Bloomberg News

Oil, Natural Gas Increase as Grains Drop: Commodities at

May 01, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities advanced 0.4 percent to 687.61. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials rose for the sixth straight day, gaining 0.2 percent to 1,589.042.

CRUDE OIL

Oil climbed to a five-week high after U.S. manufacturing increased at the fastest pace in 10 months, signaling that economic growth will accelerate in the world’s biggest crude- consuming country.

Crude oil for June delivery gained $1.29 to $106.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since March 27. Oil has climbed 7.4 percent this year.

Brent oil for June settlement rose 19 cents to end the session at $119.66 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures climbed for a third day in New York, capping the longest rally since January, on forecasts of below- normal temperatures that may increase heating-fuel demand.

Gas for June delivery rose 8.6 cents to settle at $2.371 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. The futures have declined 21 percent this year and gained 7.5 percent in April, the biggest monthly increase since March 2011.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell as an agreement to keep a refinery near Philadelphia operating eased concern that supply shortages will arise.

Gasoline for June delivery fell 2.75 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $3.0971 a gallon on the Nymex. Gasoline has declined 8.6 percent since March 30, paring the 2012 gain to 15 percent.

June-delivery heating oil fell 0.71 cent to $3.1771 a gallon. Prices have increased 8.2 percent this year.

GRAINS

Corn and wheat fell for the first time in four sessions after the government said U.S. farmers accelerated planting, while warm, wet weather creates ideal conditions for emerging plants. Soybeans declined.

Corn futures for July delivery slid 0.8 percent to close at $6.29 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain jumped 5.5 percent over the previous three sessions, after the USDA said April 27 that domestic exporters made the biggest sale to a single buyer since 1994, 1.44 million tons to unknown destinations for delivery in the year beginning Sept. 1.

Wheat futures for July delivery retreated 1.8 percent to $6.43 a bushel, after rising 4.5 percent the past three sessions.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell 0.1 percent to $15.035 a bushel.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle declined for the first time in a week on signs of slowing U.S. beef demand. Hog futures slid.

Cattle futures for June delivery fell 0.5 percent to settle at $1.13525 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement added 0.3 percent to $1.542 a pound in Chicago.

Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.1 percent to settle at 85.85 cents a pound on the CME. The commodity has gained 1.8 percent in 2012.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Orange-juice futures sank more than 6 percent, plunging to a two-year low, on signs that U.S. demand for the beverage is waning just as Brazil is set to begin its citrus harvest next month. Cotton advanced.

Orange juice for July delivery plummeted 6.3 percent to settle at $1.3285 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching $1.322, the lowest level for a most-active contract since April 16, 2010.

Cotton futures for July delivery climbed 0.3 percent to 89.68 cents a pound.

Sugar dropped to the lowest price in almost a year on signs that the amount of sweetener to be delivered against the expired May contract was bigger than initially estimated.

Raw sugar for July delivery fell 0.8 percent to settle at 20.95 cents a pound, the fourth straight decline. Earlier, the price touched 20.77 cents, the lowest level since May 2011.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery jumped 2.6 percent to $1.8415 a pound, the biggest gain since March 30.

In London futures trading, refined sugar and robusta coffee fell on NYSE Liffe.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold fell for a second day as signs of stronger U.S. industrial growth boosted prospects for the economy and eroded the appeal of the precious metal as a haven.

Gold futures for June delivery slid 0.1 percent to settle at $1,662.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Silver futures for July delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $30.93 an ounce on the Comex.

On the Nymex, palladium futures for June delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $681.05 an ounce, snapping a three-session rally. Platinum futures for July delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $1,572.30 an ounce on the Nymex.

BASE METALS

Copper rose for a sixth straight session in New York after reports showed stronger-than-expected manufacturing and automobile sales last month in the U.S., brightening prospects for demand.

Copper futures for July delivery climbed 0.4 percent to settle at $3.8435 a pound on the Comex. The increase marks the longest rally since December 2010.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months gained 0.5 percent to $8,440 a ton ($3.83 a pound).

Also in London, lead advanced 1.5 percent to $2,180 a metric ton as orders to draw the metal from inventories increased for a ninth session to the highest level since at least October 1997.

Aluminum also increased in London. Tin, zinc and nickel fell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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