Crude, Copper Climb; Soybeans Advance: Commodities at Close
West Texas Intermediate oil rose from a two-week low after stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data bolstered the economic outlook for the world’s second-biggest crude user. London-traded Brent’s premium to WTI expanded an eighth day to the widest in more than a month.
Crude for March delivery gained as much as 36 cents to $96.19 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.96 at 3:53 p.m. Singapore time. The volume of all futures traded was in line with the 100-day average. The contract slid 79 cents to $95.83 yesterday, the lowest since Jan. 23. Prices are down 1.9 percent this week, after advancing 14 percent over the prior eight weeks.
Brent for March settlement climbed 49 cents to $117.73 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, advancing for a fourth day. Volume was almost three times as high as the 100-day average. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $21.77 to WTI futures, expanding for the eighth day. It closed yesterday at $21.41, the widest since Dec. 14.
Asia’s gasoil oil crack spread is poised for a weekly gain, signaling increased profit for refiners making diesel. PetroChina sells gasoline for a second day in Singapore, the region’s biggest oil-trading center.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude narrows 8 cents to $5.27/bbl as of 1 p.m. Singapore time, set for 36% rebound this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • March Japan naphtha swaps up $4.07 at $977.34/mt • March East-West naphtha spread at $10.62/mt • Mabanaft sells 25,000 mt of open-spec naphtha for 1H April delivery to Itochu at $1,027.75/mt, according to Bloomberg survey of traders who monitor Platts window • PetroChina sells 50,000 bbl of 92-RON gasoline to Trafigura at $131.50/bbl for Feb. 28-March 4 loading
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude at $21.69/bbl, up 21% this week, set for first weekly gain in four • March gasoil swaps up 60 cents at $134.12/bbl • March gasoil swap trades at 81 cents/bbl above April contract • March East-West gasoil spread at $3.25/mt • Jet fuel regrade unchanged for fourth day at 20 cents/bbl • March kerosene swap trades $1.11/bbl above April contract
• Fuel Oil • Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude at $7.56/bbl, narrows 11% this week, heads for first weekly gain in three • March 180-cst fuel oil swaps up $3.55 at $666.20/mt • March fuel oil swap trades 33 cents/mt below April contract • Viscosity spread widens 10 cents to $6.76/mt • March East-West fuel oil spread at $28.33/mt • Hin Leong Trading buys two 20,000 mt cargoes of 380-cst fuel oil from Gunvor at $1/mt premium to benchmark quotes, for Feb. 23-27 and Feb. 26-March 2 loading, according to Bloomberg survey • BP buys 20,000 mt of 380-cst fuel oil from Chevron at $5/mt discount to prices for 180-cst grade, for Feb. 28-March 4
Copper advanced for the first time in four days, paring a weekly decline, after China’s total exports beat estimates, helping sustain a growth rebound in the world’s biggest user. Industrial metals increased.
Copper for three-month delivery rose as much as 0.7 percent to $8,253 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $8,233.50 at 4:17 p.m. in Seoul. The price dropped 0.7 percent this week. The contract for May rose 0.2 percent to 59,800 yuan ($9,588) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
Platinum declined, trimming a weekly advance, on speculation that a climb to the highest price in more than 16 months will prompt some investors to sell. Gold was little changed.
Platinum for immediate delivery dropped as much as 0.7 percent to $1,706.75 an ounce and was at $1,710.80 at 3:02 p.m. in Singapore, up 1.6 percent this week. Prices reached the highest since September 2011 yesterday before dropping 1 percent. Spot gold was at $1,672.30 an ounce from $1,671.65 yesterday, up 0.3 percent this week.
Gold for April delivery was little changed at $1,672.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Cash bullion of 99.99 percent purity fell 0.2 percent to $336.80 yuan a gram ($1,679.40 an ounce) on the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Most-active futures were little changed at 30,814 rupees per 10 grams ($1,788.90 an ounce) on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd.
Palladium dropped as much as 1.3 percent to $741.75 an ounce, and was at $746, poised for a weekly loss. Silver was little changed at $31.515 an ounce, also set for a weekly loss.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans advanced, set for the longest weekly winning run since August, on signs demand for U.S. supplies climbed and before a government report that may show the country’s stockpiles dropped to a nine-year low.
The contract for March delivery gained as much 0.5 percent to $14.94 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $14.9175 at 11:42 a.m. Singapore time. Futures are headed for a 1.2 percent gain this week for a fifth straight advance, the best run since the period ended Aug. 31.
Corn for March delivery was little changed $7.1175 a bushel, trimming this week’s decline to 3.2 percent. That puts soybeans, which competes with corn for acreage, at 2.096 times the price of the grain. If prices close at that level, it will be the highest ratio since Oct. 26. Soybeans have traded at an average of 2.4 times the price of corn in the past decade.
Wheat for March delivery rose 0.3 percent to $7.5825 a bushel, paring the weekly loss to 0.9 percent.
Rubber futures in Tokyo declined for a second day, paring a second weekly advance, on concern that stockpiles in China, the largest consumer, may increase.
The contract for delivery in July dropped 0.8 percent to settle at 330.2 yen a kilogram ($3,555 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures gained 2.1 percent this week, the ninth advance in 10 weeks, and are up 9.2 percent this year.
Palm oil headed for the first weekly decline in four on speculation that stockpiles in Malaysia, the second-largest producer, may stay near a record as soybean harvests from South America increase global oilseed supplies.
The contract for delivery in April lost as much as 0.7 percent to 2,532 ringgit ($816) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and was at 2,539 ringgit at 4:04 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures are poised for a 0.8 percent drop this week, the first loss since the five days ended Jan. 11. Malaysia’s financial markets will be closed on Feb. 11 and 12 for the Lunar New Year festival.
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