The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities declined 0.9 percent to 642.42 by 5:02 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down 0.9 percent to 1,535.074.
Cocoa futures dropped to the lowest in more than eight months on concern that a faltering European economy will soften demand from the world’s biggest consumer. Sugar, orange juice, coffee and cotton also fell.
Cocoa for May delivery fell 2.3 percent to $2,085 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest drop since Feb. 11. Earlier, the price touched $2,081, the lowest since June 4.
Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for May delivery retreated 2.2 percent to 17.99 cents a pound.
Orange-juice futures for May delivery tumbled 5.1 percent to $1.213 a pound on ICE, heading for the biggest loss this year. Earlier, prices dropped as much as 6.1 percent.
Coffee futures for May delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $1.429 a pound in New York, while cotton futures for delivery in May lost 0.6 percent to 84.79 cents a pound.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Soybean futures fell in Chicago for the first time in three days on speculation an accelerating harvest in South America will leave ample global supplies. Wheat rose 0.9 percent.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.7 percent to $14.415 a bushel at 10:22 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for a 0.1 percent decline for the week. The USDA predicted Feb. 22 that this year’s domestic harvest will rebound to a record 3.405 billion bushels, up 13 percent from a year earlier when crops were hurt by drought.
Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $7.175 a bushel on the CBOT. Prices still are heading for the sixth consecutive weekly decline as prospects improved for drought- damaged crops in the U.S. Great Plains.
Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to $7.0675 a bushel in Chicago, up 3.3 percent for the week, the most in seven weeks.
Grains markets: NI GRMKTS
Gold rose for the first time in three days as sagging manufacturing in China and slumping U.S. consumer incomes boosted demand for the metal as a haven. Silver rebounded from a six-month low.
Gold futures for April delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,580.10 an ounce at 10:01 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal declined 2.3 percent in the previous two days. In February, the price tumbled 5 percent, the fifth straight drop and the longest slump in 16 years.
Silver futures for May delivery gained 0.6 percent to $28.605 an ounce. Earlier, the price touched $27.925, the lowest since Aug. 16.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Gasoline declined, following the largest monthly slide since October, and crack spreads narrowed as U.S. federal spending cuts were set to take effect, threatening fuel demand.
April-delivery gasoline declined 3.72 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.0745 a gallon at 9:51 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 9.2 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 1.1 cents to $3.771 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices are up 15 percent this year.
Heating oil for April delivery fell 3.77 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $2.9226 a gallon on volume that was 0.2 percent below the 100-day average. Prices declined 5 percent last month, the biggest monthly drop since May.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Natural gas futures fluctuated in New York, amid forecasts of a possible late winter storm in the Northeast that may increase heating-fuel demand.
Natural gas for April delivery fell 0.4 cent to $3.482 per million British thermal units at 11:42 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading was 15 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices reached $3.486 yesterday, the highest settlement since Jan. 23. Futures are up 3.9 percent this year and 5.8 percent this week.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Copper and aluminum fell to three-month lows after manufacturing growth slowed in China, the world’s biggest industrial metals user.
Copper futures for delivery in May dropped 1.4 percent to $3.497 a pound at 10:04 a.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $3.4725, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 19. The metal yesterday closed below the 200-day moving average.
Trading was 66 percent higher than the average in the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.5 percent to $7,700.75 a metric ton ($3.49 a pound).
Aluminum slumped as much as 2.4 percent in London to $1,956 a ton, the lowest since Nov. 23. The metal has dropped for 10 days in a row, the longest streak since June.
Lead, zinc and tin were also lower in London. Nickel rose.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
West Texas Intermediate oil slipped to the lowest level this year as Chinese manufacturing expanded less than forecast and U.S. federal spending cuts were set to be triggered, bolstering concern that fuel demand will decline.
Crude oil for April delivery fell $1.02, or 1.1 percent, to $91.03 a barrel at 11:08 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $90.44, the lowest level since Dec. 31. The volume of all futures traded was little changed from the 100-day average. Prices are down 2.3 percent this week and dropped 6.4 percent last month, the first time since 2006 that the contract has declined in February.
Brent oil for April settlement dropped 77 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $110.61 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 65 percent above the 100-day average. The European benchmark grade traded at a premium of $19.58 to WTI, up from $19.33 yesterday.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
European Carbon Permits
European Union emission permits dropped 5.7 percent to 4.62 euros a metric ton.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
Cattle futures climbed to a three-week high on signs of increasing demand for U.S. beef and the outlook for tighter supplies. Hogs also rose.
Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1.30475 a pound at 9:48 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching $1.30725, the highest for the most- active contract since Feb. 8. The commodity dropped 2.2 percent in February, snapping a four-month rally.
Wholesale beef prices have climbed 1.8 percent this week to $1.8616 a pound yesterday, heading for the biggest weekly gain since Oct. 19, USDA data show.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement added 0.3 percent to $1.4845 a pound.
Hog futures for April settlement increased 0.8 percent to 81.675 cents a pound on the CME. Prices fell 9.3 percent last month, the biggest decline since July.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
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