Bloomberg News

Base Metals Post Best Start in 11 Years: Commodities at Close

January 26, 2012

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) --The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.4 percent to 664.43 at 5:01 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials climbed 0.5 percent to 1,606.053.

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose for a second day in New York on speculation that Federal Reserve plans to keep U.S. interest rates near a record- low will bolster economic growth and stoke fuel demand in the world’s biggest crude consumer.

Crude for March delivery rose as much as 84 cents to $100.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $99.82 at 3:56 p.m. Singapore time. The contract closed 45 cents higher at $99.40 yesterday. Prices are up 14 percent in the past year.

Brent oil for March settlement was up 74 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $110.55 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European contract’s premium to March Nymex crude was $10.73 a barrel. That’s down from a record $27.88 on Oct. 14. Crude markets: NI CRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas climbed for a fifth day in New York, the longest winning streak in more than a year, on speculation a glut of the heating fuel may ease.

Natural gas for February delivery rose as much as 3.7 cents to $2.766 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $2.764 at 3:15 p.m. in Singapore. U.S. natural gas market: NI NUSMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

High-sulfur fuel oil swaps for February rebounded $7, or 1 percent, to $712.25 a metric ton at 11 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. That’s the highest since Aug. 4, 2008.

Fuel oil surged 81 cents to 91 cents a barrel above Asian marker Dubai crude, PVM data showed. Yesterday, the residual product rose to a premium for the first time in Bloomberg records going back to August 2006. Refiners typically accept a loss from producing fuel oil because of profits from making distillates and gasoline.

The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude increased 58 cents to $18.13 a barrel, according to PVM. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, widened for a second day.

February gasoil swaps rose 85 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $126.80 a barrel, PVM said. Jet fuel fell 5 cents to 15 cents below gasoil. A negative regrade indicates it is unprofitable to make aviation fuel over diesel.

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures, also known as the crack spread, increased $3.35 to $119.54 a ton, PVM data show.

Benchmark naphtha swaps rose $9.75, or 1 percent, to $953.25 a ton, according to PVM data. The petrochemical feedstock climbed for the fourth time in five days. Oil products market: NI OPAMKT <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,709.52 an ounce at 8:12 a.m. in London after climbing to $1,714.72, the highest price since Dec. 12. The metal has gained 9.2 percent this year and the dollar is down 1.4 percent against the euro.

Silver rose 0.2 percent to $33.2438 an ounce, platinum was unchanged at $1,581.75 an ounce and palladium was unchanged at $693 an ounce. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

BASE METALS

Industrial metals are heading for the best start in at least 11 years as falling stockpiles add to speculation that demand is strengthening in China and the U.S. Copper for delivery in three months was at $8,447 a ton at 6:13 a.m. London time on the LME. Inventories of the metal in warehouses monitored by the LME stand at 339,750 tons, the lowest since Sept. 23, 2009.

Aluminum was up 0.7 percent at $2,267.75 a ton and nickel rose 0.2 percent to $20,965 a ton after yesterday reaching $21,220, the highest price since Sept. 21. Tin gained 0.9 percent to $22,650 a ton. Zinc lost 0.3 percent to $2,168 a ton after yesterday rising to $2,183.75, the highest level since Sept. 16. Lead was little changed at $2,283.75 a ton. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES, LIVESTOCK

Orange juice for March delivery dropped 3.1 percent to close at $2.1115 a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since Jan. 12.

Raw sugar for March delivery fell 1.5 percent to settle at 24.51 cents a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S., the biggest drop since Jan. 12. This year, the sweetener has risen 5.2 percent, after plunging 27 percent in 2011.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery slid 1.5 percent to close at $2.172 a pound in New York, extending this month’s drop to 4.3 percent.

Cocoa futures for March delivery rose 0.4 percent to $2,422 a metric ton on ICE, the third consecutive increase. The chocolate ingredient has surged 15 percent this year. Earlier the price touched $2,456, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 22.

The April-delivery contract dropped as much as 1.3 percent to 3,127 ringgit ($1,028) per metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange before trading at 3,138 ringgit at 4:01 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur.

Wheat for March delivery climbed 1.2 percent to $6.4875 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 3:49 p.m. Singapore time. nation’s Agriculture Ministry posted yesterday.

March-delivery corn gained 0.8 percent to $6.3925 a bushel. Soybeans for delivery in the same month rose 0.5 percent to $12.1975 a bushel.

Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.4 percent to close at 88.225 cents a pound yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices have climbed 4.7 percent this year and are 1.3 percent higher than a year ago.

Cattle futures for April delivery closed unchanged at $1.29175 a pound in Chicago, after touching $1.29675, the highest for the most-active contract since the commodity started trading on the CME in 1964. Prices are up 16 percent in the past year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.1 percent to $1.55 a pound on the CME, after reaching a record $1.55525. Soft commodity markets: NI SOMKTS <GO> Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO>

--Editor:

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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