080419 Libya M 080419 Libya M 080419 Libya M

COT: Oil bulls firmly in control before Libya lift

Commodities 5 minutes to read
Picture of Ole Hansen
Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  Gold and silver were sold off heavily in the week ending March 19 while oil bulls continued their rampage, boosted by the latest outbreak of rebellion in Libya.

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.

To download your copy of the Commitment of Traders: Commodity report for the week ending March 19, click here 

Hedge funds sold commodities for the first time in four weeks during the week to April 2. The 85k contract reduction in the net-long to 537k was driven by heavy selling of gold and silver as the risk-on rally in stocks continued. The USDA acreage report triggered renewed selling of corn and soybeans while short-covering supported sugar and cocoa.

080419 WTI crude
Non-stop buying of crude oil extended to a sixth week with the combined net-long in Brent (+27k contracts) and WTI (+7k) reaching 593k lots, the highest since last October. 
080419 1000 lots
Renewed fighting in Libya, this time close to the Tripoli, has seen Brent crude break above $70/b. It raises the risk of a civil war between numerous militias, some supported by foreign governments. Libya’s production reached 1.1 million barrels/day last month according to a Bloomberg survey. While its oilfields are located far from Tripoli it nevertheless raises the temperature a few more notches. Not least given ongoing production cuts from Opec and Russia together with the sharp reductions due to crisis and sanctions from Venezuela and Iran. All in all it has created a very lonely place for the those looking for lower prices, especially President Trump who is now faced with the highest seasonal cost of US gasoline since 2014. 
080419 Libyas roller coaster
Gold and silver’s appeal faded again in response to rising stocks, bond yields and the dollar. As the price of gold dropped back below $1,300/oz the net-long in gold was cut in half to just 39k contracts, a ten-week low, while the out of favour silver saw a return to a net-short for the first time in four months. 
080419 Comex
The net-long in platinum held steady before an alignment of fundamentals and technical developments drove it sharply higher. Copper’s current range bound trading behavior has led to a neutral stance among funds. 

The grain sector saw renewed selling in the aftermath the USDA’s March 29 acreage and stock reports. Not least corn which at 247k contracts remains by far the most shorted grain contract at this stage. Ahead of the important planting and growing season the combined net-short across the three major crops of corn, soybeans and wheat has never been higher for this time of year. 
080419 CBOT corn
A 5% jump in the price of cocoa on dry conditions in the Ivory Coast helped trigger a 27% reduction in the net-short position. Continued short-covering has seen it rise 11 consecutive days up until Friday. The continued surge in Lean hog prices on the back of strong Chinese demand for US pork, supported a 52% jump in the net-long to 37k contracts. Some 2k below the recent peak from last November.

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 (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)
Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)
Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/legal/saxoselect-disclaimer/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.