COT: Broad commodity selling led by metals and agriculture COT: Broad commodity selling led by metals and agriculture COT: Broad commodity selling led by metals and agriculture

COT: Broad commodity selling led by metals and agriculture

Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  Futures positions and changes made by hedge funds across commodities, forex, bonds and stock indices up until last Tuesday, September 7. A week where the S&P 500 showed signs of running out of steam, the dollar traded unchanged after having dipped to a one-month low while Treasury yields rose ahead of fresh supply. The Bloomberg Commodity index traded softer with broad losses, especially across metals and agriculture being only partly off-set by post-Hurricane Ida gains in fuel and natural gas.

Saxo Bank publishes 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.

This summary highlights futures positions and changes made by hedge funds across commodities, forex and financials up until last Tuesday, September 7. A week that saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq hit a fresh record while the S&P 500 showed signs of running out of steam in response to a slowing macro environment, not least following a surprisingly soft US payrolls report.

The dollar traded unchanged after having dipped to a one-month low following the weak jobs report. In bonds, 10-year Treasury yields rose 6 basis point ahead of a bumper auction to challenge key resistance 1.38%. The Bloomberg Commodity index traded softer with broad losses, especially across metals and agriculture being only partly off-set by post-Hurricane Ida gains in fuel and natural gas.


A challenging week for most sectors, apart from energy, helped drive a 4% reduction in the speculative length held by funds across 24 major futures contracts. The reduction reduced the net long to 2 million lots, the lowest level since last November.  Once again, the agriculture sector led by grains suffered the biggest amount of selling while investment metals traded mixed with rising Treasury yields and a recovering dollar hurting gold. The energy sector received a boost from Hurricane Ida with supply disruptions supporting fuel products as well as natural gas.

Energy: Speculators actions during a holiday-shortened reporting week were primarily dictated by the impact of Hurricane Ida which forced a sharp reduction in output of crude oil and gas from platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Onshore the hurricane slammed into the Louisiana coastline, causing widespread disruptions to refineries through flooding and power cuts.

During the reporting week, the impact on crude oil was limited with production cuts being offset by lower demand from refineries. Speculators responded to these developments by adding only a small amount of length, primarily in Brent where 5.5k lots of net buying was driven by short-covering. The buying interest instead turned to fuel products, and not least natural gas where the risk of an already tight market turning even more tight helped boost both the price and the speculative interest.

LatestCrude Oil (OILUSOCT21 & OILUKNOV21) trades near the top of its recent range in response to a very slow recovery in US production following Hurricane Ida, and after Vitol said Asian demand would ‘come roaring back’ in Q4. Almost half the crude production from the US Gulf of Mexico has yet to be restarted with the loss of barrels so far exceeding 30 million. In Brent, a break above $73.7/b could see it challenge the July 29 high at $76.15/b next, while support remains the 21-day moving average at $71/b. Focus this week on monthly oil market reports from OPECtoday and the IEA on Tuesday. 

Metals: Gold’s sixth rejection above $1830 since July combined with a recovering dollar and rising bond yields, helped drive a 16% reduction in the speculative length to 83.5k lots. Silver, which managed to break higher, was bought for a third week with funds increasing the net long by 44% to 17.9k lots. Platinum remains one of the few contracts, apart from soybean meal, where funds hold a net short position. During the week it was increased by 31% to 7.1k lots as the metal was dragged lower by palladium which dropped to a one-year low.

HG copper weakness during the reporting week failed to attract any fresh selling with the price stuck in a range before Friday’s spike to a one-month high above $4.4/lb.

Agriculture: The grains market saw heavy selling of all three crops on a combination of pre-WASDE adjustments and Hurricane Ida disrupting exports, just as the harvest was about the begin. Overall the sector long was cut by 20% to 364k lots with the soybean long slumping to a 13 month low at 57.5k lots while the biggest change in terms of lots was corn which saw a43.6k lots reduction.

The softs sector was mixed with selling of sugar and coffee, while cocoa and cotton were bought. Buying of the latter extended into a 14th week with the net long reaching the highest level since May 2018.

Latest: Grains witnessed a very volatile Friday following the release of the monthly WASDE report from the US Department of Agriculture. The headline numbers, showing a bigger-than-expected rise in corn and soybean stockpiles, initially sent prices lower before recovering strongly in response to the agency boosting its forecast for exports,and the fact most of the findings had already been accounted for by the recent selloffs. Corn (CORNDEC21) led the turnaround, jumping 5.3% before settling higher by just 1.5%. 


A mixed bag of flows saw strong buying of euros (15.8k), mostly due to short covering, and NZD (6k) more than offset selling of most other currencies, most noticeable sterling (-9.6k) and AUD (-10.4k). The net result being a small 4% reduction in the dollar long against ten IMM currency futures and the Dollar index to $12.3 billion.

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



The Saxo 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 is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. 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 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 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 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 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 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 (

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo 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 or its affiliates.

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited
19th Floor
Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower
12 Queen’s Road Central
Hong Kong

Contact Saxo

Select region

Hong Kong S.A.R
Hong Kong S.A.R

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited (“Saxo”) is a company authorised and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Saxo holds a Type 1 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Securities); Type 2 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Futures Contract); Type 3 Regulated Activity (Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading); Type 4 Regulated Activity (Advising on Securities) and Type 9 Regulated Activity (Asset Management) licenses (CE No. AVD061). Registered address: 19th Floor, Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower, 12 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.

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. Trading in leveraged products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. Please click here to view the relevant risk disclosure statements.

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

The information or the products and services referred to on this site 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 are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity residing in the United States and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

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