GSCI Rise Led by Natural Gas and Cocoa: Commodities at Close

Cocoa and natural gas futures each gained 2.5 percent as the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.4 percent to settle at 676.7.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices advanced 0.3 percent to 1,624.062.


Orange juice gained for the seventh time in eight sessions as dry weather hurts citrus crops already damaged by disease in Florida, the world’s top grower after Brazil. Cocoa rose, while sugar, cotton and coffee fell.

In the past month, rainfall in Florida’s citrus belt has been as low as 5 percent of the average amount, according to MDA Information Systems Inc. The U.S. government will probably reduce its estimate for the state’s crop as a bacterial plant disease known as citrus greening cuts yields, said John Ortelle, a vice president at McKeany-Flavell Co.

Orange juice for March delivery advanced 1.2 percent to settle at $1.2185 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices have climbed 3.8 percent this year.

Also in New York, cocoa futures for March delivery rose 2.5 percent to $2,246 a metric ton, the most since Dec. 12.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery dropped 0.9 percent to 18.56 cents a pound on ICE, while cotton futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to 81.51 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery slid 0.2 percent to $1.4405 a pound in New York. Soft commodities markets:



Natural gas futures climbed to the highest price in more than a week on forecasts of unusually cold weather that will stoke demand for the heating fuel.

Natural gas for March delivery gained 8.4 cents, or 2.5 percent, to settle at $3.399 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since Jan. 25.



Oil rebounded after the biggest decline in two months as U.S. service industries expanded at a better-than-expected pace in January, signaling growth in 90 percent of the U.S. economy and stronger demand for crude.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for March delivery rose 47 cents to settle at $96.64 a barrel on the Nymex. Prices dropped the most since Dec. 6 yesterday.

Brent oil for March settlement climbed 92 cents, or 0.8 percent, to end the session at $116.52 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Oil futures: NI CRMKTS


Platinum futures rose to a 17-week high on mounting concern that global demand may outpace supplies. Palladium jumped to the highest since September 2011, and gold declined.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1,707.20 an ounce. Earlier, the price reached $1,711, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 9. The metal has gained 11 percent this year.

Palladium futures for March delivery rose 1 percent to $765.45 on the Nymex. Earlier, the price reached $769, the highest since Sept. 6, 2011. The metal has climbed 8.8 percent this year.

Platinum and palladium are used in jewelry and pollution-control devices for vehicles.

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,673.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $31.875 an ounce on the Comex.

Precious-metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Nickel fell in London for the first time in three sessions on signs that the highest inventories since 2010 will leave ample supplies, as mining projects boost production of the metal used to make stainless steel.

Nickel for delivery in three months declined 0.1 percent to settle at $18,700 a metric ton in London. In the past 12 months, prices are down 12 percent, the most among six metals tracked by the exchange’s LMEX Index.

Zinc also fell in London, while tin and lead advanced. Aluminum was little changed.

In New York, copper futures for March delivery gained less than 0.1 percent to close at $3.77 a pound on the Comex.

Base-metal markets: NI BMMKTS


Heating oil rose to the highest level since October and gasoline advanced on speculation that refinery shutdowns are reducing East Coast stockpiles.

Heating oil for March delivery advanced 3.73 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.1913 a gallon on the Nymex, the highest settlement since Oct. 16.

Gasoline for March delivery advanced 2.59 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $3.0374 a gallon.

The retail price for regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 1 cent to $3.533 a gallon, the highest level since Oct. 29, AAA said today on its website. Costs have climbed 7.3 percent this year and are 1.6 percent more than a year ago.



Wheat fell, capping the longest slump in seven weeks, on speculation that U.S. stockpiles are higher than the government estimated last month.

Wheat futures for March delivery slumped 0.7 percent to settle at $7.575 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped for the fourth straight session, the longest slump since mid-December.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 0.7 percent to close at $7.29 a bushel, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Jan. 23.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $14.955 a bushel.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Hog futures fell, capping the longest slump this year, on signs that U.S. pork supplies are outpacing demand. Cattle were little changed.

Hog futures for April settlement dropped 0.7 percent to close at 87.7 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the third straight decline and the longest slump since Dec. 31. Prices have lost 1.8 percent since Jan. 31.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1.323 a pound on the CME.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement fell 0.2 percent to close at $1.48525 a pound in Chicago.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

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