Cotton Futures Rise on U.S. Supply Concern: Commodities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.8 percent to settle at 670.51 at 3:53 p.m. New York time, led by cotton.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices advanced 0.5 percent to 1,601.43.
Cotton rallied, heading for the biggest monthly gain in almost two years, on mounting concern that output will drop in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.
Planting in the U.S. probably will plunge 16 percent this year to 10.32 million acres as farmers shift to more-profitable crops, including corn and soybeans, according to a Bloomberg survey. While cotton futures are up 28 percent since reaching a 31-month low in June, prices are still less than half of the record reached in 2011 because of a global surplus.
On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cotton for March delivery rose 1.7 percent to 82.39 cents a pound. Prices are up 9.6 percent since Dec. 31, heading for the biggest monthly gain since February 2011.
Cocoa futures for March delivery climbed 1.6 percent to $2,195 a metric ton.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery were up 0.5 percent to $1.498 a pound.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery gained 0.2 percent to $1.143 a pound.
Raw-sugar futures for March delivery fell 1.9 percent to 18.38 cents a pound, the biggest drop since Jan. 3.
Gold advanced the most in two weeks on speculation that the Federal Reserve will expand U.S. stimulus measures, boosting demand for the metal as a store of value.
On the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $1,662.70 an ounce, the biggest increase since Jan. 15.
Silver futures for March delivery rose 1.3 percent to $31.184 an ounce, ending a three-session slide.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery gained 1.2 percent to $749.75 an ounce. Earlier, the metal reached $750.90, the highest since Sept. 9, 2011.
Platinum futures for April delivery advanced 1 percent to $1,678.90 an ounce.
Copper rose for the second straight day as U.S. housing prices climbed the most in six years, adding to evidence of an economic recovery.
On the Comex, copper futures for March delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $3.6915 a pound. Yesterday, the price gained 0.3 percent.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 0.7 percent to $8,103 a ton ($3.68 a pound). Lead, aluminum, zinc, nickel and tin also rose.
Crude oil advanced to a four-month high after home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed, signaling that the country’s economic rebound is accelerating.
On the Nymex, oil futures for March delivery rose 1.2 percent to $97.57 a barrel, the highest settlement since Sept. 14.
Brent oil for March settlement increased 0.8 percent to $114.36 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Total SA failed to buy North Sea Forties for a fifth straight session after raising its bid by 10 cents. Gunvor Group Ltd. bid unsuccessfully for Russian Urals grade for a second day.
Russia plans to increase crude exports in February from Novorossiysk after four cargoes scheduled for this month were delayed because of storms and a pipeline leak that disrupted operations at the Black Sea port.
Gasoline rose for the ninth straight session, the longest rally since July 2009, on speculation that U.S. East Coast refinery shutdowns will tighten supplies.
On the Nymex, gasoline futures for February delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $2.9734 a gallon. Prices have advanced 9.9 percent since Jan. 15.
Heating-oil futures for February delivery gained 1.6 percent to $3.1092 a gallon.
Soybeans gained for the third straight session, the longest rally in seven weeks, and corn rose on speculation that dry, warm weather in early February will reduce Argentina crop prospects, boosting U.S. exports demand.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for March delivery gained 0.3 percent to $14.5175 a bushel, the longest rally since Dec. 6.
Corn futures for March delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $7.295 a bushel.
Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to $7.77 a bushel.
Hog futures rose on signs of increasing export demand for U.S. pork.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for April settlement climbed 0.6 percent to 89.625 cents a pound. The price has gained 4.5 percent this month.
Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to $1.32975 a pound.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement dropped 0.7 percent to $1.48825 a pound.
Natural gas fell for the sixth straight session as forecasts for unusually mild February weather signaled reduced demand for the heating fuel.
On the Nymex, gas futures for February delivery dropped 1.9 percent to $3.226 per million British thermal units, the lowest settlement since Jan. 10.
U.K. gas fell for the second day as warmer-than-average weather reduced demand.
The price dropped 2.2 percent to 65.3 pence a therm at 4:13 p.m. London time. Month-ahead gas fell 1 percent to 66.35 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.45 per million Btu.
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