Bloomberg News

Oil, Natural Gas Increase as Grains Drop: Commodities at

May 02, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities declined 1.3 percent to 678.65. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials rose for the sixth straight day, dropping 1.4 percent to 1,567.474.

GRAINS

Wheat and corn fell the most in more than three months and soybeans dropped from a four-year high on speculation that rain and warm weather will bolster yields in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter of all three crops.

Wheat futures for July delivery dropped 4.4 percent to close at $6.145 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Corn futures for July delivery fell 2.8 percent to $6.115 a bushel on the CBOT. The declines for both grains were the biggest since Jan. 12.

Soybean futures for July delivery slid 1.2 percent to settle at $14.85 a bushel on the CBOT, after touching $15.125 the highest level since July 2008.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell after the U.S. Energy Department reported that crude inventories surged to the highest level in more than 21 years and production and imports climbed.

Crude oil for June delivery fell 94 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $105.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the biggest decline since April 18. Futures have slipped 7.3 percent in the past year.

Brent oil for June settlement dropped $1.46, or 1.2 percent, to end the session at $118.20 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures in New York declined the most in almost two months on forecasts of moderating weather that may limit demand from power plants.

Natural gas for June delivery fell 11.8 cents to settle at $2.253 per million British thermal units on the Nymex.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline declined to a nine-week low after the Energy Department said crude-oil inventories advanced and refinery rates increased.

Gasoline for June delivery fell 2.14 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $3.0757 a gallon on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since Feb. 29. Gasoline has declined 9.3 percent in the second quarter, paring the 2012 gain to 14 percent.

Heating oil for June delivery dropped 3.46 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.1425 a gallon.

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures slumped to a 16-week low on signs of increasing pork supplies in the U.S. amid weak demand. Cattle also declined.

Hog futures for June settlement fell 1.6 percent to settle at 84.45 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After the close of regular trading, the price reached 84.175, the lowest level since Jan. 10.

Cattle futures for June delivery declined 0.6 percent to settle at $1.12875 a pound on the CME. The price has dropped 7.1 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.54225 a pound in Chicago.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Raw sugar fell to a one-year low on mounting concern that a slowing global economy will erode demand for commodities amid ample supplies. Cotton and orange juice also dropped.

Raw sugar for July delivery sank 1.9 percent to settle at 20.55 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S., the fifth straight drop and the longest slide since Feb. 2. Earlier, the sweetener dropped to 20.5, the lowest level for a most-active contract since May 6, 2011.

Cotton futures for July delivery retreated 0.2 percent to 89.51 cents a pound in New York.

Orange-juice futures for July delivery tumbled 1.5 percent to $1.308 a pound on ICE, after touching $1.2965, the lowest level since April 9, 2010. The beverage plunged 6.3 percent yesterday.

In London futures trading, refined sugar also dropped.

Cocoa for July delivery climbed 1 percent to settle at $2,342 a ton on ICE Futures U.S., after jumping 4.5 percent yesterday. Before today, the main chocolate ingredient had plunged 30 percent in the past year. Cocoa trading was at a record in April, the exchange said today in a statement.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery fell 0.8 percent to $1.8275 a pound in New York.

In London futures trading, cocoa and robusta coffee advanced on NYSE Liffe.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold declined the most in a week after three voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee said they don’t see a need for more economic stimulus and as physical demand slumped in India, the world’s biggest importer.

Gold futures for June delivery fell 0.5 percent to settle at $1,654 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop for a most active contract since April 23.

Silver futures for July delivery slid 0.9 percent to $30.645 an ounce on the Comex, retreating for the third straight day.

On the Nymex, palladium futures for June delivery slipped 1.7 percent to $669.45 an ounce, the biggest decline since April 4. Platinum futures for July delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,564.40 an ounce on the Nymex.

BASE METALS

Copper dropped for the first time in more than a week as industrial metals retreated on signs of a worsening economic slump in Europe that may crimp demand.

Copper futures for July delivery slid 1.5 percent to settle at $3.787 a pound on the Comex, the first drop since April 23.

Nickel and lead paced declines among base metals. Nickel fell 2.4 percent to settle at $17,285 a metric ton ($7.84 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange. The drop was the biggest since April 16. Lead fell 2.2 percent to $2,132 a ton in London.

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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