Bloomberg News

Natural Gas Leads Advance in Raw Materials: Commodities at Close

January 23, 2012

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.7 percent to 656.77 at 4:58 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.9 percent at 1,576.446.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas, the worst-performing commodity this year, rebounded from a 10-year low in New York after Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. producer, said it will cut production and reduce spending.

Natural gas for February delivery rose 9.1 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $2.434 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures have declined 19 percent this year and fell to the lowest price since February 2002 before the Chesapeake announcement.

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET

OIL PRODUCTS

European gasoil gained as Brent oil, the region’s benchmark, rose following a decision by the European Union to place an embargo on imports of Iranian crude. The heating oil front-month spreads, where contracts for delivery in March cost more than February, a structure known as a contango, widened.

Gasoline’s crack, or premium to Brent, widened, while the barge price on average fell.

Gasoline for immediate loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp traded at $963 and $964 a metric ton, according to a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with deals at $957 to $974 on Jan. 20.

Heating oil rose on speculation that Europe will import more diesel from the U.S. as European Union foreign ministers agreed to ban oil from Iran starting July 1 and European refiners shut plants.

February-delivery heating oil rose 3.19 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.0203 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have increased 2.9 percent this year.

Gasoline for February delivery rose 1.36 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $2.798 a gallon on the exchange.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.2 cent to $3.383 yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices were 8.7 percent higher than a year earlier.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

SOFT COMMODITIES

Orange-juice futures surged to a record for the second straight session on mounting concern that citrus-greening disease in Texas and government tests for a banned fungicide in Brazil may reduce U.S. supplies.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery climbed 4.7 percent to $2.205 on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Before today, the commodity surged 25 percent this month.

Arabica-coffee futures fell the most in seven sessions in New York on signs of improving supplies. Cocoa rose, while sugar declined.

Arabica coffee futures for March delivery slid 3 percent to $2.1875 pound on ICE Futures in New York, the biggest fall since Jan. 13. Before today, the commodity declined 0.6 percent in January, with the most-active contract moving between a low of $2.166 and a high of $2.385 during the month. betting that prices will drop further, he said.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery slid 0.4 percent to 24.79 cents a pound on ICE, the first decline since Jan. 12. Before today, the price climbed 6.8 percent in January, after plunging 27 percent last year.

Cocoa futures for March delivery advanced 1.1 percent to $2,284 a metric ton on ICE. Before today, the main chocolate ingredient had risen 7.1 percent this year.

In London futures trading, robusta coffee dropped, cocoa was steady, while white, or refined sugar gained on NYSE Liffe.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose for the first time in four days as the European Union agreed to ban crude imports from Iran, raising concern that retaliation from the Islamic Republic may disrupt oil supply from the Middle East.

Oil for March delivery gained $1.15, or 1.2 percent, to $99.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have increased 12 percent in the past year.

Brent oil for March settlement advanced $1.39, or 1.3 percent, to $111.25 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper headed for the biggest gain in almost a week as a meeting of European Union finance ministers boosted speculation that officials will tame the region’s debt crisis, improving prospects for metals demand.

Copper futures for March delivery rose 1.7 percent to $3.809 a pound on the Comex in New York, heading for the biggest gain since Jan. 17. The price climbed 9 percent in the past two weeks.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 1.9 percent to $8,375.25 a ton ($3.80 a pound).

Aluminum, lead, zinc and tin also climbed in London. Nickel fell.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

European Carbon Permits

European Union emissions permits fell as supplies will increase this week, even as utilities and airlines may boost demand for permits.

EU permits for December lost as much as 3 percent to 7.05 euros a metric ton on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange.

EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn and soybeans rose to the highest prices in more than a week on speculation that weekend rains in Argentina were too light to revive crops hurt by weeks of dry weather, increasing demand for supplies from the U.S.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 1 percent to $6.1775 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $6.2125, the highest for a most-active contract since Jan. 12. The grain rose 2 percent last week on expectations that dry weather will reduce South American yields.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 2.1 percent to $12.1225 a bushel on the CBOT, after touching $12.19, the highest since Jan. 11. The oilseed rose 2.5 percent last week.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures rose to a five-week high as the dollar dropped against the euro, enhancing the appeal of the precious metal as an alternative asset.

Gold futures for February delivery gained 0.7 percent to $1,676.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the metal reached $1,678.70, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 13.

Silver futures for March delivery gained 2.7 percent to $32.525 an ounce on the Comex. Earlier, the price reached $32.775, the highest since Dec. 8.

Platinum futures for April delivery rose 1.7 percent to $1,557.80 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $685.85 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures climbed to a six-week high on signs of increasing U.S. pork demand as domestic stockpiles of ham and pork bellies slide. Cattle prices rose.

Hog futures for April settlement climbed 1.7 percent to 88.5 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after reaching 88.775 cents, the highest since Dec. 8.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1.28 a pound. On Jan. 20, the price touched $1.29325, the highest for a most-active contract since the commodity began trading on the CME in 1964.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, John Deane

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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