Bloomberg News

Soybeans Fall as China Cancels Purchases: Commodities at Close

December 20, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.2 percent to settle at 643.49 at 4 p.m. in New York.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices declined 0.6 percent to 1,568.79.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans declined to a one-month low after China, the world’s largest importer, canceled U.S. purchases for the second time in three days.

China canceled 540,000 metric tons, bringing the total to 840,000 tons since Dec. 18, excluding 120,000 canceled by unknown buyers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Prices plunged as much as 23 percent since reaching a record on Sept. 4, as prospects for rising output in Brazil and Argentina eased supply concerns after a drought reduced harvests in the U.S., the world’s largest grower and exporter.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for March delivery dropped 1.8 percent to $14.0475 a bushel, capping the first four-day decline since Nov. 12. Earlier, the oilseed touched $13.9775, the lowest since Nov. 20.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 1.9 percent to $7.905 a bushel, after reaching $7.825, the lowest since July 3.

Corn futures for March delivery slid 0.9 percent to $6.965 a bushel, after touching $6.875, the lowest since July 11.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Coffee futures fell to a 30-month low in New York on signs of improving supplies from Brazil, the world’s top producer and exporter.

On ICE Futures U.S., arabica coffee for March delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $1.4295 a pound, after reaching $1.418, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 11, 2010.

Cocoa futures for March delivery retreated 1.3 percent to $2,328 a metric ton.

Cotton futures for March delivery slipped 0.1 percent to 75.83 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery tumbled 2.8 percent to $1.3805 a pound, snapping an eight-session rally.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery increased 0.1 percent to 19.25 cents a pound.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures fell to the lowest since August after a report showed the U.S. economy grew more than forecast last quarter, damping expectations that the Federal Reserve will expand monetary stimulus.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for February delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $1,645.90 an ounce, after touching $1,636, the lowest since Aug. 21.

Silver futures for March delivery tumbled 4.6 percent to $29.678 an ounce, the biggest loss since June. Earlier, the metal touched $29.635, the lowest since Aug. 22.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for January delivery retreated 2.9 percent to $1,546.20 an ounce, a fourth straight decline.

Palladium futures for March delivery lost 2.6 percent to $680.25 an ounce, the biggest drop since Oct. 23.

BASE METALS

Copper futures fell for a fourth day in New York, capping the longest string of declines since October, as signs that U.S. budget talks are faltering dimmed prospects for economic growth and metals demand.

On the Comex, copper futures for March delivery dropped 1.9 percent to $3.536 a pound, after touching $3.523, the lowest since Nov. 28. The metal hasn’t fallen for four straight sessions since Oct. 29.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slumped 2 percent to $7,770 a ton ($3.52 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin also declined in London.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas climbed the most in two weeks after a government report showed U.S. stockpiles fell more than expected last week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for January delivery surged 4.3 percent to $3.462 per million British thermal units, the biggest gain since Dec. 5.

U.K. gas for next-month delivery traded near the lowest level this month as forecasters predicted warmer-than-normal weather, cutting demand for the heating fuel.

Gas for January lost 0.3 pence to 66.65 pence a therm at 4:18 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $10.84 per million Btu.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil rose for a fifth session, the longest stretch of gains since September, as better-than-projected economic growth in the U.S. countered concern that American budget negotiations will fail.

On the Nymex, oil futures for February delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $90.13 a barrel.

Brent oil for February settlement slid 0.1 percent to $110.20 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Statoil ASA (STL) bought a cargo of North Sea Forties crude at a lower price than the previous trade. Glencore International Plc (GLEN) sold Russian Urals grade at a smaller discount than the last deal.

Nigeria plans to boost crude exports in February to the highest level in six months as Africa’s largest oil producer continues to recover from floods and halts in output, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil gained in New York amid forecasts of cooler weather and as inventories remain below the 10-year average.

On the Nymex, heating-oil futures for January delivery rose 0.7 percent to $3.0575 a gallon.

Gasoline futures for January delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $2.7543 a gallon.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures fell from a record on speculation that high U.S. prices will curb consumer demand for beef.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for February delivery slumped 0.6 percent to $1.335 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.345, matching yesterday’s record.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slid 0.6 percent to $1.5485 a pound.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.1 percent to 86.45 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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