Orange-Juice Futures Climb on Crop Concern: Commodities at Close
Orange juice rose to the highest in almost a year on concern that dry weather and a fruit disease will worsen crop losses in Florida, the world’s second-largest grower. Sugar and coffee were little changed and cocoa slid.
Orange juice for delivery in May jumped 3.5 percent to $1.4575 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price rose to $1.46, the highest for a most-active contract since April 30.
Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for delivery in May were little changed at 17.68 cents a pound.
Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery was little changed at $1.3945 a pound on ICE.
Cocoa futures for May delivery fell 0.5 percent to $2,131 a metric ton in New York, and cotton futures for May delivery slumped 1 percent to 87.42 cents a pound.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Gold rebounded from a 10-month low, heading for the biggest gain in five weeks, after U.S. payrolls grew by the smallest in nine months, boosting prospects that the Federal Reserve will take more steps to spur growth.
Gold futures for June delivery added 0.9 percent to $1,567 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
The precious metal touched $1,539.40 yesterday, the lowest since May 30. Prices dropped 4.8 percent in the first quarter as improving U.S. economic growth spurred concern the Fed would trim its stimulus program.
Silver futures for May delivery gained 1.2 percent to $27.095 an ounce in New York, after reaching $26.575 yesterday, the lowest since July 24. Prices entered a bear market this week and are down 10 percent this year.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
West Texas Intermediate crude headed for the biggest weekly drop in six months as U.S. employers hired less than half the number of workers forecast in March, raising concern that economic growth won’t be strong enough to support oil demand.
WTI oil for May delivery dropped 84 cents, or 0.9 percent, Crude Heading for Biggest Weekly Drop in Six Months on Payrolls to $92.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling to $91.91, the lowest intraday level since March 21. Prices are down 4.9 percent this week, heading for the biggest weekly loss since Sept. 21.
Brent crude for May settlement declined $1.42, or 1.3 percent, to $104.92 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Copper fell in New York, heading for a third weekly drop, as weaker-than-estimated U.S. employment figures added to signs economies are struggling to maintain growth amid swelling inventories of the metal.
Copper for delivery in May slid 0.3 percent to $3.342 a pound on the Comex in New York. Copper for delivery in three months fell 0.3 percent to $7,414.75 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.
Aluminum and tin rose, while nickel, lead and zinc fell in London.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Soybeans fell to a 12-week low on speculation that demand from China, the biggest buyer, will drop as a deadly bird-flu outbreak curbs poultry consumption and imports of crops used as feed. Corn rose, while wheat fell.
Soybean futures for May delivery declined 0.9 percent to $13.6025 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $13.5725, the lowest for the most-active contract since Jan. 11.
Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to $6.31 a bushel in Chicago, paring this week’s slump to 9.2 percent.
Wheat futures for delivery in May fell 0.3 percent to $6.9175 a bushel on the CBOT. The price through yesterday was down 11 percent this year.
Grains markets: NI GRMKTS
Ultra-low sulfur diesel slid for a third day after U.S. employers hired fewer workers in March, raising concern that economic growth and fuel demand is slowing. The crack spread on Nymex narrowed.
Ultra-low-sulfur-diesel for May delivery fell 3.5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.9286 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gasoline for May delivery fell 1.711 cents, or 0.6 percent to $2.8816 a gallon on volume that was 8.7 percent above the 100-day average.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 1.1 cents to $3.625 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices are 31.1 cents below a year earlier, when prices reached a 2012 high of $3.936.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Natural gas futures in New York advanced for a second day as lingering cold weather in the northern U.S. helped widen a supply deficit.
Natural gas for May delivery rose 10.2 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $4.049 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Hog futures fell, heading for the biggest decline in seven weeks, on speculation slowing economic growth will curb demand for U.S. pork. Cattle also dropped.
Hog futures for June settlement declined 1.5 percent to 90.625 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A close at that level would be the biggest slump for a most-active contract since Feb. 14. The commodity was up 7.3 percent this year through yesterday.
Cattle futures for June delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $1.2205 a pound. A close at that level would leave prices down 1.9 percent this week.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement dropped 0.4 percent to $1.4535 a pound.
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