Bloomberg News

Oil Trades Near Two-Week Low; Copper Drops: Commodities at Close

December 13, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities climbed 0.1 percent to 639.33 as of 5:06 p.m. in Singapore. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 0.1 percent to 1,508.125.

CRUDE OIL

Oil traded near a two-week low in New York as the risk of a debt downgrade in Europe countered forecasts that crude stockpiles dropped in the U.S.

Crude for January delivery was at $97.78 a barrel, up 1 cent, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:41 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract slid $1.64 to $97.77, the lowest settlement since Nov. 25. Prices are 7 percent higher this year after rising 15 percent in 2010.

Brent oil for January settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange was unchanged at $107.26 a barrel. The European benchmark contract was at a premium of $9.48 to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate grade. The spread was a record $27.88 on Oct. 14. Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures slid in New York. Gas for January delivery fell 0.1 percent to $3.251 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are 26 percent lower this year. U.S. natural gas: NI NUSMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

High-sulfur fuel oil swaps for January climbed $1.50, or 0.2 percent, to $638.75 a metric ton at 12 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. Prices lost 3.5 percent over the previous two days.

Fuel oil’s discount to Asian marker Dubai crude narrowed 47 cents to $5.80 a barrel, based on PVM data. The gap yesterday was the widest since September, indicating losses for refiners turning oil into residual products.

The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude rose 37 cents to $17.98 a barrel, according to PVM. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, yesterday was the narrowest in seven days. Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures, also known as the crack spread, slid $1.81 to $90.85 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Asia oil products: NI OPAMKT <GO>

BASE METALS

The three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.5 percent to $7,567.25 a metric ton and traded at $7,579 at 4:41 p.m. Tokyo time. The metal dropped as much as 3.2 percent yesterday, the biggest decline in three weeks. The March-delivery contract slumped 0.6 percent to $3.4435 per pound on the Comex in New York.

Aluminum rose 0.8 percent at $2,032 per ton in London and zinc gained 0.9 percent at $1,950.5 per ton. Nickel dropped 1.4 percent to $18,200 per ton and tin fell 0.8 percent to $19,700 per ton, while lead retreated 0.3 percent to $2,099 per ton. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, OILSEEDS, LIVESTOCK

Soybeans for delivery in January fell 0.2 percent to $11.095 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 4:04 p.m. Singapore time, erasing an earlier gain of 0.5 percent. Corn for March delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $5.9275 a bushel, after rising as much as 0.4 percent. Wheat for March delivery was little changed at $5.9375 a bushel after rising as much as 0.5 percent.

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $1.1865 a pound yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity has gained 9.5 percent in 2011. Feeder- cattle futures for January settlement advanced 0.6 percent to $1.43 a pound. Hog futures for February settlement climbed 0.2 percent to 86.6 cents a pound. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO> Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Immediate-delivery gold lost as much as 0.9 percent to $1,650.93 an ounce, the lowest level since Oct. 25, and traded at $1,655.40 at 1:43 p.m. in Singapore. February-delivery bullion declined 0.6 percent to $1,658.40 on the Comex.

Spot silver dropped as much as 1.3 percent to $30.91 an ounce, the lowest level since Nov. 21. Cash palladium declined for a second day, falling as much as 1.5 percent to $651 an ounce. Platinum was little changed at $1,487.75 an ounce. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures for March delivery dropped 3.6 percent to settle at 87.16 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York yesterday, the fourth straight decline. The fiber has plunged 40 percent this year. Orange-juice futures for January delivery slid 2.2 percent to $1.6625 a pound on ICE, after touching $1.635, the lowest level since Oct. 18.

Cocoa for March delivery surged 5.5 percent to settle at $2,181 a ton, the biggest gain since October 2009. The price climbed as high as $2,246. Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery lost 2.9 percent to $2.2105 a pound in New York, the fifth straight decline. Raw-sugar futures for March delivery fell 0.5 percent to 23.29 cents a pound on ICE. Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS <GO>

--Editor: Alexander Kwiatkowski

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at christian.s@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net


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