Commodities In Review: March 2019

Commodity ETFs had a mostly positive January.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

January was a pretty good month for commodity ETFs, with the vast majority experiencing positive returns. The top performer was the United States Oil Fund LP (USO), which was up 17.87%, followed by the iPath Series B Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (JJN) and the Invesco DB Energy Fund (DBE), up 16.72% and 11%, respectively. The worst performer was the iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN (NIB), which fell 11.19%, while the broad Invesco DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) fell 0.01%. Despite being the third-worst-performing product in the space, the United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG) was up a perfectly respectable 3.06%. The SPDR Gold ETF Trust (GLD) pulled in more than any other commodity ETF, at $1.5 billion, the Aberdeen Standard Physical Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT) gained $28.6 million and the Aberdeen Standard Physical Palladium Shares ETF (PALL) added $19.3 million. Meanwhile, the Invesco Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy No K-1 ETF (PDBC) lost $132.8 million, the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) fell by $98.7 million and the iPath Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return ETN (DJP) lost $61.5 million.


Source: Bloomberg. Data from 12/31/2018 to 01/31/2019. 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.