Bloomberg News

Grains, Crude Oil Lead Commodities to Longest Rally Since April

December 28, 2011

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Commodities rose, capping the longest rally since early April, as grains climbed on South American weather concerns and crude oil advanced after Iran threatened to block shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.

The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials rose 0.7 percent to settle at 308.27 at 5:28 p.m. New York time, the seventh straight gain. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI measure of 24 energy, metal and agriculture prices advanced for the sixth session. Corn and oil futures recorded the longest rallies since late 2010.

About 50 percent of the corn and soybeans in Argentina will be dry in the next 10 days after weekend rain stayed north of the main growing regions, and as much as a third of Brazil’s crops face a lack of precipitation, Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report. Oil also gained as an index of U.S. consumer confidence in December topped estimates by analysts.

“Current weather trends are raising the odds that the South American crops will be reduced,” Dave Marshall, a farm- marketing adviser at Toay Commodity Futures Group LLC in Nashville, Illinois, said in a report. “Odds favor continued gains into the end of the year, as long as the South American weather forecasts don’t change.”

Corn futures for March delivery rose 2.2 percent to $6.3325 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price climbed for the seventh straight gain, the longest rally since December 2010.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 3.7 percent to $6.4475 a bushel on the CBOT. The price rose for the seventh consecutive session, the longest advance since late January. Soybeans rose for the eighth straight day, the longest rally since mid-July.

‘Increasingly Bold’

Oil futures for February delivery rose 1.7 percent to $101.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price was up for the sixth straight session, the longest rally since early November 2010.

“The Iranian threats are getting increasingly bold,” said Jason Schenker, the president of Prestige Economics LLC, an Austin, Texas-based energy consultant.

About 15.5 million barrels of oil a day, or a sixth of global consumption, flows through the Hormuz waterway between Iran and Oman at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net; Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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