We have spent a good portion of this week discussing Precious Metal basket and more specifically Silver based ETPs, and today we change the channel to a quick analysis of “Base Metals” funds.
DBB (PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund, Expense Ratio 0.78%) is the forerunner in the space and in the greater “Industrial Metals” ETP category, with about $318 million in assets under management.
Currently the ETF has positions via futures in Copper, Zinc, and Aluminum for example and has risen impressively since its lows of Mid-March to land at present levels. Volume has been low however in the fund throughout this time period, as it appears this category of “Base Metals” simply has not caught on yet with the majority of retail and institutional ETF users.
In fact, there is a steep drop-off in fund asset levels after DBB, as the next biggest fund in the category is an ETN that is devoted to a single base metal, copper, this being JJC (iPath DJ-UBS Copper Total Return Sub-Index ETN, Expense Ratio 0.75%) which has only about $82 million in assets under management.
Next in line would be RJZ (ELEMENTS Rogers International Commodity Metal ETN, Expense Ratio 0.75%) which has been around since 2007, but is likely not a familiar name outside of a few institutional holders whom use the product and have positions in it.