COT: Gold long hits record; Cocoa and sugar shorts getting squeezed COT: Gold long hits record; Cocoa and sugar shorts getting squeezed COT: Gold long hits record; Cocoa and sugar shorts getting squeezed

COT: Gold long hits record; Cocoa and sugar shorts getting squeezed

Picture of Ole Hansen
Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  Hedge funds were buyers of key commodities for a third week with the biggest changes seen in cocoa, feeder cattle and not least gold which reached a fresh record long.

Saxo Bank publishes two weekly Commitment of Traders reports (COT) covering leveraged fund positions in commodities, bonds and stock index futures. For IMM currency futures and the VIX, we use the broader measure called non-commercial.

Hedge funds bought commodities for a third week with the combined long across 24 major futures contracts reaching 353k lots, from a record low of 38k just three weeks ago. During this time all three sectors have seen net-buying with short-covering in natural gas being the main contributor. 

Biggest movers on a relative scale last week were buying of cocoa, feeder cattle and gold. The latter reached a new record of 292k lots with the additional buying of 30k lots representing a notional value of $4.6 billion.


Both crude oil contacts were sold as the risk premium following the Saudi Aramco attacks continued to deflate and the focus returned to the trade war and the risk to global growth and demand. The combined net-long in WTI and Brent dropped below pre-attack levels to 468k lots. Biggest change was a one-third jump in WTI short selling.


Gold’s (failed) breakout last Tuesday helped attract a record open interest in COMEX futures and a 30k lots jump in the speculative net-long to a new record of 292k lots. The subsequent failure to hold onto those gains as the dollar rallied sent it looking for support once again at the key $1485/oz. level.

Silver was sold despite finishing the reporting week 2.7% higher. The net-long was cut to a five-week low with two major corrections during September having sapped demand for this volatile and sometimes low liquidity contract.


The agriculture sector witnessed another week of short covering which primarily benefited soybeans, corn, sugar and cocoa. The net position in cocoa flipped to a small net-long in response to a 14% rally in recent weeks amid signs of ebbing supplies from Ivory Coast and Ghana. A record short position in sugar was squeezed as the sweetener broke higher in anticipation of lower production due to recent flooding in one of India’s key growing regions.

What is the Commitments of Traders report?

The Commitments of Traders (COT) report is issued by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) every Friday at 15:30 EST with data from the week ending the previous Tuesday. The report breaks down the open interest across major futures markets from bonds, stock index, currencies and commodities. The ICE Futures Europe Exchange issues a similar report, also on Fridays, covering Brent crude oil and gas oil.

In commodities, the open interest is broken into the following categories: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User; Swap Dealers; Managed Money and other.

In financials the categories are Dealer/Intermediary; Asset Manager/Institutional; Managed Money and other.

Our focus is primarily on the behaviour of Managed Money traders such as commodity trading advisors (CTA), commodity pool operators (CPO), and unregistered funds.

They are likely to have tight stops and no underlying exposure that is being hedged. This makes them most reactive to changes in fundamental or technical price developments. It provides views about major trends but also helps to decipher when a reversal is looming.


The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website. This content is not intended to and does not change or expand on the execution-only service. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Bank Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Bank Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Bank Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
Full disclaimer (
Full disclaimer (

Saxo Bank A/S (Headquarters)
Philip Heymans Alle 15

Contact Saxo

Select region


Trade responsibly
All trading carries risk. Read more. To help you understand the risks involved we have put together a series of Key Information Documents (KIDs) highlighting the risks and rewards related to each product. Read more

This website can be accessed worldwide however the information on the website is related to Saxo Bank A/S and is not specific to any entity of Saxo Bank Group. All clients will directly engage with Saxo Bank A/S and all client agreements will be entered into with Saxo Bank A/S and thus governed by Danish Law.

Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the US and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.