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Note: Using the z-score in the tables below as a coefficient of variation for standard error helps us flag the relative market positioning of the commodities in the CRB Index. It is not intended as a predictive signal for the reversion to trailing twelve month historical averages. For week-end price data, please refer to “Commodities: Weekly Quant” published at the end of the previous week. Feel free to ping us for additional color.    


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1.       CFTC Net Futures and Options Positioning CRB Index: The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) releases “Commitments of Traders Reports” at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday. The release usually includes data from the previous Tuesday (Net Positions as of Tuesday Close), and includes the net positions of “non-commercial” futures and options participants. A “Non-Commercial” market participant is defined as a “speculator.” We observe the weekly marginal changes in the overall positioning of “non-commercial” futures and options positions to assess the directionally-biased capitulation risk among those with large, speculative positions.

  • The SUGAR, HEATING OIL, AND SILVER markets experienced the most BULLISH relative positioning changes week-over-week
  • The WHEAT, COTTON, AND ORANGE JUICE markets experienced the most BEARISH relative positioning changes week-over-week

Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart1 sentiment

2.       Spot – Second Month Basis Differential: Measures the market expectation for forward looking prices in the near-term.

  • The RBOB GASOLINE, BRENT CRUDE, AND CORN markets are positioned for HIGHER PRICES near-term
  • The HEATING OIL, LIVE CATTLE, AND COCOA markets are positioned for LOWER PRICES near-term

Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart2 spot 2nd month basis

3.       Spot – 1 Year Basis Differential: Measures the market expectation for forward-looking prices between spot and the respective contract expiring 1-year later.

  • The BRENT CRUDE, NATURAL GAS, AND WTI CRUDE markets are positioned for HIGHER PRICES in 1-year  
  • The LEAN HOGS, LIVE CATTLE, AND COCOA markets are positioned for LOWER PRICES in 1-year  

Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart3 spot 1 yr basis

4.       Open Interest: Aggregate open interest measures the amount of opened positions in all actively traded futures contract months. Open interest can be thought of as “naked” or “directionally-biased” contracts as opposed to hedgers scalping and providing liquidity. Most of the open interest is created from large speculators or participants who are either: 1) Producers/sellers of the physical commodity hedging their cash market exposure or 2) Large speculators who are directionally-biased on price.


Commodities Weekly Sentiment Tracker - chart4 open interest

Ben Ryan

Analyst