Chicago: Oil soared to a record high above $124 a barrel on Thursday fueled by strong demand for diesel, while corn also peaked as delays in seeding the U.S. crop raised concerns over supply prospect.
Gold rose more than 1% as the dollar fell from two-month highs against the euro, while rice surged as Malaysia bought a large amount of the grain from Thailand and as cyclone hit Myanmar was likely to turn from exporter to importer.
Oil recouped early losses and surged to an all-time high of $124.61 a barrel in post-settlement electronic trading, lifted by strong demand for middle distillates, including diesel.
A recent strike at Britain’s Grangemouth refinery and production problems at the Porvoo refinery diesel unit in Finland have thinned supplies.
Prices were down earlier as top oil exporter Saudi Arabia booked eight supertankers to carry 16 million barrels of crude to the United States in May and early June, the highest number of cargoes so far this year.
Oil prices have surged five-fold since 2002, as supply struggles to match growing demand in emerging economies such as China and India. Goldman Sachs this week forecast prices could rise to $200 a barrel in the next two years.
Oil was up 72 cents at $124.25 a barrel at 4:57 p.m. EDT (2057 GMT). Corn futures at the Chicago Board of Trade rallied to record highs amid growing concerns over delays in seeding the crop in the United States due to rains and soggy fields.
The United States is the world’s largest producer and exporter of corn, which is used primarily to produce animal feed but large amounts of which are now used to make ethanol.