COT: Spec long falls to 18-month low on trade, EM fears COT: Spec long falls to 18-month low on trade, EM fears COT: Spec long falls to 18-month low on trade, EM fears

COT: Spec long falls to 18-month low on trade, EM fears

Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

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: Commodities report for the week ending September 4, click here

Hedge funds cut bullish commodity bets by 5% to 880,000 lots, an 18-month low, in the week to September 4. Trade war, Iran sanctions, and EM worries remained some of the key drivers weighing on sentiment. The energy sector stood out with the Iran sanctions threat to supplies helping drive oil higher. Metals were sold amid worries about global demand while grains were sold ahead of the expected arrival of a huge US crop. Soft commodities were mixed with the weak BRL continuing to attract selling of sugar and coffee.

Fund positioning
Source: CFTC, ICE, Bloomberg, and Saxo Bank

Crude oil and products were bought for a second week as the Iranian sanctions-linked threat to supplies helped override the risk to growth and demand from the current EM slowdown. Interestingly enough, both long and short positions were added with the latter initially being rewarded following Brent’s failure to break above $80/barrel.

Crude oil
Source: Bloomberg, Saxo Bank

Gold was sold again with the net-short hitting a record 79,000 lots. The change was driven by long liquidation after it failed to hold onto recent gains above $1,200/oz. Last Friday’s strong job report and jump in wages did nothing to support sentiment. For now though the focus remains on the dollar and not least the yuan which is showing renewed weakness (gold negative) ahead of the expected announcement of additional US tariffs on Chinese imports.

Silver was aggressively sold with the net-short jumping by 38% to 47k lots, a new record, after being dragged lower by its link to industrial metals. This resulted in silver hitting a 2-1/2 low against the dollar and a 23-year low against gold. 

COMEX metals
Source: Bloomberg, Saxo Bank

HG copper was sold on worries about the robustness of the Chinese economy and the impact of its widening trade war with the US. These worries also saw platinum’s record short extend further with the price discount to gold hitting a record $420/oz. 

Fund positioning
Source: Bloomberg, Saxo Bank

All three major crops, led by soybeans, were sold with the combined net-short rising to 77,000 lots, not far from the five-year average for this time of year at -53,000 lots. The main drivers being expectations of a massive US crop, Chinese tariffs on US soybeans and easing worries about Russian export restrictions.

Agricultural commodities
Source: Bloomberg, Saxo Bank


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 (

40 Bank Street, 26th floor
E14 5DA
United Kingdom

Contact Saxo

Select region

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Trade Responsibly
All trading carries risk. 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
Additional Key Information Documents are available in our trading platform.

Saxo is a registered Trading Name of Saxo Capital Markets UK Ltd (‘Saxo’). Saxo is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number 551422. Registered address: 26th Floor, 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DA. Company number 7413871. Registered in England & Wales.

This website, including the information and materials contained in it, are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in the United States, Belgium or any other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to applicable law or regulation.

It is important that you understand that with investments, your capital is at risk. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. It is your responsibility to ensure that you make an informed decision about whether or not to invest with us. If you are still unsure if investing is right for you, please seek independent advice. Saxo assumes no liability for any loss sustained from trading in accordance with a recommendation.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

©   since 1992