Bloomberg News

Wheat Falls Most Since January on Economy: Commodities at Close

September 17, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 2.2 percent to 678.68 in New York, the biggest one-day drop since July. Wheat and crude oil were among the biggest losers.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices slid 1.8 percent to 1,645.026.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat fell the most since January on speculation that the Federal Reserve hasn’t done enough to improve the economy and boost demand for raw materials. Soybeans plunged the maximum allowed by the Chicago exchange on speculation that rain will aid planting and early crop development in South America.

Wheat futures for December delivery plunged 5 percent to settle at $8.78 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest loss since Jan. 12. The price gained 2.1 percent last week, the third straight increase.

Soybean futures for November delivery dropped the exchange limit of 70 cents, or 4 percent, to close at $16.69 a bushel on the CBOT, the largest decline for the most-active contract since Sept. 30. The oilseed still is up 38 percent this year, after reaching an all-time high of $17.89 on Sept. 4 as drought reduced U.S. production.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 4.3 percent to close at $7.48 a bushel on the CBOT, the largest decline since May 22, after touching $7.47, the lowest level since July 24.

CRUDE OIL

Oil declined more than $3 in less than a minute in late trading, as October options were about to expire, ending the day with the largest drop in eight weeks.

Futures tumbled to $94.83 at 1:54 p.m. from $97.88 in the same minute on a surge in trading. The price slipped earlier after the Fed Bank of New York’s general economic index, known as the Empire State Index, tumbled to a three-year low, indicating possible weakness in demand.

Oil for October delivery fell $2.38, or 2.4 percent, to settle at $96.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 2.2 percent this year. The decline was the largest since July 23. Crude options on October futures expired today. The futures expire Sept. 20.

Brent for November settlement fell $2.87, or 2.5 percent, to $113.79 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline slid to a six-week low as New York-region manufacturing contracted and refineries returned units to production after Hurricane Isaac, increasing supply.

Nymex October gasoline fell 7.23 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $2.9433 a gallon on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since Aug. 6. Prices touched $2.8609 when crude oil, gasoline and heating oil tumbled beginning at 1:51 p.m.

Heating oil for October delivery slipped 7.61 cents, or 2.4 percent, to settle at $3.1634 a gallon on the exchange, the biggest decline since July 23. Prices touched $3.0923.

NATURAL GAS

Natural-gas futures declined for a third day in New York on forecasts for cooler weather heading into October that would reduce demand for the power-plant fuel.

Gas for October delivery dropped 7.8 cents or 2.7 percent, to $2.865 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, the lowest settlement price in five sessions. The futures have declined 4.1 percent this year.

BASE METALS

Copper futures fell the most in four weeks on speculation that the Chinese government won’t ease monetary policy as quickly as anticipated, spurring concern that metal demand may be muted.

Copper futures for December delivery declined 1.1 percent to settle at $3.792 a pound on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop since Aug. 20.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.9 percent to $8,301 a metric ton ($3.77 a pound). Aluminum, zinc, tin and lead also dropped, while nickel gained.

PRECIOUS METALS

Platinum declined, snapping the longest rally in at least 25 years, as supply concerns ebbed in South Africa, the world’s biggest producer, amid signs that labor disputes may be resolved.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for delivery in October delivery declined 2.4 percent to settle at $1,672.60, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since May 23.

Palladium futures for December delivery fell 1.5 percent to $689.10 an ounce. The metal climbed in the previous 10 sessions, the longest rally since June 2000.

Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,770.60 an ounce on the Comex. On Sept. 14, the price reached $1,780.20, the highest level for a most-active contract since Feb. 29, after the Fed announced a third round of monetary stimulus to bolster the U.S. economy.

Silver futures for December delivery dropped 0.8 percent to $34.367 an ounce on the Comex.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Coffee futures fell the most in eight weeks in New York amid producer selling and as the dollar strengthened, curbing demand for some commodities. Cocoa fell and sugar was little changed.

Arabica coffee for December delivery dropped 3 percent to close at $1.7565 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since July 24.

Cocoa futures for December delivery fell 2.2 percent to $2,584 a metric ton in New York.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery added 0.01 cent to 20.78 cents a pound on ICE.

Orange-juice futures for November delivery dropped 2.3 percent to close at $1.291 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Aug. 27.

Cotton futures for December delivery fell 0.8 percent to 75.33 cents a pound on ICE.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle declined the most in three months on expectations that U.S. demand for beef will slow because fewer consumers will grill outdoors as the weather cools. Hog futures dropped.

Cattle futures for December delivery fell 1.3 percent to settle at $1.283 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the third-straight drop and the largest decline since June 13. Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement rose 0.3 percent to $1.47 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement rose 0.3 percent to $1.47 a pound.

Hog futures for December settlement dropped 0.7 percent to settle at 73.35 cents a pound on the CME. The price has declined 20 percent since mid June as the cost of livestock feed rises and producers send more animals to meatpacking plants, increasing the number of available slaughter-ready animals.

To contact the reporter on this story: Naureen S. Malik in New York at nmalik28@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net


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