Bloomberg News

Natural Gas Advances to Three-Week High: Commodities at Close

June 18, 2012

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials rose 0.3 percent to 1,433.45, led by natural gas.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 prices fell 0.2 percent to settle at 581.45 at 3:45 p.m. in New York.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas surged to the highest in more than three weeks on speculation that hotter-than-normal weather will boost demand from power plants to run air conditioners.

Commodity Weather Group LLC in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said that many cities in the Midwest and East this week will have the hottest conditions so far in 2012.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for July delivery rose 6.8 percent to $2.635 per million British thermal units, the highest settlement since May 24.

U.K. gas for next-day delivery was little changed as pipeline imports from Norway and the Netherlands dropped amid a decline in demand.

Gas climbed 0.03 pence, or 0.1 percent, to 54.43 pence a therm at 3:44 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $8.53 per million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn surged the most since March on signs that unusually hot, dry weather is eroding crop conditions in the main growing region of the U.S., the world’s largest producer and exporter.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for December delivery jumped 5.5 percent to $5.34 a bushel, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since March 30.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 1.9 percent to $13.3925 a bushel.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 3.3 percent to $6.725 a bushel.

LIVESTOCK

Hog prices climbed the most this month on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for August settlement increased 2.2 percent to 93.225 cents a pound, the biggest gain since May 31.

Cattle futures for August delivery rose 1.1 percent to $1.17975 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.1 percent to $1.56125 a pound.

BASE METALS

Copper gained for the fourth straight session after U.S. builder confidence at a five-year high helped ease concerns that a deepening debt crisis in Europe signals lower demand.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery increased 0.4 percent to $3.4025 a pound.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months was little changed at $7,510 a metric ton ($3.41 a pound).

Aluminum, nickel, tin, lead and zinc fell in London.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold fell, ending the longest rally in almost 10 months, as the dollar rebounded and pro-bailout parties won enough seats to control Greece’s parliament, curbing demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

On the Comex, gold futures for August delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,627 an ounce.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,484.10 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery advanced 0.4 percent to $633.15 an ounce.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil dropped for the first time in three sessions on concern that the worsening European debt crisis will slow global economic growth, reducing energy demand.

On the Nymex, oil futures for July delivery fell 0.9 percent to $83.27 a barrel.

Brent oil for August settlement dropped 1.6 percent to $96.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Morgan Stanley purchased a cargo of North Sea Forties blend from Statoil ASA at a lower price than the previous session. Gunvor Group Ltd. sought to sell Russian Urals at a smaller discount to Dated Brent than the last trade in the Mediterranean.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest producer, will boost its daily crude exports for August to the highest in six months, a preliminary loading plan obtained by Bloomberg showed.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline slipped as increasing Spanish borrowing costs indicated concern that Europe’s debt crisis may widen, threatening economic growth and fuel demand.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for July delivery fell 1.5 percent to $2.6609 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for July delivery slid 1.1 percent to $2.6177 a gallon.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Coffee futures fell to a two-year low on concern that the faltering economy in Europe will curb demand.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, arabica coffee for September delivery fell 0.3 percent to $1.515 a pound.

Cocoa futures for September delivery declined 2.6 percent to $2,189 a ton, the biggest drop since May 22.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery dropped 0.1 percent to 19.99 cents a pound.

Orange juice for July delivery jumped 3 percent to $1.1255 a pound.

Cotton futures for December delivery increased 1.2 percent to 71.86 cents a pound on ICE.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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