Bloomberg News

Corn, Soybeans Rise on Dry Weather Outlook: Commodities at Close

December 16, 2011

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities dropped 0.6 percent to 614.74 as of 5:54 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.2 percent at 1,468.737.


Corn and soybeans rose, erasing earlier declines, on speculation that adverse weather will reduce yield potential in Argentina and Brazil, boosting demand for U.S. supplies.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to $5.83 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after earlier dropping as much as 0.3 percent. The most-active contract was down 1.9 percent for the week. Yesterday, the price touched $5.7625, the lowest since Oct. 3.

Soybean futures for March delivery climbed 1.1 percent to $11.335 a bushel on the CBOT, bringing the gain this week to 2.4 percent. Earlier, the price fell as low as $11.21.

Wheat rose for the first time in three days on speculation that demand for U.S. grain will rebound from domestic processors, importers and speculators after prices slid to a 16- month low.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 1.2 percent to $5.86 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. A close at that level would still leave prices down 1.7 percent this week, the fourth decline in five weeks. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO>


Natural gas futures were little changed, and may rise as forecasts showed colder-than-normal weather in parts of the central U.S. next week.

Natural gas for January delivery was down 0.1 percent to at $3.124 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures have declined 5.1 percent this week and 29 percent this year.

U.K. summer natural gas slipped to its lowest in 10 months amid record storage for the time of year and forecasts for milder weather that may cut demand even as four liquefied gas tankers sail to Britain.

The summer contract, for the six months from April, dropped 0.4 pence, or 0.7 percent, to 56 pence a therm, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest since Feb. 16. That’s equal to $8.69 a million British thermal units.

Gas for today declined 0.35 pence to 57.4 pence a therm. Power for the next working day rose 60 pence to 45.75 pounds a megawatt-hour. U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT <GO> Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET


Gold climbed for the first time in five days in New York as the biggest weekly plunge in almost three months spurred more physical purchases.

Bullion for February delivery rose 0.9 percent to $1,591.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices are down 7.3 percent this week, the most since the five days to Sept. 23. Immediate- delivery gold was up 1.2 percent at $1,589.97 in London.

Silver for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to $29.46 an ounce after yesterday dropping to $28.12, the lowest price since Sept. 26. The metal is down 8.7 percent this week.

Platinum for January delivery was 0.8 percent higher at $1,418.10 an ounce. Prices yesterday fell to a two-year low of $1,376 and are down 6.4 percent this week. Palladium for March delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $624.50 an ounce, cutting its weekly loss to 9 percent. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>


Copper rose the most in two weeks as concerns eased that Europe’s debt crisis may derail the global recovery.

Copper futures for March delivery gained 1.9 percent to $3.3285 a pound on the Comex in New York. A close at that price would mark the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Nov. 30. The metal is still down 6.4 percent this week, heading for the biggest weekly drop since Sept. 23. Before today, copper slumped 27 percent this year as demand weakened in China and the U.S., the world’s largest buyers.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 1.7 percent to $7,333.25 a metric ton ($3.33 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc, lead, tin and nickel also climbed in London. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>


Crude fell, heading for the biggest weekly decline since September, on concern that European economic growth will slow, curbing fuel demand.

Crude oil for January delivery slid 88 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $92.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract is down 6.5 percent this week, heading for a second weekly decline. Prices are up 1.8 percent this year after climbing 15 percent in 2010.

Brent oil for February settlement fell 66 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $102.94 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The January contract expired yesterday. Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS <GO>


Coffee fell in New York before a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that may show demand is trailing output. Sugar advanced, and cocoa fell.

Arabica coffee for March delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $2.1455 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, heading for a third straight decline. Before today, prices fell 9.5 percent this year.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to 22.88 cents a pound on ICE. Prices declined 29 percent this year through yesterday.

Cocoa futures for March delivery fell 1.2 percent to $2,126 a metric ton in New York. Before today, the commodity slumped 29 percent this year.

In London futures trading, robusta coffee and cocoa dropped, while refined sugar climbed. Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS <GO>


German power for next year closed at the lowest level in 10 months as natural gas, coal and European Union emission permits declined.

Baseload power for delivery in Europe’s largest electricity market in 2012 fell 0.9 percent to 51.80 euros ($67.33) a megawatt-hour as of 5:36 p.m. in London, broker data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the lowest closing price since Feb. 10. The contract dropped 2.2 percent this week, extending this year’s decline to 3.8 percent.

Natural gas for next winter in the U.K., Europe’s biggest market for the fuel, lost 0.5 percent to 68.05 pence a therm. European coal for next year fell 0.2 percent to $113.30 a metric ton as emissions permits slid 2 cents to 6.75 euros a ton.

European diesel premiums rose as Petrochina Co. bought barges of the fuel. Gasoline slipped to a 10-month low as Statoil ASA sold the benchmark Eurobob grade.

Gasoil futures declined on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange, while the gap between the first and second month contracts narrowed versus last week.

Gasoline barges for immediate loading in northwest Europe traded at $876 to $885 a metric ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with $885 to $895 yesterday, and is the lowest price since Feb. 15, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Gasoil for January fell $7.50, or 0.8 percent, to $890.75 a ton on ICE. It was at a $3 premium to the February contract, keeping the market in backwardation.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT <GO> EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT


Cattle fell for the first time this week on signs that demand is decreasing for U.S. beef, while supplies may gain as meatpackers slow output for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Hogs also dropped.

Cattle futures for February delivery dropped 0.8 percent to $1.1815 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price was down 0.2 percent for the week, after dropping 3.9 percent in the previous week.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement declined 0.5 percent to $1.4325 a pound.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.8 percent to 84.775 cents a pound. Earlier, the price touched 84.425 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Sept. 29. The price was headed for a third straight weekly drop. Livestock markets: {NI LVMKTS <GO>}

--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, John Deane

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at

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