Bloomberg News

Soybeans Rise to Record on Midwest Drought: Commodities at Close

July 19, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials rose 2.3 percent to settle at 654.73 at 3:57 p.m. in New York, paced by agriculture and energy.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices advanced 1.4 percent to 1,579.66.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose to a record as the worst drought in more than 50 years threatens crops in the U.S., the world’s top grower.

Severe to exceptional drought expanded to 48 percent of the Midwest as of July 17 from 33 percent a week earlier, the government said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared almost 1,300 counties in 29 states as natural-disaster areas. Fields are in the worst condition since 1988, when drought cut oilseed output by 20 percent.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 2 percent to $16.5225 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached a record $16.7375. The previous all-time high for the most-active contract was $16.3675 on July 3, 2008.

Wheat futures for September delivery gained 3.5 percent to $9.35 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $9.38, the highest since Aug. 21, 2008.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 0.7 percent to $7.785 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $7.99, close to the record of $7.9925 on June 27, 2008.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil advanced to the highest in two months on rising concern that instability in the Middle East will disrupt supplies from a region responsible for about one-third of world production.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for August delivery rose 3.1 percent to $92.66 a barrel.

Brent oil for September increased 2.5 percent to $107.80 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought North Sea Forties crude at the lowest price in two weeks. The company failed to sell Russian Urals in northwest Europe at a bigger discount to Dated Brent.

Nigeria reduced its August official selling prices for Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crude grades to the lowest in 26 months, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas rose to a six-month high after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles increased less than expected by analysts.

On the Nymex, gas futures for August delivery climbed 0.9 percent to $2.999 per million British thermal units, the highest settlement since Jan. 9.

U.K. gas for delivery tomorrow declined as exports to Belgium were predicted to fall.

The price lost 0.6 pence to 54.3 pence a therm at 5:41 p.m. London time. August gas slipped as much as 0.7 percent to 53.4 pence, a one-month low. That’s equivalent to $8.40 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil climbed to a nine-week high on concern that Middle East stress will affect petroleum supplies and on speculation that the Federal Reserve will add more stimulus to boost the economy.

On the Nymex, heating-oil futures for August delivery rose 2.4 percent to $2.947 a gallon, the highest settlement since May 11.

Gasoline futures for August delivery gained 1.9 percent to $2.9389 a gallon.

BASE METALS

Copper rose to a two-week high on speculation that China, the world’s largest user of the metal, will take more steps to bolster growth.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery climbed 1.7 percent to $3.5345 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $3.545, the highest since July 3.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months advanced 1.2 percent to $7,730 a metric ton ($3.51 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc, tin and lead also rose in London. Nickel fell.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rose for the first time this week as more Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment-insurance payments, increasing pressure on the Federal Reserve to loosen monetary policy.

On the Comex, gold futures for August delivery gained 0.6 percent to $1,580.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for September delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $27.217 an ounce.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for October delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $1,423.10 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery increased 1.3 percent to $584.85 an ounce.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton rose for a second straight day on speculation that farmers will plant fewer acres as surging grains prices boost the appeal of planting food crops.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cotton for December delivery advanced 1 percent to 72.63 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery rose 3.7 percent to $1.8895 a pound, the biggest increase since June 29.

Cocoa futures for September delivery climbed 1.2 percent to $2,230 a metric ton.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery added 1.3 percent to 23.25 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for September delivery slipped 3 percent to $1.126 a pound.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle prices climbed to a four-month high on signs that the widespread U.S. drought will spur ranchers to cull herds because of rising feed costs and deteriorating pasture conditions.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for October delivery increased 1.3 percent to $1.244 a pound, after reaching $1.2445, the highest since March 15.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose 1.4 percent to $1.391 a pound.

Hog futures for October settlement fell 0.1 percent to 80 cents 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: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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