Commodities In Review: September 2019

July was a mixed month for commodity ETFs.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Commodity ETFs had some notable bright spots in July, but also a lot of funds in the red. The iPath Series B Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (JJN) led the way, with a return of 14.36%; however, precious metals was the only sector with entirely positive returns. The second-best performer for the month was the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), up 8.2%, followed by the Aberdeen Standard Physical Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT), up 6.67%. The worst performer was the iPath Series B Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN (JO), down 8.81%. July’s second-worst performer was the iPath Series B Bloomberg Tin Subindex Total Return ETN (JJT), down 7.77%, followed by the iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN (NIB), down 3.51%. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) saw dramatic inflows of $1.3 billion, SLV pulled in less than half of that, with a gain of $525.5 million, and PPLT saw just $19.8 million. The Invesco Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy No K-1 ETF (PDBC) was at the other end of the spectrum, with a loss for the month of $315 million, followed by the United States Oil Fund LP (USO), with a loss of $158.2 million, and the iShares S&P GSCI Commodity Indexed Trust (GSG), with a loss of $61.3 million.


Sources: Bloomberg and FactSet. Data from 06/30/2019 to 07/31/2019. 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.