Bloomberg News

Oil Slumps, Copper Falls on China Exports: Commodities at Close

March 12, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.4 percent to 704.63 at 4:29 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 0.4 percent to 1,626.151.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell from the highest price in more than a week after exports grew more slowly than forecast in China, the world’s second-largest crude consumer, signaling an economic slowdown.

Crude for April delivery declined as much as 87 cents to $106.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $106.86 at 3:20 p.m. Singapore time. The contract climbed 82 cents to $107.40 a barrel on March 9, the highest settlement since March 1. Prices are up 8 percent in 2012.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures declined as forecasts for above-normal temperatures across most of the U.S. signaled reduced demand for the heating fuel.

OIL PRODUCTS

Fuel oil declined 43 cents to $8.35 a barrel below Asian marker Dubai crude at 11:30 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. That’s the largest discount since July 13. High-sulfur fuel oil swaps for April were unchanged after decreasing to $738.50 a metric ton, PVM said.

April naphtha swaps increased $2.75, or 0.3 percent, to $1,065.50 a ton, according to PVM. The petrochemical feedstock gained for a fourth day, the longest rising streak in a month. Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures was up $7.12 at $120.74 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold dropped for the first time in four days alongside equities and commodities on concern that China’s economy is slowing and as the dollar strengthened.

Spot gold fell as much as 0.7 percent to $1,702.53 an ounce and traded at $1,705.40 at 2:56 p.m. in Singapore. It climbed to $1,716.97 earlier, the highest price since March 2. April- delivery metal declined 0.4 percent to $1,705.30 in New York.

BASE METALS

Copper declined for the first time in four days as signs of a slowdown in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, and lingering concerns about Europe’s debt crisis, damp the demand outlook for industrial metals.

Metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.9 percent to $8,420.50 a metric ton and traded at $8,426 by 3:08 p.m. Seoul time. Futures for May delivery decreased 0.7 percent to $3.8315 a pound on the Comex in New York.

GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES

Soybeans may advance after the U.S. government lowered its estimate for this year’s global stockpiles by 4.9 percent as dry weather cut output in Brazil and Argentina.

The May-delivery contract gained as much as 0.2 percent to $13.4075 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $13.3925 at 4:07 p.m. Singapore time, after rising 0.4 percent last week. Futures surged as much as 1.3 percent to $13.555 on March 9, the highest level since Sept. 19.

Corn for May delivery was little changed at $6.4575 a bushel, after declining 1.5 percent last week. Wheat for May delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $6.41 a bushel.

Cotton futures for May delivery dropped 0.8 percent to close at 88.8 cents a pound on March 9 on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price touched 88.25 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since March 2.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery slid 0.5 percent to $1.888 a pound on ICE. The commodity has climbed 12 percent this year, reaching a record $2.2695 on Jan. 23. En

Arabica coffee for May delivery tumbled 1.7 percent to settle at $1.862 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. This week, the commodity sank 7.7 percent, the biggest drop since Sept. 23. Prices are down 18 percent this year.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery slumped 1.3 percent to 23.66 cents a pound on ICE, marking the fourth decline in five sessions. The sweetener tumbled 5.2 percent this week, the biggest decline since Sept. 23.

Cattle futures for April delivery declined 0.5 percent to close at $1.26025 a pound on March 9 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell 3 percent this week, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Dec. 9.

Spot-steer prices averaged $1.2677 a pound in the first four days of this week, down 1.7 percent from a week earlier, USDA data show. Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement slid 0.9 percent to $1.5715 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at christian.s@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Anderson at manderson34@bloomberg.net


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