COT: Wheat short jumps ahead of latest Ukraine supply worry COT: Wheat short jumps ahead of latest Ukraine supply worry COT: Wheat short jumps ahead of latest Ukraine supply worry

COT: Wheat short jumps ahead of latest Ukraine supply worry

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, October 25. A week where financial markets received a boost from speculation the Fed was considering a pause. The dollar traded softer with commodities predominantly trading in the black with exceptions being soft commodities and not least wheat where short selling accelerated just ahead of today's price spike on renewed Ukraine supply worries

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.
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


Financial Markets Daily Quick Take
Saxo Market Call Daily Podcast

This summary highlights futures positions and changes made by hedge funds across commodities and forex during the week to Tuesday, October 25. A week where financial markets received a boost from speculation the Fed was considering a pause to assess to the economic impact of already implemented rate hikes and quantitative tightening measures. Both the S&P and especially the Nasdaq traded higher ahead of earnings from the big technology companies while bond yields climbed and the dollar traded softer. Commodities traded predominantly in the black led by energy and industrial metals with heavy and continued selling of softs and wheat being the main outliers.


The Bloomberg Commodity index traded up 1% on the week with strength in crude oil and industrial related metals attracting fresh buying from speculators. Overall, however, the combined net long held by money managers across the 24 major commodity futures tracked in this report remains relatively low at 1 million contracts compared with 2.2 million around the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A slump that has been driven by the current lack of trends and strong momentum across many commodities, as well as concerns about the short-term outlook as the markets continue to focus on a slowing global economy. 

Biggest changes made by funds this past were buying of crude oil, soybean meal and corn, as well as cattle and hogs while sellers concentrated their efforts in gold, wheat, sugar and cocoa.


Speculators maintained a relative low conviction rate regarding the short term direction of crude oil with the 4% rally during the reporting week only attracting 34k lots of net buying, thereby only part reversing the 57k lots that was net sold in the previous week. Selling of natural gas continued during the reporting week with the front month contract briefly dipping below $5/MMBtu. The result being another small increase in the net short held across four Henry Hub related futures and swap contracts to -86k lots, a 31-month high. 


Gold, trading unchanged on the week, nevertheless saw increased short selling in response to another and failed attempt to break below $1615 suppor. As a result the net short jumped by 61% to 33k lots, just 8k lots below the near four-year high reached a few weeks ago. Silver, together with platinum and copper all saw net buying, not least platinum which during the past month has seen its discount to gold narrow by 100 dollars to around 700, the narrowest spread since July 2021. 


In grains, four weeks of net selling was almost reversed as buyers added soymeal and soy oil length amid price gains of 3.4% and 5.1% respectively. Together with additional buying of corn these more than offset continued selling of CBOT wheat driving the net short up by 63% to 36k lots, a 28-month high. The latest selling occurring during a week where global demand worries attracted more attention than a rapidly expanding drought situation across the US grain belt, and also before Russia over the weekend announced that they were pulling out of a deal that has allowed Ukrainian grain exports from Black Sea ports.

As a result wheat futures (ZWZ2) in Chicago surged as much as 7.7% to $8.93 on the Monday opening. Since the UN and Turkey supported grain corridor opened three months ago Ukraine has shipped more than 9 million tons of foodstuff and it has helped ease tight world supplies and control global food costs. Food exports from Ukraine also includes corn and sunflower oil and reduced supply of those has lifted corn futures (ZCZ2) in Chicago by 2.5% to trade near resistance at $7/bu and soybean oil futures by 1.8%.


Soft commodities witnessed another awful week with net selling hitting all four contracts, not least coffee and cotton, now down 33% and 45% respectively from their early 2022 peaks. The coffee net long was reduced by 75% to 3k lots, the lowest bullish conviction in almost two year primarily driven by an increase in the gross short position. A similar development was seen in cotton where global demand worries and another week of selling helped attract fresh short selling, resulting in the overall net long being cut by 40% to 13k lots, a 28-month low. 


In forex, flows remained mixed during a week that saw the dollar index trade softer by 1% after recently hitting a 20-year high. Overall the gross dollar long against nine IMM currency futures and the Dollar index rose by 5% to $15 billion, primarily driven by heavy JPY selling as the under siege currency dropped 2.3% towards the important 150 level. Elsewhere, a recovering Sterling saw net selling driven by a combination of gross longs being reduced and fresh short selling. The euro net long reached a four month high at 48k lots on a combination of fresh longs and reduced short participation. Since late August speculators have net bought €12 billion after flipping their euro exposure from a 48k lots short to a 48k lots long.

Quarterly Outlook 2024 Q3

Sandcastle economics

01 / 05

  • Macro: Sandcastle economics

    Invest wisely in Q3 2024: Discover SaxoStrats' insights on navigating a stable yet fragile global economy.

    Read article
  • Bonds: What to do until inflation stabilises

    Discover strategies for managing bonds as US and European yields remain rangebound due to uncertain inflation and evolving monetary policies.

    Read article
  • Equities: Are we blowing bubbles again

    Explore key trends and opportunities in European equities and electrification theme as market dynamics echo 2021's rally.

    Read article
  • FX: Risk-on currencies to surge against havens

    Explore the outlook for USD, AUD, NZD, and EM carry trades as risk-on currencies are set to outperform in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • Commodities: Energy and grains in focus as metals pause

    Energy and grains to shine as metals pause. Discover key trends and market drivers for commodities in Q3 2024.

    Read article

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 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 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 (

Business Hills Park – Building 4,
4th Floor, office 401, Dubai Hills Estate, P.O. Box 33641, Dubai, UAE

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

Saxo Bank A/S is licensed by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority and operates in the UAE under a representative office license issued by the Central bank of the UAE.

The content and material made available on this website and the linked sites are provided by Saxo Bank A/S. It is the sole responsibility of the recipient to ascertain the terms of and comply with any local laws or regulation to which they are subject.

The UAE Representative Office of Saxo Bank A/S markets the Saxo Bank A/S trading platform and the products offered by Saxo Bank A/S.