Bloomberg News

Energy Prices Fall on Signs Demand May Ebb: Commodities at Close

February 28, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 1.1 percent to settle at 703.46 at 3:46 p.m. in New York, led by energy futures.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices dropped 0.2 percent to 1,650.96.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas fell after forecasts showed warmer-than-usual weather, limiting demand for the heating fuel.

Temperatures across most of the U.S. will be normal or above average from Feb. 26 to March 8, according to the National Weather Service. Gas has dropped 16 percent this year as mild winter weather and record production contributed to an increasing surplus.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for April delivery declined 3.2 percent to $2.519 per million British thermal units.

U.K. gas for today fell as mild weather reduced projected demand to the lowest in two months.

Gas fell as much as 2 pence to 60 pence a therm. It was at 60.85 pence as of 4:30 p.m. in London, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equal to $9.67 per million Btu. therm is 100,000 Btu.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell the most since December as declines in durable-goods orders and home prices spurred concern that the pace of the U.S. economic recovery may ease, damping fuel demand.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for March delivery fell 2.8 percent to $3.0401 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for March delivery declined 1.9 percent to $3.2238 a gallon.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil had the biggest drop in more than five weeks as orders for durable goods slumped in January by the most in three years.

On the Nymex, oil futures for April delivery fell 1.9 percent to $106.55 a barrel, the largest decline since Jan. 20.

Brent oil for April settlement dropped 1.9 percent to $121.86 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

BP Plc failed to buy two cargoes of Forties in the North Sea crude market. OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit didn’t manage to purchase Russian Urals blend at a lower price in the Mediterranean.

BP sought to buy one lot for loading on March 19 to March 21 at 75 cents a barrel more than dated Brent and another for March 23 to March 25 at 70 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window. That compares with Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s bid at 90 cents yesterday.

LIVESTOCK

Hogs slumped to the lowest this month on signs that demand for pork in the U.S. is slowing.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for April settlement fell 0.7 percent to 88.025 cents a pound, after reaching 87.75 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 31.

Cattle futures for April delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $1.28275 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slipped 0.4 percent to $1.5575 a pound.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar fell, halting the longest rally in 15 months, on signs that export incentives are increasing in Brazil, the world’s largest grower.

On ICE Futures in New York, raw sugar for May delivery dropped 0.9 percent to 25.33 cents a pound. The price climbed in the previous eight sessions, the longest rally since November 2010.

Cocoa futures for May delivery fell 1.3 percent to $2,370 a metric ton.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery gained 0.8 percent to $2.0625 a pound.

Cotton futures for May delivery rose 1.7 percent to 92.24 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $1.8395 a pound.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold advanced to a three-month high and silver had the biggest gain in eight weeks on demand for the precious metals as alternatives to a declining dollar.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery advanced 0.8 percent to $1,788.40 an ounce, after climbing to $1,792.70, the highest since Nov. 14.

Silver futures for May delivery rose 4.5 percent to $37.205 an ounce, the biggest gain since Jan. 3.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1,723.50 an ounce. Palladium futures for June delivery rose 2.1 percent to $722.20 an ounce.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose, heading for the biggest monthly rally since December 2010, on mounting concern that worldwide demand will outpace supplies.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to $13.125 a bushel. Earlier, the oilseed reached $13.1475, the highest since Sept. 22. The price gained for the seventh straight session, the longest rally since Dec. 27. This month, the commodity has climbed 9.5 percent.

Corn futures for May delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $6.5725 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $6.5775, the highest since Jan. 12. The grain climbed for the fifth straight session, the longest rally in a month.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 2.4 percent to $6.6825 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $6.69, the highest since Feb. 8.

BASE METALS

Copper rose to a two-week high as German legislators approved a second bailout for Greece, and U.S. and European gauges of economic confidence rose more than expected, pointing to improving economic growth and metal demand.

On the Comex, copper futures for May delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $3.9215 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $3.9575, the highest since Feb. 10.

Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.7 percent to $8,600 a ton ($3.90 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange. Lead, zinc and tin rose, while nickel and aluminum fell.

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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