Headlines in the business press continue to suggest the “reflation trade” that lured funds to commodities in 2017 is over. Still, even though Wall Street fund managers aren’t buying futures across the board, they’re sensitive to shifts in fundamentals. That forced the hot money crowd to cover some of its bearish bets against agriculture last week, thanks to the spring snow storm and torrential rains that disrupted production efforts.
Data collected by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Tuesday showed the switch underway early in the week, with buying in some ag contracts continuing through Friday according to daily player sheets.
Overall interest in commodities continued to wane last week, led by declines in crude oil and industrial metals. Those futures benefited from the reflation trade on ideas a growing global economy would boost demand and perhaps even spark a little inflation. But the CRB Index, a bushel basket of popular contracts, slipped to a fresh one-year low on Friday, despite stock markets that hover near all-time highs.
Here’s a look at results from the May 5 Commitment of Traders.