Wheat Falls to Lowest Level Since June: Commodities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.7 percent to settle at 641.74 in New York, led by petroleum. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices declined 0.7 percent to 1,532.074.
Wheat futures fell to the lowest since June as rain boosted prospects for the U.S. winter crop set to emerge from dormancy. Corn prices tumbled the most in five months.
As much as six times the normal amount of precipitation fell in the past two weeks from south-central Kansas through Oklahoma and in the Texas Panhandle, National Weather Service data show. Kansas wheat was rated 24 percent good or excellent as of March 3, up 1 percentage point from a week earlier, and 16 percent of Oklahoma crops got top ratings, up from 9 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on March 4.
Wheat futures for May delivery fell 3.2 percent to settle at $6.8375 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop since Dec. 11. Earlier, the price touched $6.80, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 22.
On the Kansas City Board of Trade, wheat futures for May delivery slumped 2.8 percent to $7.245 a bushel, the lowest settlement since June 22.
Corn futures for May delivery fell 2.9 percent to $6.885 a bushel in Chicago, the largest decline since Sept. 17.
Soybean futures for May delivery dropped less than 0.1 percent to $14.66 a bushel.
Natural gas futures in New York declined the most in three weeks on forecasts for moderating weather that would limit demand for the heating fuel.
Natural gas for April delivery fell 5.9 cents to $3.47 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold settled unchanged as investors weighed the continuation of stimulus measures by central banks against improving economic data.
Gold futures for April delivery settled unchanged at $1,574.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The metal rose 0.2 percent to $1,578.30 in electronic trading at 2:20 p.m. after the Beige Book was released.
Silver futures for May delivery increased 0.7 percent to $28.803 an ounce on the Comex, the fourth straight gain.
On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,579.80 an ounce, the sixth drop in seven sessions.
Palladium futures for June delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $740.05 an ounce, the second straight rise.
Copper fell to a 15-week low as rising inventories and a drop in U.S. factory orders fueled demand concern.
Copper futures for delivery in May declined 0.6 percent to close at $3.493 a pound on the Comex, the lowest settlement since Nov. 16. The metal has lost 4.4 percent this year.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.1 percent to $7,690 a ton ($3.49 a pound).
Lead, aluminum, zinc and nickel also slipped in London. Tin rose.
Cattle futures dropped to a three-month low on speculation than an increase in beef prices will boost demand for cheaper meats. Hogs were little changed.
Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.6 percent to close at $1.288 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching $1.27175, the lowest level for the most-active contract since Nov. 12.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement dropped 1.1 percent to $1.44575 a pound.
Hog futures for April settlement were unchanged at 79.25 cents after reaching 78.25 cents, the lowest price for the most- active contract since Nov. 7.
Cocoa futures fell to a 14-month low on speculation that supplies will increase in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer. Cotton, coffee and sugar gained, while orange juice dropped.
Cocoa for May delivery dropped 0.8 percent to close at $2,042 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S., the lowest settlement since Jan. 6, 2012. The commodity has dropped 8.7 percent this year.
Cotton futures for May delivery advanced 0.3 percent to 87.24 cents a pound in New York, the highest settlement since May 4. The price has jumped 16 percent this year.
Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1.4125 a pound.
Raw-sugar futures for May delivery gained 0.1 percent to 18.2 cents a pound.
Orange-juice futures for May delivery fell 0.6 percent to $1.2275 a pound.
West Texas Intermediate oil fell for the fourth time in five days after a government report showed U.S. inventories increased more than forecast last week.
WTI for April delivery declined 39 cents to settle at $90.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have tumbled 14 percent in the past year.
Brent for April settlement fell 55 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $111.06 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Gasoline sank as the Energy Information Administration reported East Coast stockpiles increased and imports jumped. Crack spreads narrowed.
April-delivery gasoline fell 2.35 cents to settle at $3.1247 a gallon on the Nymex.
Heating oil for April delivery rose 0.26 cent to settle at $2.9756 a gallon on volume that was 18 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
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