Bloomberg News

Oil, Natural Gas Increase as Grains Drop: Commodities at

May 03, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities declined 1.4 percent to 669.36. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 0.7 percent to 1,556.005 at 4:03 p.m. in New York.

CRUDE OIL

Oil tumbled the most this year as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the euro area’s economic outlook has become “more uncertain.”

Crude oil for June delivery fell $2.68,, or 2.5 percent, to settle at $102.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest percentage decline since Dec. 14. Prices have dropped 6.6 percent since closing at a peak of $109.77 a barrel on Feb. 24.

Brent oil for June settlement decreased $2.12, or 1.8 percent, to end the session at $116.08 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline declined to a two-month low, falling with crude oil as a weaker outlook for Europe’s economy and slower-than- expected growth in U.S. service industries signaled that demand may slow.

Gasoline for June delivery dropped 2.57 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $3.05 a gallon on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since Feb. 29.

Heating oil for June delivery fell 5.56 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $3.0869 a gallon.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures rose for the fourth time in five days after a government report showed that supplies increased by less than the seasonal average last week.

Gas for June delivery rose 8.7 cents to settle at $2.34 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. The futures are down 22 percent this year, after dropping on April 19 to a decade low of $1.902.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Coffee futures fell the most in six weeks on speculation that supplies will be ample, especially from Brazil, the world’s top producer. Cocoa also slid, while sugar rose.

Arabica coffee for July delivery tumbled 3.8 percent to settle at $1.758 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest drop since March 22.

Cocoa futures for July delivery slumped 1.5 percent to $2,307 a metric ton on ICE, the first drop in three days.

Raw-sugar futures for July delivery increased 0.5 percent to 20.65 cents a pound in New York, the first advance in six sessions.

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

Orange juice plunged to the lowest level in almost 29 months as demand tumbled amid ample global supplies. Futures for July delivery slid 2.9 percent to settle at $1.27 a pound on ICE, the fourth consecutive decline.

Cotton futures for July delivery retreated 0.3 percent to 89.21 cents a pound in New York, the second straight drop.

GRAINS

Wheat rose from a two-week low on speculation that adverse weather will curb global output, increasing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s top exporter. Corn advanced, and soybeans fell from a 44-month high.

Wheat futures for July delivery climbed 0.2 percent to close at $6.155 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the first gain in three days.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 0.5 percent to $6.145 a bushel in Chicago, after falling 3.6 percent the past two days. The contract for December delivery, after the U.S. harvest, fell 0.3 percent to $5.295 on speculation that rain and warm weather this week will boost yields.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell 0.8 percent to settle at $14.735 a bushel on the CBOT, after yesterday touching $15.125, the highest level since July 2008.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle rallied to the highest price in almost two weeks on signs that a case of mad cow disease reported last week hasn’t slowed demand for U.S. beef. Hogs climbed.

Cattle futures for June delivery rose by the 3-cent exchange limit, or 2.7 percent, to settle at $1.15875 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That’s the highest level since April 20.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement advanced by the 3-cent limit, or 1.9 percent, to $1.57225 a pound in Chicago, the highest level since March 16.

Hog futures for June settlement rose 0.6 percent to settle at 84.925 cents a pound on the CME.

Wholesale ham reached 65.92 cents a pound yesterday, a two- month high, USDA data show.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold plunged the most in three weeks as the European Central Bank refrained from providing more stimulus measures after a meeting in Barcelona today, easing concern that inflation will accelerate. Silver also retreated.

Gold futures for June delivery slid 1.2 percent to settle at $1,634.80 on the Comex in New York, the biggest fall for a most-active contract since April 13.

Silver futures for July delivery slumped 2.1 percent to $30.01 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest drop since April 23.

On the Nymex, palladium futures for June delivery fell 1.2 percent to $661.35 an ounce. Platinum futures for July delivery tumbled 2 percent to $1,533.10 an ounce on the Nymex, the biggest drop since April 4.

BASE METALS

Copper fell for a second day in New York on concern that slowing economies in Europe and the U.S. will curb demand for industrial metals.

Copper futures for July delivery slid 1.3 percent to $3.736 a pound on the Comex. Prices slumped 1.5 percent yesterday, the most since April 23.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.9 percent to $8,229 a metric ton ($3.73 a pound).

Nickel was unchanged at $17,285 a ton in London.

Aluminum, tin, zinc and lead dropped 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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