Bloomberg News

Copper Declines as China Demand May Ebb: Commodities at Close

February 02, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.5 percent to close at 657.71 at 4:05 p.m. in New York, led by industrial metals.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices dropped 0.3 percent to 1,587.41.

BASE METALS

Copper fell for the fourth time in five sessions in New York amid signs that demand may ease in China, the world’s biggest buyer of industrial metals. Lead and aluminum fell more than 3 percent in London.

House prices in China slid in January for the fifth straight month, SouFun Holdings Ltd., the nation’s largest owner of real-estate websites, said yesterday. The Copper Development Association says construction generates a quarter of demand for the metal. Copper premiums in Shanghai dropped below $100 a metric ton for the first time since August as inventories expand, suggesting imports that were at a record in December may ebb.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for March delivery declined 1.6 percent to $3.781 a pound. The metal has dropped 17 percent in the past 12 months.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.1 percent to $8,345 a ton ($3.79 a pound).

Aluminum slumped 3.1 percent, the most in three months, to $2,195 a ton. Lead dropped 3.2 percent, the most in six weeks, to $2,164 a ton.

Zinc, tin and nickel also fell.

Base-metal markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil fell to a six-week low as U.S. supplies climbed and fuel demand tumbled. Brent crude in London traded at the biggest premium to the American benchmark grade in 12 weeks.

Oil futures for March delivery declined 1.3 percent to $96.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price touched $95.44, the lowest since Dec. 20.

Brent for March settlement rose 0.5 percent to $112.15 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Trafigura Beheer BV sold North Sea Forties crude at the highest in a month. OAO Lukoil failed to sell Russian Urals at a lower price in northwest Europe.

Exxon Mobil bought a shipment of Forties for Feb. 14 to Feb. 16 loading from Trafigura at 25 cents more than dated Brent, the highest since Jan. 4, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders monitoring the Platts trading window. Trafigura bought a cargo for the same dates on Jan. 31 for ship-to-ship transfer from Vitol Group at a discount of 15 cents.

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>

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures fell the most in two weeks on signs that frigid temperatures in Eastern Europe and Russia will moderate, easing crop damage concerns.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for March delivery fell 1.7 percent to $6.6275 a bushel, the biggest drop since Jan. 18. Yesterday, the price touched $6.8375, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 20.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to $6.43 a bushel. The price has gained 8.3 percent since Jan. 18 on speculation that dry weather would reduce South American yields.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $12.17 a bushel.

Grains markets: NI GRMKTS <GO>

LIVESTOCK

Cattle prices fell for the first time in three days on signs of reduced purchases by U.S. beef processors, who are concerned that high meat costs will curb consumer demand.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to $1.289 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement dropped 0.3 percent to $1.55375 a pound. Yesterday, the price touched a record $1.562.

Hog futures for April settlement declined 0.7 percent to 89.75 cents a pound. Earlier, the price reached 90.775 cents, the highest since Dec. 2.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rose to a two-month high after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he sees signs the U.S. economy is improving, boosting prospects for commodity demand.

On the Comex, gold futures for April delivery gained 0.6 percent to $1,759.30 an ounce, after reaching $1,763.80, the highest since Dec. 2.

Silver futures for March delivery climbed 1.1 percent to $34.175 an ounce, after touching $34.35, the highest since Nov. 16.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery advanced 0.4 percent to $1,629.90 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery rose 1.6 percent to $707.65 an ounce.

Precious-metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas rose for the first time in four days after a government report showed a bigger-than-forecast drop in U.S. stockpiles.

On the Nymex, gas futures for March delivery jumped 7.2 percent to $2.554 per million British thermal units, the biggest gain since Jan. 23.

U.K. gas surged as demand for heating jumped amid freezing weather.

Gas for tomorrow rose as much as 12 percent to 70.75 pence a therm, equal to $11.20 per Btu, the highest in more than a year. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

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

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell as U.S. demand for the motor fuel reached a 10-year low and supplies rose to the highest in 11 months.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for March delivery fell 0.8 percent to $2.8689.

Heating-oil futures for March delivery gained 0.2 percent to $3.0529 a gallon.

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>

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton rose for the second straight day on speculation that demand will increase in China, the world’s biggest consumer.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cotton for March delivery climbed 0.9 percent to 94.21 cents a pound. The price advanced 0.2 percent yesterday.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to $2.156 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $2.1095, the lowest since Dec. 13, 2010.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery declined 0.5 percent to 23.48 cents a pound. The price fell for the fifth straight session, the longest slide since early August.

Cocoa futures for March delivery were unchanged at $2,225 a ton.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery dropped 0.6 percent to close at $2.04 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.972, the lowest since Jan. 19.

Soft commodities markets NI SOMKTS <GO>

--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Patrick McKiernan

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

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


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