The rebound in commodity prices in July contributed to easing the strong risk aversion seen the previous month. The total open interest volume (OIV) in major commodity markets in the US declined by 2.6% m-o-m to 7,960,514 contracts in July, the third consecutive drop since May. Although some commodity markets, notably agriculture, reached important price gains, as a whole investors remained cautious, due to the fragile global macroeconomic picture.
Total net long speculative positions surged by 80% m-o-m to 1,007,637 contracts in July, after a 10% decline the previous month. Long positions increased by 9% m-o-m, which, combined with a massive drop of 32.8% m-o-m, resulted in net length, as a percentage of OIV, to rise from 6.9% in June to 12.7% in July. Following the price revival, the bulk of strategic investment was focused on agriculture.
The agricultural OIV decreased by 1.6% m-o-m to 4,292,581 contracts in July, after a 2% fall the previous month. Money managers’ net long positions in agricultural markets jumped by over 100% m-o-m to 739,597 contracts in July, owing to recent price gains, especially in grains, soybeans and sugar. Short positions plummeted by 47.6% m-o-m, while longs rose by 16.7%.
The HH natural gas OIV dropped by a further 4.9% m-o-m to 1,119,940 contracts in July, after a 3.8% drop the previous month. Money managers’ net positions increased by 127% m-o-m to 17,958 contracts, due to a rise of 5% in long positions and a decrease of 28% in shorts. Investors were encouraged by price gains due to extremely hot weather.
The copper OIV declined by 7.5% m-o-m to 138,610 contracts in July, following a 1.9% gain in June. Money managers’ net long positions were up 65% m-o-m to minus 4,526 lots. While short positions declined by 12.8% m-o-m, longs increased by 11% m-o-m. The gold OIV rose by 1% m-o-m to 421,988 contracts in July. Strategic investment in gold fell by 8% m-o-m to 79,706 contracts. Short positions declined by 7.5% m-o-m, while long positions fell 8% m-o-m.