The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.2 percent to 647.42 by 4:50 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down less than 0.1 percent to 1,545.057.
Oil dropped as China’s industrial production trailed estimates and after Saudi Arabian crude output climbed from a 20-month low last month.
Crude oil for April delivery fell 89 cents, or 1 percent, to $91.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 25 percent below the 100-day average. Futures are down 1.1 percent this month.
Brent oil for April settlement dropped 98 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $109.87 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all futures traded today was 51 percent above the 100-day moving average. The European benchmark was at an $18.81 premium to WTI. The gap narrowed to $18.90 on March 8, the least since Jan. 31.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Orange juice rose to an 11-week high on mounting concern that dry weather will curb output in Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower. Cocoa, sugar and coffee also gained, while cotton declined.
Orange juice for delivery in May rallied 2.2 percent to $1.361 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching $1.373, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec 20. Prices are up 11 percent in the past three sessions and 16 percent this year.
Also in New York, cocoa futures for May delivery jumped 0.7 percent to $2,134 a metric ton, while raw-sugar futures for May delivery advanced 0.4 percent to 18.83 cents a pound, heading for the fifth gain in six sessions. Arabica-coffee futures for delivery in May were up 0.1 percent to $1.4425 a pound, after dropping as much as 0.6 percent.
Cotton futures slumped 0.6 percent to 86.34 cents a pound on ICE.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Zinc prices fell to a 15-week low after industrial output posted the weakest start to a year since 2009 in China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals.
On the London Metal Exchange, zinc for delivery in three months dropped 1 percent to $1,955 a metric ton. Earlier, the price touched $1,928, the lowest since Nov. 23.
Copper fell 0.1 percent to $7,735.25 a ton ($3.51 a pound) in London. In New York, futures for May delivery were unchanged at $3.509 a pound on the Comex.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Corn rose for a third session after a government report showed robust consumption is eroding inventories. Soybeans were little changed, and wheat advanced.
Corn futures for delivery in May gained 0.9 percent to $7.10 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after climbing 2.2 percent in the previous two sessions. Prices reached a record $8.49 in August after drought cut U.S. production.
Soybean futures for May delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $14.745 a bushel in Chicago. Prices increased 1.9 percent last week.
Wheat futures for delivery in May rose 0.7 percent to $7.02 a bushel.
Grains markets: NI GRMKTS
Gold swung between gains and losses as investors weighed data showing an improving U.S. economy against signs that Europe’s debt crisis is continuing.
Gold futures for April delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $1,579.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The metal gained as much as 0.4 percent and fell as much as 0.2 percent today. Last week, prices rose 0.3 percent, the first advance in five. Silver futures for May delivery slid 0.4 percent to $28.84 an ounce on the Comex.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Ethanol’s discount to gasoline narrowed to the lowest in more than a week as the motor fuel plunged and as the value of renewable identification numbers, or RINs, for biofuel blending rose to a record.
The spread contracted 6.7 cents to 62.45 cents a gallon as production costs have slashed output to the lowest for this time of year in records going back to 2010 and prices for corn-ethanol-based RINs climbed to a record $1.06 on March 8. Refiners use the certificates, which can be used in lieu of blending ethanol, to comply with government renewable-fuel mandates.
Denatured ethanol for April delivery rose 2.9 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.541 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest price since Sept. 6. Prices have gained 16 percent this year.
Gasoline futures for April delivery slumped 3.8 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.1655 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract covers reformulated gasoline, which is made to be blended with ethanol before delivery to filling stations.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Natural gas futures fluctuated in New York amid forecasts showing fading cold weather, signaling the end of the fuel’s peak-demand season.
Natural gas for April delivery rose 0.4 cent to $3.633 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 22 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. The futures rose to $3.629 on March 8, the highest settlement price since Dec. 6. Prices are up 8.4 percent this year.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
European Carbon Permits
European Union carbon allowances dropped to the lowest in five weeks as demand fell in an auction and German power prices declined.
Carbon for December slumped as much as 7.5 percent to 3.94 euros ($5.12) a metric ton, the lowest since Feb. 1, and traded at 3.98 euros on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
Hog futures fell for the first time in three sessions as the lowest wholesale-pork prices since September in the U.S. signaled slowing demand for the meat. Cattle prices gained.
Hog futures for April settlement fell 1.2 percent to 81.025 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price through March 8 declined 4.3 percent this year.
Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1.28225 a pound on the CME, the first increase in five sessions. Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement climbed 0.2 percent to $1.44175 a pound in Chicago.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS