Commodities In Review: February 2020

Only three commodity ETFs had negative returns in December

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Only three commodity ETFs recorded negative returns during December, and almost all of the funds saw increases of 2% or higher during the month. In other words, it was an unusually good period for commodity ETFs. The top performer was the United States Oil Fund LP (USO), up 10.94%. It was followed by the iPath Series B Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN (JO), up 9.05%, while the Invesco DB Energy Fund (DBE) was up 8.03%. The three worst performers included the United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG), down 3.30%, as well as the iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN (NIB) and the iPath Bloomberg Lead Subindex Total Return ETN (LD), down 1.12% and 0.55%, respectively. Flows were largely unremarkable, with UNG gaining $138 million despite its poor performance, while the iShares S&P GSCI Commodity Indexed Trust (GSG) picked up $60.3 million and the Invesco DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC) gained $31.7 million. USO, at the other end of the spectrum, saw outfl ows of $138.4 million, while the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) lost $131.5 million and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) decreased by $91.9 million.


Sources: Bloomberg and FactSet. Data from 11/30/2019 to 12/31/2019. 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.