Bloomberg News

Cocoa Rises on Ivory Coast Supply Concern: Commodities at Close

January 24, 2012

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials was little changed to close at 658.84 at 4:37 p.m. in New York. Cocoa and base metals climbed.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices gained 0.4 percent to 1,587.615.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa futures surged to an eight-week high on speculation that supplies will ebb from Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer. Raw sugar declined, halting the longest rally in 14 months, while coffee rose.

Ivory Coast farmers have said cocoa output may be hindered by a stronger-than-usual seasonal harmattan wind that curbs rain and brings dry, dusty air south from the Sahara Desert.

On ICE Futures in New York, cocoa for March delivery jumped 6.4 percent to settle at $2,413 a metric ton. Earlier, the price reached $2,425, the highest level since Nov. 28.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to close at 24.89 cents a pound, halting a six-session rally, the longest since November 2010.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $2.2045 a pound in New York, the first gain in three days.

In London, cocoa gained and robusta coffee slid.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS <GO>

BASE METALS

Copper rose for the fifth time in six sessions on speculation that shipments to China, the biggest consumer of the metal, will underpin demand.

Refined-copper imports have advanced for seven straight months, China’s General Administration of Customs said Jan. 21. Stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose to a nine-month high last week.

On the Comex, copper for March delivery increased 0.2 percent to settle at $3.8075 a pound. Prices are up 11 percent in January.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped 0.1 percent to $8,355 a metric ton ($3.79 a pound).

Aluminum, tin, zinc, nickel and lead rose in London.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures rose, capping the longest rally in almost four weeks, on signs that demand will gain for U.S. exports as supplies ease in Russia and Ukraine.

The amount of wheat available for export from Russia’s Southern Federal District has dropped after exports surged this year, the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies said today. Winter-grain crops in Ukraine are threatened by freezing temperatures in the next 10 days.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 2.2 percent to settle at $6.335 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price climbed for the fourth straight session, the longest rally since late December.

Corn futures for March delivery increased 1.7 percent to settle at $6.3025 a bushel, posting the first four-day gain since Dec. 28. Soybean futures for March delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $12.20 a bushel on the CBOT, erasing an earlier decline of 1.1 percent.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures gained for a third day in New York after Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. producer, announced spending and production cuts, signaling the supply glut may ease.

Gas, the worst-performing commodity in 2012, rose 1.1 percent. Chesapeake said yesterday it would “immediately curtail” output of 500 million cubic feet a day. Traders covered some bets that prices would fall as mild winter weather contributed to the biggest gas surplus in more than two years.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for February delivery gained 2.9 cents to $2.554 per million British thermal units after gaining as much as 5 percent to $2.65. Gas, which is down 44 percent from a year ago, fell to $2.231 on Jan. 23, the lowest price since February 2002.

U.S. natural gas: NI NUSMKT <GO>

CRUDE OIL

Oil dropped as a stalemate between European policy makers and Greek bondholders over debt relief increased concern that the European credit crisis will spread.

Futures fell 0.6 percent after euro-area finance ministers balked at putting up more public money for Greece, calling on holders of its debt to provide more aid. The International Monetary Fund cut its global economic forecast as Europe slips into recession and growth cools in China and India.

On the Nymex, crude oil for March delivery declined 63 cents to settle at $98.95 a barrel. Prices are up 13 percent from a year earlier.

Brent oil for March settlement dropped 55 cents, or 0.5 percent, to end the session at $110.03 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS <GO>

Europe physical crude: NI CNSMKT <GO>

U.S. physical crude: NI CRGMKT <GO>

Asia physical crude: NI CRAMKT <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold prices dropped the most in a week as the dollar rebounded from a two-week low, reducing demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset.

On the Comex, gold futures for February delivery declined 0.8 percent to settle at $1,664.50 an ounce, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Jan. 13. Yesterday, the metal reached $1,681.80, the highest since Dec. 12.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 0.9 percent to $31.975 an ounce.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.6 percent to $1,552.40 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery dropped 1.2 percent to $680.55 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose, reversing an earlier loss, after Hess Corp. said it’s conducting a technical assessment of the fluid catalytic cracker at its gasoline-making Port Reading refinery in New Jersey.

Futures gained 1 percent as Hess said the unit at the plant, which makes gasoline for the New York area, is malfunctioning. Hess will continue to operate Port Reading “as long as it generates acceptable financial returns,” Jay Wilson, vice president of investor relations in New York, said in an interview.

On the Nymex, gasoline for February delivery rose 2.71 cents to settle at $2.805 a gallon, after falling as low as $2.7613.

February-delivery heating oil increased 1.44 cents, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $3.0242 a gallon on the exchange.

U.S. oil product futures: NI OPFMKT <GO>

U.S. oil products: NI OPUMKT <GO>

Asia oil products: NI OPAMKT <GO>

Europe oil products: NI OPEMKT <GO>

LIVESTOCK

Cattle prices surged to a record for the sixth time this month on mounting signs that demand for U.S. beef will exceed output, eroding inventories and signaling higher costs for restaurants including McDonald’s Corp.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.8 percent to close at $1.29175 a pound after reaching $1.2945, the highest for a most-active contract since the commodity began trading on the CME in 1964. Prices are up 6.4 percent this month, heading for the biggest January gain since 2002.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement increased 0.7 percent to close at $1.54875 a pound. On Jan. 20, the price reached a record $1.55275.

Hog futures for April settlement slid 0.7 percent to close at 87.85 cents a pound. Prices have gained 1.9 percent in the past year.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS <GO>

--Editors:

--Editor: Richard Stubbe

--Editors: Richard Stubbe, Dan Stets

--With assistance from Elizabeth Campbell, Whitney McFerron and Jeff Wilson in Chicago, Nicholas Larkin and Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London, Marvin G. Perez, Naureen S. Malik, Debarati Roy, Joe Richter and Mark Shenk in New York and Barbara Powell in Dallas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Buurma in New York at cbuurma1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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