The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.9 percent to 624.44 in New York. Corn and WTI crude fell, while cotton and gold rose. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials fell 0.8 percent to 1,476.455.
Corn futures fell from a four-week high on speculation that U.S. farmers boosted sales of grain harvested in 2012 and that drier weather will help ease planting delays for this year’s crop. Soybeans also dropped, while wheat rose.
Average cash-corn prices jumped 6.2 percent yesterday after rain limited planting to the slowest pace since 1984, government data show. Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness for Archer Financial Services Inc., said some clients sold the grain after the rally. Warm, dry weather in the western Midwest in the next two days, and dry weather from Kentucky to Michigan through May 4, will firm soils for planting equipment before rain returns, Bethesda, Maryland-based Commodity Weather Group LLC predicted inn a report.
Corn futures for delivery in July fell 1.5 percent to close at $6.50 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $6.69, the highest since April 1. The grain fell 6.5 percent in April, the third consecutive monthly decline.
Soybean futures for delivery in July slid 0.7 percent to $13.99 a bushel on the CBOT. The price dropped 0.4 percent in April, the third straight monthly decline.
Wheat futures for delivery in July rose 2 percent to $7.31 a bushel in Chicago, capping a 6.3 percent gain in April.
Grains markets: NI GRMKTS
West Texas Intermediate crude fell, capping a monthly drop, before a report that may show that U.S. supplies climbed to a 22-year high. WTI’s discount to Brent oil narrowed to less than $9 a barrel.
WTI crude for June delivery declined $1.04 to settle at $93.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are up 1.8 percent this year. The volume of all contracts traded was 9.3 percent above the 100-day average at 2:37 p.m.
Brent oil for June settlement fell $1.44, or 1.4 percent, to $102.37 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Trading was 24 percent higher than the 100-day average.
Oil markets: NI CRMKTS
Gold futures rose, trimming the biggest monthly loss in more than a year, on expectations that central banks will maintain stimulus measures to bolster economies, while demand for coins and jewelry climbed.
Gold futures for June delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $1,472.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The price has climbed 11 percent from a 26-month low of $1,321.50 on April 16. The metal has slumped 12 percent this year.
Silver futures for July delivery gained 0.1 percent to $24.185 an ounce on the Comex. In April, the price plunged 15 percent, the most in 16 months.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Natural gas futures dropped in New York on forecasts for milder weather that would cut demand for the heating and power-plant fuel.
Natural gas for June delivery fell 4.9 cents to settle at $4.343 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 18 percent below the 100-day average at 3:08 p.m. The futures capped their third consecutive monthly gain after climbing 30 percent this year.
The discount of June contracts to October expanded 0.4 cent to 8.1 cents. The discount of October to January widened 0.9 cent to 30.6 cents.
Gas futures: NI NUSMKT
Raw sugar rose for the fourth straight session on speculation that slow corn sowings in the U.S. may lift demand for Brazilian grain, creating shipping delays. Cocoa, cotton and coffee gained. Orange juice slid.
On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, raw-sugar futures for July delivery climbed 0.9 percent to settle at 17.6 cents a pound, the fourth straight advance and the longest rally since March 7. Still, the sweetener fell 0.3 percent in April, the fourth consecutive monthly slide and the longest slump since May 2010.
Cocoa futures for July delivery rose 1.4 percent to $2,368 a metric ton, extending April’s rally to 9.1 percent, the most since August. Cotton futures for July delivery climbed 2 percent to 87.47 cents a pound. Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery advanced 1 percent to $1.351 a pound.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Copper fell in London, capping the biggest monthly drop since May, as signs of slowing industrial growth eroded demand prospects. Metals including tin and zinc also slumped.
Copper for delivery in three months fell 1.4 percent to settle at $7,055 a metric ton ($3.20 a pound) in London, extending the monthly drop to 6.4 percent, the largest decline since May.
Aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead and tin were also lower. The LME’s index of six main metals -- copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead and tin -- fell 5.7 percent in April, a third straight drop and the most since October. Tin plunged 12 percent, leading the losses.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fell, extending a monthly drop, after a refinery in Venezuela resumed full rates and an increase in German unemployment helped push gasoil lower, signaling weaker demand for U.S. fuel exports.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for May delivery dropped 2.72 cents to settle at $2.8735 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 3.2 percent below the 100-day average.
Gasoline for May delivery slipped 2.65 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.801 a gallon on volume that was 26 percent below the 100-day average. The fuel fell 9.8 percent on the month, the most since October and the biggest April slide since 2003.
Oil Products: NI OPFMKT
Cattle futures fell, capping the longest run of monthly declines since 2009, on speculation that the tepid U.S. economy is eroding demand for beef. Hogs rose.
Cattle futures for June delivery fell 0.5 percent to close at $1.219 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price, down 2 percent in April, has dropped 7.9 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement declined 0.7 percent to $1.489 a pound.
Hog futures for June settlement gained 0.5 percent to 92.575 cents a pound. This month, the price rose 1.6 percent, the second straight increase. In 2013, the commodity has climbed 8 percent.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS