Bloomberg News

Wheat Futures Tumble Most in Two Months: Commodities at Close

March 27, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials fell 0.1 percent to 704.24 at 3:43 p.m. in New York, led by grains.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI Index of 26 prices declined 0.3 percent to 1,623.9.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat fell the most in two months after a government report showed warm, wet weather boosted crop conditions from Texas to Illinois.

About 59 percent of the winter crop in Kansas, the biggest U.S. grower, was in good or excellent condition as of March 25, up from 31 percent a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. In Texas, 39 percent got the top ratings, up from 11 percent.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for May delivery slumped 3 percent to $6.3975 a bushel, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Jan. 12.

Soybean futures for May delivery dropped 0.7 percent to $13.6975 a bushel.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 1.1 percent to $6.3075 a bushel.

BASE METALS

Copper fell for the first time in three sessions as evidence that the U.S. economy is on firmer footing boosted the dollar and weakened the case for additional economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for May delivery retreated 0.2 percent to $3.88 a pound.

Copper for delivery in three months was unchanged at $8,535 a metric ton ($3.87 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange.

Lead and nickel declined in London. Aluminum, tin and zinc rose.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures declined from a two-week high as the dollar’s rebound eroded demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

On the Comex, gold futures for June delivery fell 50 cents to $1,687.70 an ounce.

Silver futures for May delivery slid 0.4 percent to $32.616 an ounce.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for June delivery slumped 0.9 percent to $663 an ounce. Platinum futures for July delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $1,662.10 an ounce, the third straight gain.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil climbed for the third straight session as reports showed strength in the U.S. economy and on speculation the Fed will keep stimulative monetary policies in place.

On the Nymex, oil futures for May delivery rose 0.3 percent to $107.33 a barrel.

Brent oil for May settlement fell 0.1 percent to $125.54 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

North Sea Forties blend was offered at a lower price even after the Elgin field, which feeds into the benchmark crude stream, was halted following a gas leak. Statoil ASA sold Russian Urals in northwest Europe at a bigger discount to dated Brent.

Total SA’s Elgin platform leaked gas for a third day in the U.K. North Sea as neighboring rigs were evacuated to guard against the risk of an explosion.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell on concern that a surge in retail prices will reduce fuel demand and as crude oil retreated after an official said the U.S. is considering a release of strategic petroleum reserves.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to $3.4056 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for April delivery declined 0.3 percent to $3.2186 a gallon.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas dropped to the lowest in more than a decade on concern that a U.S. supply surplus will expand as the peak- demand season for the heating fuel draws to an end.

On the Nymex, gas futures for April delivery slid 0.8 percent to $2.208 per million British thermal units. Earlier, the price touched $2.176, the lowest since February 2002.

U.K. gas for next-month delivery advanced for the second straight day as Total SA said it might take six months before a leak at its North Sea Elgin platform is fixed.

Gas for April advanced 0.1 pence to 59.35 pence a therm at 4:25 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $9.48 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle rose the most in two weeks on speculation that export and domestic demand for U.S. beef is increasing.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for June delivery rose 0.7 percent to $1.21975 a pound.

Hog futures for June settlement climbed 0.9 percent to 93.725 cents a pound, the biggest gain since Feb. 29.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement rose 0.9 percent to $1.55075 a pound.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Arabica coffee rose the most in five months on concern that adverse weather will hurt crops in Brazil and Colombia, the world’s largest producers.

On ICE Futures in New York, coffee for May delivery advanced 4.8 percent to $1.8735 a pound, the biggest gain since Oct. 21.

Cocoa futures for May delivery rose 1.1 percent to $2,356 a ton.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery fell 1.9 percent to 24.3 cents a pound.

Cotton futures for May delivery climbed 1.8 percent to 92.59 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery declined 0.6 percent to $1.672 a pound.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McKiernan at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net


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