Palladium Speculators Trim Bearish Bets For 2nd Week As Sentiment & Prices Improve

Here are the latest charts and statistics for the Commitment of Traders (COT) data published by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The latest COT data is updated through Tuesday May 16th and shows a quick view of how large traders (for-profit speculators and commercial entities) were positioned in the futures markets.

Weekly Speculator Changes led by Palladium & Silver

The COT metals markets speculator bets were lower this week as one out of the six metals markets we cover had higher positioning while the other five markets had lower speculator contracts.

Leading the gains for the metals this week was Palladium with a gain of 731 contracts.

The markets with declines in speculator bets for the week were Gold (-16,000 contracts), Silver (-8,545 contracts), Copper (-7,742 contracts), Steel (-524 contracts) and Platinum (-2,261 contracts) also registering lower bets on the week.

Palladium speculators trim their bearish bets for 2nd week as sentiment & prices improve

Highlighting the COT metals data this week is the improvement in bets for the Palladium speculative positions. Palladium was the only metal with a gain in speculator bets this week and has now risen for two straight weeks. Palladium has also gained in three out of the past five weeks. The current net speculator position of -4,916 contracts is the least bearish standing out of the past fourteen weeks.

The speculator positioning has been improving for Palladium as the strength index score (speculator positioning range of past three years) came out of a bearish extreme position this week for the first time since February 7th. Palladium’s strength index has improved by 16 percentage points over the past six weeks.

Fundamentally, the outlook for Palladium has taken a hit with car manufacturers looking to use Platinum instead of Palladium for parts, especially in electric cars. Despite the pullback from manufacturers, recent reports have shown the both Platinum and Palladium supply will be in deficits this year, possibly putting a floor under prices.

Palladium prices have bounced off of a major support level at $1,400 in recent weeks and closed this week above $1,520. Palladium raced as high as $3,425 in March of 2022 before dropping sharply into a downtrend that has extended into this year. Palladium bulls hope that the recent drop to $1,333 in March marks a new bottom as it coincides with the 2020 pandemic low-point as well.


Data Snapshot of Commodity Market Traders | Columns Legend
May-16-2023
OI
OI-Index
Spec-Net
Spec-Index
Com-Net
COM-Index
Smalls-Net
Smalls-Index
Gold 521,832 46 179,814 56 -211,557 42 31,743 60
Copper 210,415 51 -32,607 0 28,695 98 3,912 43
Silver 140,139 26 23,815 52 -37,067 49 13,252 40
Platinum 73,410 83 25,823 75 -30,405 31 4,582 30
Palladium 12,761 93 -4,916 20 5,388 82 -472 13

 


Strength Scores led by Platinum & Steel

COT Strength Scores (a normalized measure of Speculator positions over a 3-Year range, from 0 to 100 where above 80 is Extreme-Bullish and below 20 is Extreme-Bearish) showed that Platinum (75 percent) and Steel (60 percent) lead the metals markets this week. Copper (0 percent) comes in as the next highest in the weekly strength scores.

On the downside, Palladium (20 percent) comes in at the lowest strength level currently and is in Extreme-Bearish territory (below 20 percent). The next lowest strength score was Silver (52 percent).

Strength Statistics:
Gold (56.2 percent) vs Gold previous week (63.3 percent)
Silver (52.2 percent) vs Silver previous week (64.4 percent)
Copper (0.0 percent) vs Copper previous week (6.9 percent)
Platinum (75.2 percent) vs Platinum previous week (80.4 percent)
Palladium (20.1 percent) vs Palladium previous week (13.4 percent)
Steel (60.4 percent) vs Palladium previous week (61.9 percent)

Platinum & Palladium top the 6-Week Strength Trends

COT Strength Score Trends (or move index, calculates the 6-week changes in strength scores) showed that Platinum (24 percent) and Palladium (16 percent) lead the past six weeks trends for metals. Gold (-7 percent) is the next highest positive mover in the latest trends data.

Steel (-1 percent) leads the downside trend scores currently with Copper (-26 percent) as the next market with lower trend scores.

Move Statistics:
Gold (-6.8 percent) vs Gold previous week (6.2 percent)
Silver (3.6 percent) vs Silver previous week (27.1 percent)
Copper (-26.3 percent) vs Copper previous week (-20.7 percent)
Platinum (24.0 percent) vs Platinum previous week (40.9 percent)
Palladium (16.0 percent) vs Palladium previous week (10.3 percent)
Steel (-0.8 percent) vs Steel previous week (3.9 percent)


Individual Markets:

Gold Comex Futures:

Gold Futures COT Chart

The Gold Comex Futures large speculator standing this week equaled a net position of 179,814 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly decrease of -16,000 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 195,814 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bullish with a score of 56.2 percent. The commercials are Bearish with a score of 42.3 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bullish with a score of 59.6 percent.

