Commodities’ July Recovery Offsets June Losses | ETF Trends

By Roland Morris
Portfolio Manager and Strategist, Commodities

After a pullback in June, commodities recovered in late July driven by the energy and livestock sectors.

Macro Outlook: Downgraded Economic Growth Expectations Reduced Commodity Demands

July was a mixed month for commodities after the sharp pull back in June. The decline, which continued in early July, revealed the downgrade of investors’ economic growth expectations. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s commitment to aggressively raising interest rates in order to control inflation reduced commodity demand forecasts.

Year to date returns for commodity index products, as well as roll yields, are still very positive due to the steep backwardation of the forward price curves, especially in the energy sector.

CMCI Roll Yield is Still Positive Despite Q2 Setbacks

CMCI Roll Yield is Still Positive Despite Q2 Setbacks

Source: VanEck, Bloomberg. Data from 12/31/21 – 7/31/22. Roll yield refers to the profit or loss that can be generated when investing in the futures market due to the price difference between futures contracts with different expiration dates. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Index & Sector Review: Energy Driven by Rally in Natural Gas Prices

The energy sector led during the month of July, providing almost all of the positive performance due to a strong rally in natural gas prices. Heat waves in Europe and the U.S. caused drawdowns in natural gas inventory. Russia continued to manipulate the sector with the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline into Europe. They initially reduced the flow down to 40% of its normal supply and then closed the pipeline for normal maintenance, leading to fears that it would remain closed. They then opened it back up to 40%, only to turn it down to 20% a few days later. Russia has clearly started to use energy as a weapon against the NATO alliance.

The livestock sector was also strong in late July. The heat wave from late June into early July in the lower Midwest U.S. killed cattle, quickly reducing supply. However, both cattle and hogs rallied into the month end.

The industrial metals sector was unchanged for the month after a sharp decline in June as the Chinese economy continued to underperform.

The agriculture sector prices declined for most of July, finishing down for the month due to improved growing conditions in the upper Midwest U.S. Precious metals also declined as U.S. real interest rates rose and the U.S. dollar made new highs for the year in July.

The UBS Constant Maturity Commodity Index (CMCI) underperformed the Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) by approximately 4% in July. The underperformance was almost entirely due to BCOM’s larger natural gas exposure relative to CMCI. CMCI made its low for the correction in mid-July and recovered into month end, finishing flat for the month.

Target Weights and Index Rebalancing

The annual rebalancing of CMCI for the 2022-2023 period was announced on July 26th. There were no commodities added or removed from the index; only slight adjustments in the Precious Metals and Energy sectors.

Index Sector Weightings

Index Sector Weightings

Source: MerQube. As of July 26, 2022.

Learn more about the VanEck CM Commodity Index Fund, which seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the CMCI.

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Originally published by VanEck on 16 August 2022.

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You can lose money by investing in the Fund. Any investment in the Fund should be part of an overall investment program, not a complete program. Commodities are assets that have tangible properties, such as oil, metals, and agriculture. Commodities and commodity-linked derivatives may be affected by overall market movements and other factors that affect the value of a particular industry or commodity, such as weather, disease, embargoes or political or regulatory developments. The value of a commodity-linked derivative is generally based on price movements of a commodity, a commodity futures contract, a commodity index or other economic variables based on the commodity markets. Derivatives use leverage, which may exaggerate a loss. The Fund is subject to the risks associated with its investments in credit, commodities and commodity-linked derivatives, commodities and commodity-linked derivatives tax, counterparty, debt securities, derivatives, index tracking and data, industry concentration, money market funds, management, market, operational, regulatory, repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements, subsidiary risks and U.S. government securities.. The use of commodity-linked derivatives such as swaps, commodity-linked structured notes and futures entails substantial risks, including risk of loss of a significant portion of their principal value, lack of a secondary market, increased volatility, correlation, liquidity, interest-rate, valuation and tax risks. Gains and losses from speculative positions in derivatives may be much greater than the derivative’s cost. At any time, the risk of loss of any individual security held by the Fund could be significantly higher than 50% of the security’s value. Investment in commodity markets may not be suitable for all investors. The Fund’s investment in commodity-linked derivative instruments may subject the Fund to greater volatility than investment in traditional securities.

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