Coffee Futures Fall to Lowest in 14 Months: Commodities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.2 percent to settle at 678.6 at 3:43 p.m. in New York, led by coffee.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices declined 0.4 percent to 1,605.29.
Coffee plunged to a 14-month low on mounting concern that demand for commodities will ebb after weaker-than-forecast retail sales in the U.S. signaled the economic recovery may falter.
Sales at U.S. retailers rose 0.4 percent in January, the Commerce Department said. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a gain of 0.8 percent. Moody’s Investors Service cut debt ratings for six countries yesterday, including Italy, and said the U.K. risks losing its top-grade credit rating should the economy deteriorate.
Arabica coffee for May delivery fell 3.9 percent to $2.0615 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since Oct. 25. Earlier, the price slipped to $2.053, the lowest for a most-active contract since Dec. 10, 2010.
Raw-sugar futures for May delivery declined 1.9 percent to 22.83 cents a pound.
Cocoa futures for May delivery rose 3.6 percent to $2,270 a metric ton, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Jan. 24.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.8395 a pound. The price dropped for the sixth straight session, the longest slump since mid-November.
Cotton futures for May delivery rose 0.3 percent to 92.84 cents a pound, the third straight gain.
Wheat fell for the fifth time in six sessions on speculation that U.S. exports will slide as competing shippers boost output.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for May delivery dropped 1.2 percent to $6.39 a bushel. The price has 29 percent in the past 12 months.
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to $12.625 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $12.69, the highest since Oct. 17.
Corn futures for May delivery fell 0.8 percent to $6.38 a bushel, the largest drop since Jan. 30.
Crude oil fell as sales at U.S. retailers climbed less than forecast, while U.S. petroleum supplies may have climbed last week amid slack demand.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for March delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $100.74 a barrel.
Brent oil for March settlement rose 0.2 percent to $118.16 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Morgan Stanley failed to sell North Sea Forties crude after it reduced its bid. OAO Lukoil sought to sell Russian Urals blend at a lower price in the Mediterranean without success.
Morgan Stanley failed to buy a Forties cargo for loading on March 4 to March 11 at 80 cents a barrel more than dated Brent, 5 cents lower than it bid yesterday, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders monitoring the Platts trading window. Yesterday, Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold a shipment at a premium of 80 cents to the benchmark.
Gasoline declined as Moody’s cut the debt ratings of six European countries and U.S. retail sales rose less than forecast, damping optimism on the economy.
On the Nymex, gasoline futures for March delivery fell 1 percent to $2.9825 a gallon.
Heating-oil futures for March delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $3.1648 a gallon.
Copper fell to the lowest in more than a week on renewed concern that Europe’s debt crisis will hinder the global economy and crimp commodity demand.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for May delivery fell 0.6 percent to $3.823 a pound. Earlier, the metal touched $3.7935, the lowest since Feb. 3.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 0.1 percent to $8,415 a metric ton ($3.82 a pound).
Nickel, zinc, lead and tin also fell in London, while aluminum rose.
Gold fell for the third straight session, capping the longest slump this year, as the dollar’s rally eroded demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.
On the Comex, gold futures for April delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,717.70 an ounce.
Silver futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $33.348 an ounce.
On the Nymex, palladium futures for March delivery fell 1.6 percent to $687.25 an ounce, the biggest drop since Jan. 6.
Platinum futures for April delivery declined 1.3 percent to $1,628 an ounce.
Natural gas rose the most in almost two weeks as colder weather and reduced nuclear-power production spurred fuel demand.
On the Nymex, gas futures for March delivery rose 4.2 percent to $2.532 per million British thermal units, the biggest gain since Feb. 2.
U.K. gas declined for the third straight day as predictions for warmer-than-average temperatures and lower coal costs damped demand.
Same-day gas declined as much as 2.6 percent to 57 pence per therm, and was at 57.75 pence at 4:46 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $8.94 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.
Cattle rose to the highest in almost three weeks on signs that fewer animals are available for U.S. slaughterhouses amid robust demand for beef.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery advanced 0.9 percent to $1.2925 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.2945, the highest since Jan. 25, when the commodity jumped to a record $1.29675.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement increased 1 percent to $1.5625 a pound. Earlier, the price climbed to an all-time high of $1.568.
Hog futures for April settlement gained 1.9 percent to 89.625 cents a pound.
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