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Gas, Coffee, Wheat Decline; Metals Gain: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities dropped for the second day, falling 0.6 percent to 668.72 at 4:36 p.m. in New York as natural gas, coffee and wheat futures declined. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials slipped 0.2 percent to 1600.405.


Natural gas futures dropped in New York for the first time in five days on forecasts of cooler weather that would limit demand from power plants.

Gas slid 2.1 percent as Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted mostly normal or below-normal temperatures in the eastern and southern U.S. from Sept. 10 to Sept. 14 after hot weather this week. Cooling demand in the U.S. may be 12 percent lower than average from Sept. 11 to Sept. 15, according to Weather Derivatives in Belton, Missouri.

Natural gas for October delivery fell 5.9 cents to settle at $2.795 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures have declined 6.5 percent this year.

Electricity producers account for about 36 percent of U.S. gas consumption, according to the Energy Department.

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


Wheat futures tumbled to the lowest in almost three weeks on speculation that demand will slow as livestock producers use more corn, a cheaper substitute for animal feed.

Corn prices have slumped 6.9 percent since touching a record high on Aug. 10, cooling a rally sparked by crop damage from the worst U.S. drought since 1956. Over the same period, wheat dropped 3.7 percent.

Wheat futures for December delivery declined 2.4 percent to settle at $8.6775 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after reaching $8.6525, the lowest since Aug. 16. The contract posted the biggest decline since Aug. 23, and prices have dropped in nine of the past 10 sessions.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 1.8 percent today on the CBOT to close at $7.9075 a bushel, compared with an all-time high of $8.49 last month. Corn is the biggest U.S. crop followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, government figures show.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Cocoa rose the most in four months in New York on concern that dry weather will dent crop prospects in West Africa, the world’s largest producing region. Sugar and coffee fell.

Over the past two months, southern areas in Ivory Coast and Ghana got about 20 percent to 40 percent of the usual precipitation for this time of year, said Donald Keeney, a senior agricultural meteorologist at MDA Information Systems Inc. Futures rose for three straight months through August, the longest rally since early 2011.

Cocoa for delivery in December climbed 4 percent to close at $2,654 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since May 1.

Raw-sugar futures for delivery in October dropped 1.7 percent to 19.01 cents a pound on ICE. Arabica-coffee futures for delivery in December fell 2.8 percent to $1.606 a pound in New York.

Orange juice rose, capping the longest rally in almost a year, on speculation that storms may threaten crops in Florida, the world’s second-largest citrus grower. Cotton dropped.

Hurricane Leslie will move northward in the Atlantic from Bermuda on a path to eastern Canada, said Donald Keeney, a senior agricultural meteorologist with MDA Information Systems Inc. An area of low-pressure over southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle is expected to move into the north-central Gulf of Mexico as early as today, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

Orange juice for November delivery climbed 2.9 percent to settle at $1.247 a pound on ICE. That was the sixth straight advance, the longest climb since Sept. 7, 2011.

Cotton futures for December delivery fell 0.4 percent to 75.35 cents a pound on ICE, the second straight drop.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Oil was little changed in New York as European Central Bank policy makers met to discuss the plan involving unlimited purchases of government debt to ease the region’s debt crisis.

Futures were steady after two central bank officials said Germany’s Bundesbank objected to the plan. Prices initially rose 0.4 percent on the proposal by ECB President Mario Draghi, who will announce a decision at a press conference tomorrow.

Crude oil for October delivery rose 6 cents to settle at $95.36 a barrel on the Nymex. Futures have retreated 3.5 percent this year.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET


Heating oil fell as Gulf Coast refineries started up after Hurricane Isaac last week knocked out 13 percent of the region’s fuel-making capacity.

Futures sank to a one-week low on speculation that production will increase, rebuilding supplies that dropped as flooding, power losses and disruption of crude oil supplies shut seven refineries and reduced output at four others. Valero Energy Corp. said most production units are back online today at its two Louisiana refineries.

Heating oil for October delivery fell 2.92 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $3.1176 a gallon on the Nymex.

October-delivery gasoline declined 0.24 cent to settle at $2.9498 a gallon on the exchange.

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


Copper rose to a six-week high on speculation that a European Central Bank plan to buy bonds will help stem the region’s debt crisis, improving prospects for metal demand.

A proposal from ECB President Mario Draghi involves unlimited purchases of government debt that will be sterilized, which ensures a neutral impact on the money supply by removing funds from elsewhere in the banking system, two central bank officials briefed on the plan said. Draghi will announce tomorrow whether the plan has been adopted.

Copper futures for December delivery gained 1.7 percent to settle at $3.529 a pound on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $3.534, the highest for a most-active contract since July 19.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months gained 1.3 percent to $7,735.50 a ton ($3.51 a pound). Aluminum, nickel, tin, lead and zinc also rose.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS


Gold futures declined for the first time in three sessions as the European Central Bank’s plan to buy bonds lowered demand for the precious metal as a hedge against inflation.

Yesterday, gold reached $1,701.60 an ounce, the highest since March 13.

Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to settle at $1,694 on the Comex. The commodity gained 2.3 percent in the previous two sessions.

Silver futures for December delivery slid 0.3 percent to $32.329 an ounce on the Comex.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for October delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $1,575.60 an ounce, the third straight gain. Palladium futures for December delivery rose 0.9 percent to $646.95 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Hog futures fell for the first time in more than a week on speculation that increasing supplies of pork in the U.S. are outpacing demand. Cattle prices rose.

Meatpackers processed 447,000 hogs in the week ending Sept. 1 in Iowa and southern Minnesota, the nation’s largest producing area, up 3 percent from a week earlier, government data show. Yesterday, spot-market hogs declined to the cheapest since Dec. 28, 2010, and the price of wholesale pork fell to a 14-week low.

Hog futures for October settlement fell 0.8 percent to settle at 73.625 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price has declined 13 percent this year.

Cattle futures for delivery in October rose 0.1 percent to settle at $1.26325 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.26725, the highest for a most-active contract since Aug. 16. The commodity has increased 4 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement gained 0.1 percent to $1.47125 a pound.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

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