Commodities In Review: December 2019

October was mostly positive for commodity ETFs

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

October was a strong month for commodity ETFs, with only three funds ending up in negative territory. The top performer was the Aberdeen Standard Physical Palladium Shares ETF (PALL), up 7.11%, followed by the iPath Series B Bloomberg Cotton Subindex Total Return ETN (BAL), up 6.05% and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), up 4.59%. At the other end of the spectrum, the declines were much more mild, with the iPath Series B Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (JJN) declining 2.09%, followed by the iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN (NIB) and the iPath Series B Bloomberg Sugar Subindex Total Return ETN (SGG), down 1.68% and 1.24%m, respectively. Flows for the month were fairly unremarkable, with the Invesco Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy No K-1 ETF (PDBC) gaining $84.8 million in assets under management, the United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG) gaining $40.8 million and PALL gaining $31.9 million. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the largest commodity funds of all, lost $240.6 million, followed by the United States Oil Fund LP (USO), which lost $171.1 million, and SLV, which lost $122.4 million.


Sources: Bloomberg and FactSet. Data from 09/30/2019 to 10/31/2019. ETFs chosen to represent each sector based on the most liquid ETF in each segment of the ETF Classification System.


Heather Bell is a former managing editor of She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.