Sat, Jul 23, 2016
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Opalesque Futures Intelligence

Index Tracker: Commodity Index Investing Data: Dramatic Growth in Gold and Agriculturals.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Commodity Index Growth
By Chidem Kurdas

There has been dramatic growth in index-related commodity investments over the past two years. In particular, investments in gold and certain agricultural commodities like corn have expanded substantially, as the table below shows.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission collects information on index investing in commodity markets. For this purpose, the investors include index funds, swap dealers, pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds. Exchange-traded funds and exchange traded notes are  part of the index activity.

These participants use both direct investments in futures markets and indirect investments through over-the-counter swap agreements with financial firms. The CFTC obtains information about both activities. For OTC agreements, the Commission uses "special call" requests for details of firms' market positions in physical commodity futures.

The data below is the notional value of futures contracts for all US markets with more than $0.5 billion of reported net notional value of index investment at the end of any one month.

Index Investment Growth

 Notional Value of Futures Contracts, Net billions of $

  Feb. 28, '11 Dec.31, '10 Dec.31. '09 Dec. 31, ‘08
Total, US and Non-US  232.7 211.1 159.9 82.2
Selected US Futures: 47.3 41.7  36.4 20.1
WT1 Crude Oil        
Gold  16.7 14.9 8.4 6.1
Natural Gas 16.5 14.6 14.7 7.1
Corn 15.6 13.8 6.9 5.0

SOURCE: Commodity Futures Trading Commission, various reports

Gold  is an outstanding example. Index-related gold futures activity - as defined above - fell from 2007 to 2008, reflecting the unusual circumstances at the time. By the end of 2009, conditions were more normal. From then to the time of the latest data release  at the end of February 2011, the notional value of gold contracts approximately doubled.

This year gold futures have been the largest sector  after crude oil, whereas in the past other commodities like natural gas drew far more activity than gold.

For a discussion of possible adverse effects from the inflow of capital into futures markets, see this issue's Inside Talk with Mack Frankfurter.



 
This article was published in Opalesque Futures Intelligence.
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Opalesque Exclusive: California-based manager launches long/short equity hedge fund with unique algorithm[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London for New Managers: SJL Capital LLC, an investment advisory firm based in California, has launched its maiden fund, the SJL MarketDNA Hedge Fund LP. The fund, which began trading

  2. Manny Roman to move from Man to Pimco[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London: Emmanuel (Manny) Roman, an investment world veteran, has been hired by PIMCO, the large US bond fund house, as chief executive officer. PIMCO's current CEO Douglas Hodge will assume a new role as managing director and senior advisor when Roman joins P

  3. Europe - European hedge funds shrink and shutter as turmoil hurts returns, Investors go bargain-hunting for U.K. property after Brexit vote, Brexit: Guidance for fund directors - what to know and what to ask[more]

    European hedge funds shrink and shutter as turmoil hurts returns From Bloomberg.com: Europe’s hedge-fund industry contracted for a sixth straight quarter as the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union and concerns that China’s growth is slowing caused losses and forced some money man

  4. Platinum Partners starts liquidation of hedge funds following municipal union kickback scandal[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: Platinum Partners, the hedge fund in the middle of a New York City municipal union kickback investigation, is reported to be liquidating two of its funds, the New

  5. SWFs - Abu Dhabi wealth fund says long-term investment gains fell[more]

    From Bloomberg.com: The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, said its long-term gains dropped in 2015. The fund’s 20-year annual rate of return slowed to 6.5 percent at the end of 2015, from 7.4 percent a year earlier, it said in its annual review. Over