Speculators cut their net-position in gold by 56% in the three weeks through Nov. 19, the biggest such decline since June 2007. Short bets climbed for three straight weeks, the longest advance for bears since July. Long holdings reached 106,800 contracts, the lowest since July 2012.
Bullish bets on silver declined 52% to 4,657 contracts, the lowest since August, the CFTC data show. Silver prices slumped 4% to $19.901 an ounce in New York last week, the fourth weekly drop and the longest stretch of losses since April.
Speculators almost tripled their net-short bets on copper to 24,067 contracts, compared with 8,117 a week earlier. That’s the most negative outlook since July 30. Output of the refined metal in China, the world’s largest user, climbed 23% to a record 637,000 metric tons in October from a year earlier.
A measure of speculative positions across 11 agricultural products dropped 19% to 293,785 contracts, the lowest since Sept. 17, the CFTC data show. The S&P’s Agriculture Index of eight commodities is down 19% this year.
Money managers held a net-short position in corn of 146,086 contracts, compared with 139,060 contracts a week earlier. Sugar holdings fell 18% to 136,545 contracts, the biggest decline since early September, and cotton wagers dropped for the seventh straight week.
Farmers in the U.S., the world’s biggest corn grower, are projected to produce a record 13.989 billion bushels of the grain this year. Soybean output will be 3.258 billion bushels, the third-biggest ever, government forecasts show. Global food costs tracked by the United Nations are 14% below the all-time high set in February 2011.
“We’re seeing much better supply in the grain space,” said Rob Haworth, a senior investment strategist in Seattle at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, which oversees about $112 billion of assets. “For base metals, in particular for copper, it’s going to take a few more months of much better demand to start to absorb the excess supply.”