Gold Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 48.9 26.5 10.5
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 14.5 67.0 4.4
– Net Position: 179,814 -211,557 31,743
– Gross Longs: 255,250 138,322 54,852
– Gross Shorts: 75,436 349,879 23,109
– Long to Short Ratio: 3.4 to 1 0.4 to 1 2.4 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:      
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 56.2 42.3 59.6
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bullish Bearish Bullish
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:      
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -6.8 2.6 21.9

 


Silver Comex Futures:

Silver Futures COT Chart

The Silver Comex Futures large speculator standing this week equaled a net position of 23,815 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly reduction of -8,545 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 32,360 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bullish with a score of 52.2 percent. The commercials are Bearish with a score of 49.0 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish with a score of 40.0 percent.

Silver Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 43.1 30.7 18.3
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 26.1 57.2 8.8
– Net Position: 23,815 -37,067 13,252
– Gross Longs: 60,440 43,026 25,607
– Gross Shorts: 36,625 80,093 12,355
– Long to Short Ratio: 1.7 to 1 0.5 to 1 2.1 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:      
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 52.2 49.0 40.0
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bullish Bearish Bearish
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:      
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: 3.6 -6.8 17.4

 


Copper Grade #1 Futures:

Copper Futures COT Chart

The Copper Grade #1 Futures large speculator standing this week equaled a net position of -32,607 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly decrease of -7,742 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -24,865 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bearish-Extreme with a score of 0.0 percent. The commercials are Bullish-Extreme with a score of 97.8 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish with a score of 43.2 percent.

Copper Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 28.4 47.5 9.1
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 43.9 33.9 7.3
– Net Position: -32,607 28,695 3,912
– Gross Longs: 59,693 100,023 19,241
– Gross Shorts: 92,300 71,328 15,329
– Long to Short Ratio: 0.6 to 1 1.4 to 1 1.3 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:      
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 0.0 97.8 43.2
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bearish-Extreme Bullish-Extreme Bearish
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:      
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -26.3 28.5 -24.9

 


Platinum Futures:

Platinum Futures COT Chart

The Platinum Futures large speculator standing this week equaled a net position of 25,823 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly fall of -2,261 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 28,084 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bullish with a score of 75.2 percent. The commercials are Bearish with a score of 30.6 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish with a score of 29.5 percent.

Platinum Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 54.4 28.9 9.9
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 19.3 70.3 3.7
– Net Position: 25,823 -30,405 4,582
– Gross Longs: 39,962 21,228 7,282
– Gross Shorts: 14,139 51,633 2,700
– Long to Short Ratio: 2.8 to 1 0.4 to 1 2.7 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:      
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 75.2 30.6 29.5
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bullish Bearish Bearish
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:      
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: 24.0 -23.2 10.7

 


Palladium Futures:

Palladium Futures COT Chart

The Palladium Futures large speculator standing this week equaled a net position of -4,916 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly advance of 731 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -5,647 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bearish with a score of 20.1 percent. The commercials are Bullish-Extreme with a score of 82.4 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish-Extreme with a score of 13.3 percent.

Palladium Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 14.0 61.9 8.9
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 52.5 19.7 12.6
– Net Position: -4,916 5,388 -472
– Gross Longs: 1,782 7,900 1,136
– Gross Shorts: 6,698 2,512 1,608
– Long to Short Ratio: 0.3 to 1 3.1 to 1 0.7 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:      
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 20.1 82.4 13.3
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bearish Bullish-Extreme Bearish-Extreme
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:      
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: 16.0 -13.6 -6.4

 


Steel Futures Futures:

Steel Futures COT Chart

The Steel Futures large speculator standing this week equaled a net position of -4,420 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly decrease of -524 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -3,896 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bullish with a score of 60.4 percent. The commercials are Bearish with a score of 40.1 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish-Extreme with a score of 8.6 percent.

Steel Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 10.8 78.7 0.7
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 26.8 62.4 1.0
– Net Position: -4,420 4,502 -82
– Gross Longs: 2,997 21,755 185
– Gross Shorts: 7,417 17,253 267
– Long to Short Ratio: 0.4 to 1 1.3 to 1 0.7 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:      
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 60.4 40.1 8.6
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bullish Bearish Bearish-Extreme
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:      
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -0.8 1.6 -34.2

 


*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) were positioned in the futures markets.

The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators) as well as their open interest (contracts open in the market at time of reporting). See CFTC criteria here.


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Disclosure: Foreign Currency trading and trading on margin carries a high level of risk and can result ...

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