Investments in commodity markets continued to be affected by on-going macroeconomic concerns, especially by a potentially hard landing in China and problems in the Euro-zone, despite the possible recovery of the US economy. Softening base metal demand in China also contributed to this outcome.
Total open interest volume (OIV) in major commodity markets in the US declined by 2.9% m-o m to 8,538,909 contracts in May, compared to a 4% gain during the previous month. This was the first drop registered in the current year on a monthly basis which affected most of the markets. Total net long speculative positions fell by 22.5% m-o-m to 608,222 contracts, compared with an 18% loss the previous month. The result was a combination of a 6.8% m-o-m fall in longs and a 6.3% m-o-m rise in shorts. The outflow in net money positions at the US CFTC took place across all markets.
Agricultural OIV declined 3.8% m-o-m to 4,453,692 contracts in May, compared to a 7.4% gain in April. Money managers’ net long positions in agricultural markets decreased 25.7% m-o-m to 405,549 contracts in May, compared to a 8.2% drop during the previous month, the result of a 15% m-o-m increase in short positions amid a 7.4% loss in long positions.
The HH natural gas OIV decreased 3.5% m-o-m to 1,224,835 contracts in May, compared to a 3.3% rise a month earlier. Net long positions increased 29.7% m-o-m compared to a 2.2% drop in April, as short positions declined more than longs.
Copper OIV declined 5.6% m-o-m to 147,128 contracts in May, compared to a decrease of 2.2% in the previous month. Net long positions dropped 19.1% m-o-m to 5,258 contracts in May, compared with a stronger 56.4% a month earlier.
Gold OIV posted a 5% m-o-m gain to 421,512 contracts in May, compared with a 7.4% drop a month earlier. Tactical investments in gold tumbled 20% m-o-m to 85,540 contracts. This was due to a 124% m-o-m jump in short positions compared to a 4.5% in longs.