COT: OPEC cuts triggered biggest buying spree since 2016 COT: OPEC cuts triggered biggest buying spree since 2016 COT: OPEC cuts triggered biggest buying spree since 2016

COT: OPEC cuts triggered biggest buying spree since 2016

Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  Our weekly Commitment of Traders update highlights future positions and changes made by hedge funds and other speculators across commodities and forex during the week to Tuesday, April 4. A week that saw a continued and broad recovery in risk appetite as the dollar softened and yields dropped. The Bloomberg Commodity Index meanwhile jumped 2.1% with broad gains being led by energy where the surprise OPEC+ production cut triggered the biggest buying spree of WTI and Brent crude oil futures since December 2016

Saxo Bank publishes weekly Commitment of Traders reports (COT) covering leveraged fund positions in commodities while in forex we use the broader measure called non-commercial.
What is the Commitments of Traders report?

The COT reports are issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the ICE Exchange Europe for Brent crude oil and gas oil. They are released every Friday after the U.S. close with data from the week ending the previous Tuesday. They break down the open interest in futures markets into different groups of users depending on the asset class.

Commodities: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User, Swap dealers, Managed Money and other
Financials: Dealer/Intermediary; Asset Manager/Institutional; Leveraged Funds and other
Forex: A broad breakdown between commercial and non-commercial (speculators)

The reasons why we focus primarily on the behavior of the highlighted groups are:

  • 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


Global Market Quick Take Europe
Saxo Market Call Daily Podcast

This summary highlights futures positions and changes made by hedge funds across commodities and forex during the week to last Tuesday, April 4. A week that saw a continued and broad recovery in risk appetite, led by a strong rally across the stock market. A softer dollar and lower bond yields also helped sentiment as markets continued to recover from the March banking crisis.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index meanwhile jumped 2.1% with broad gains being led by energy where the surprise OPEC+ production cut triggered the biggest buying spree of WTI and Brent crude oil futures since December 2016. A continued rally in precious metals saw silver jump more than 7% while gold managed a break above $2000. The grains sector saw strong buying of corn and soybeans while the Kansas RHW wheat contract received a boost from deteriorating crop conditions. Overall, the buying was driven by a handful of contracts, led by WTI and Brent crude oil, as well as soybeans, corn and gold. 

NOTE: Brent and Gasoil data is missing due to late reporting by the exchange.


Following weeks of aggressive selling of crude oil futures, in response to darkening recession clouds, as the banking crisis unfolded, hedge funds were forced back on the buy side after OPEC+ jolted the markets with a surprise production cut. In the week to April 4, and especially last Monday April 3, hedge funds turned aggressive buyers thereby boosting their net long by the biggest amount since November 2016. In Brent the buying of 73k contracts to 234k, split between 29k contracts of short covering and 44k contracts of fresh longs, was the second highest weekly addition of length on record. The WTI crude oil net long meanwhile received a 63k boost to 176k with bulk (45k contracts) being short covering. 

Since the initial jump following the OPEC+ production cut news, crude oil has traded within a very tight range, and the lack of follow-through buying after such an aggressive amount of buying has left the market at risk of a correction. Not least considering how the price spike last Monday left major gaps to fill down to $80 in Brent and $75.72 in WTI. 


It was another strong week for investment metals, led by a 7.2% jump in silver while gold gained a foothold around $2000. Hedge funds responded by adding gold length for a fourth consecutive week, resulting in the net reaching a one-year high at 145k contracts. Silver, meanwhile, late to the game, saw its net long jump 80% to 12k lots to 19.5k contracts, still below the recent peak at 30k contracts from late December. Platinum with its discount to gold still hovering around 1000 dollars saw its net long rise three-fold to 8.8k contracts, still some 64% below the January peak at 24k. 

Copper length meanwhile was cut by one-third to just 4k contracts, primarily driven by a 4.6k contract increase in the gross short. The green transition metal has been in downtrend since January with global demand worries more than offsetting falling stocks.


Funds turned net buyers of the grain sector for the first time in seven weeks, during which time the net long across six grain and soy contracts were cut by 85% to a 2-1/2-year low at 80k contracts. Buying last week was led by soybeans (+46k) and corn (35k), the latter flipping back to a small net long of 21.5k contracts, a small change compared with the 380k contract long seen this time last year. Wheat buying was concentrated in the Kansas HRW contract with drought across key winter growing areas hurting the crop outlook, and in the process driving the Kansas premium over Chicago to a record 195 cents per bushel. 

Broad fund buying of softs saw the sugar long rising by 5.6% to 216k contracts while the cocoa long reached a fresh three-year high at 51.5k contracts. Short covering reduced the cotton short by 26% to 6.2k contracts while coffee length was cut by 20% to a three-week low at 9.7k contracts. 


In forex, the broad dollar weakness seen during the week had a limited impact on the overall dollar short versus nine IMM currency futures, with buying of GBP, AUD and NZD being partly offset by selling of EUR, CHF and JPY. Also important to note that the gross $6 billion dollar short is exclusively being supported by a $19.7bn equivalent long in EUR, with short positions held across most of the others, led by JPY ($5.5bn), CAD ($4.4bn) and AUD ($1.8bn)


Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, 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. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such 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.

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments.Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Capital Markets or its affiliates.

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

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited
Suite 1, Level 14, 9 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

Contact Saxo

Select region


The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. The Target Market Determination should assist you in determining whether any of the products or services we offer are likely to be consistent with your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.

Please click here to view our full disclaimer.