Bloomberg News

Natural Gas Declines on Weather Outlook: Commodities at Close

February 27, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.5 percent to settle at 711.62 at 3:45 p.m. in New York, led by natural gas.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices dropped 0.1 percent to 1,654.16.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas fell the most in week as forecasts showed above-normal temperatures in the eastern U.S., limiting demand for the furnace fuel.

Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted warmer-than-normal weather in the Northeast from March 3 to March 12. Supplies of gas rose to 40 percent above the five-year average in the week ended Feb. 17 amid higher-than- normal temperatures and record production.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for March delivery fell 4.1 percent to settle $2.446 per million Btu, the biggest drop since Feb. 15.

U.K. winter gas surged to the highest in five months as deliveries of liquefied fuel fell, spurring supply concerns.

The winter contract gained as much as 1.5 pence to 75 pence a therm. That’s the highest since Sept. 28. It was at 74.25 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London. That’s equal to $11.76 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil fell for the first time in eight sessions after the Group of 20 nations rebuffed calls from euro countries to increase lending resources, adding to concern that Europe’s debt crisis will slow the economy and reduce demand.

On the Nymex, oil futures for April delivery fell 1.1 percent to $108.56 a barrel.

Brent oil for April settlement declined 1 percent to $124.17 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc sought to buy Forties crude in the North Sea market without success. Vitol Group didn’t manage to sell Russian Urals at a higher price in the Mediterranean.

Urals crude exports from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk will total 58 cargoes of 100,000 metric tons each in March, four more than this month, according to a preliminary loading schedule obtained by Bloomberg News.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures fell to the lowest in almost two weeks on speculation that meatpacker demand is slowing and that U.S. consumers will slow purchases of beef as costs climb.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery slid 0.7 percent to $1.28625 a pound after reaching $1.28475, the lowest for a most-active contract since Feb. 14.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement dropped 0.8 percent to $1.5645 a pound.

Hog futures for April settlement declined 1.2 percent to settle at 88.65 cents a pound.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline and heating oil fell for the first time in five sessions on speculation that the European debt crisis may persist, slowing global economic growth and reducing fuel demand.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for March delivery fell 0.8 percent to $3.1283 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for March delivery declined 0.9 percent to $3.2864 a gallon.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold declined for the second straight session as a rise in the dollar curbed demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,774.90 an ounce.

Silver futures for May delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $35.604 an ounce.

On the Nymex, palladium futures for June delivery dropped 0.8 percent to $707.40 an ounce. Platinum futures for April delivery declined 80 cents to $1,714.30 an ounce.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar rose to the highest price in more than three months on speculation that global supplies will be tighter than forecast because of harvest delays in Brazil, the world’s biggest grower.

Raw sugar for May delivery advanced 1.3 percent to 25.55 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching 25.81 cents, the highest since Nov. 9.

Cocoa futures for May delivery climbed 1.8 percent to $2,400 a ton.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery added 0.5 percent to $2.046 a pound.

Orange juice for May delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $1.8115 a pound.

Cotton futures for May delivery advanced 0.6 percent to 90.67 cents a pound.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures rose to a two-week high on speculation that dry weather will persist in the U.S. Great Plains, eroding prospects for winter crops emerging from dormancy in the next month.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for May delivery rose 1.8 percent to $6.5275 a bushel after touching $6.545, the highest since Feb. 9.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 1.2 percent to $13.025 a bushel.

Corn futures for May delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $6.485 a bushel.

BASE METALS

Copper rose to a two-week high as pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose more than forecast, bolstering prospects for metal demand.

On the Comex, copper futures for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to $3.889 a pound, after reaching $3.8965, the highest since Feb. 13.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.1 percent to $8,536 metric ton ($3.87 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc and lead climbed on the LME. Nickel and tin dropped.

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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