The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) publishes the Commitments of Traders (COT) on a weekly basis. COT reports provide a breakdown of open interest for futures.

Open interest is the total number of outstanding derivative contracts, such as futures that have not been settled for an asset. 

If a buyer and seller come together and initiate a new position of one contract, then open interest will increase by one contract. Should a buyer and seller both exit a one contract position on a trade, then open interest decreases by one contract.

For more on open interest: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/openinterest.asp

The CFTC releases the data each Friday which contains the positions on Tuesday.

The Disaggregated reports are broken down by 

  • Agriculture
  • Petroleum and products
  • Natural gas and products
  • Electricity
  • Metals and other physical contracts

And then further into the following trader classifications

  • Producer/Merchant/Processor/User
  • Swap Dealers
  • Managed Money
  • Other Reportables

For our questions we are interested in the Disaggregated reports and then further in the Producer/Merchant/Processor/User classification for futures only.

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