in three weeks.

Soybean futures for November delivery climbed 3.2 percent to $16.3125 a bushel, the biggest gain since July 5. The most-active contract touched a record $16.915 on July 23. Wheat futures for December delivery advanced 1.5 percent to $9.27 a bushel on the CBOT, the third increase this week.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Arabica-coffee futures tumbled to a five-week low on signs of improving supplies in Brazil, the world’s top producer and exporter. Sugar, cotton and orange juice also slid, while cocoa advanced.

Arabica coffee for December delivery sank 2.1 percent to settle at $1.6955 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price fell to $1.694, the lowest level for a most-active contract since June 29.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery dropped 1.4 percent to 20.8 cents a pound on ICE, the eighth straight decline and the longest slide since April 2006. Earlier, the sweetener fell to 20.78 cents, the lowest level since June 29.

Cotton futures for December delivery slumped 0.1 percent to 75.95 cents a pound, after reaching 77.07 cents, the highest level since May 22.

Also in New York, orange-juice futures for November delivery declined 2 percent to $1.099 a pound on ICE. Cocoa futures for December delivery increased 0.3 percent to $2,477 a metric ton, the third consecutive advance.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Oil was little changed as reports signaled that the U.S. economy was strengthening and the dollar surged against the euro, curbing investors’ appetite for commodities.

Crude oil for September delivery rose 1 cent to settle at $93.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures traded between $93.07 and $94.21 today. Prices are up 20 percent from $77.69 on June 28, the lowest close this year.

Brent oil for September settlement increased $1.08, or 1 percent, to $113.22 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark’s premium to West Texas Intermediate crude, the grade traded in New York, increased to $19.86, the highest level in four months.

Crude markets: NI OILMARKET


Heating oil rose to a three-month high as U.S. distillate inventories fell to 19 percent below a year earlier and a drop in jobless claims indicated the labor market may be stabilizing.

Heating oil for September delivery climbed 2.91 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.045 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since May 3.

Gasoline for September delivery rose 2.04 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $3.0008 a gallon on the Nymex.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, gained 1.5 cents to $3.662 a gallon yesterday, AAA data showed. That’s the highest price since May 24. Prices are higher than a year earlier for the first time since April, according data from the nation’s largest motoring organization.

U.S. Oil Products: NI OPFMKT


Natural gas futures climbed in New York after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles rose less than expected, easing concern about a supply glut.

Gas advanced 0.4 percent after the Energy Department said inventories increased 24 billion cubic feet in the week ended Aug. 3 to 3.241 trillion cubic feet. Analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg predicted a gain of 30 billion.

Natural gas for September delivery rose 1.2 cents to settle at $2.945 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $3.12, the highest intraday price since Aug. 2.

U.S. natural-gas market: NI NUSMKT


Copper rose for the third time this week as economic reports signaled an improving demand outlook in the U.S., the world’s top consumer after China.

Copper futures for September delivery advanced 0.1 percent to settle at $3.425 a pound on the Comex in New York.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid 0.2 percent to $7,534 a metric ton ($3.42 a pound.)

Lead gained, while aluminum, zinc, tin and nickel declined in London.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS


Gold advanced for the second straight day, tracking gains in equities and commodities, after a report showed U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly declined.

Gold futures for December delivery climbed 0.3 percent to settle at $1,620.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices rose 0.2 percent yesterday.

Silver futures for September delivery gained 0.1 percent to $28.097 an ounce in New York.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Hogs rose for a second day on speculation that U.S. shoppers will purchase pork instead of costlier alternatives. Cattle was little changed.

Hog futures for October settlement climbed 0.4 percent to 75.95 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price has dropped 9.9 percent this year.

Cattle futures for October delivery increased 0.1 percent to $1.25775 a pound in Chicago. Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement fell 0.7 percent to $1.405 a pound on the CME.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

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