CFTC: Hedge Funds Cover Brief Net Short Position in Silver

SchiffGold Comex COTS Analysis

Gold has also seen a major reduction in long interest

Exploring Finance

This article first appeared on SchiffGold.

Please note: the COTs report was published 6/3/2022 for the period ending 5/31/2022. “Managed Money” and “Hedge Funds” are used interchangeably.


Since the peak on March 8, Managed Money has massively reduced their Net Long positions 98k contracts or 66%. Despite massive selling the gold price has actually held up fairly well. The last time Managed Money net longs dropped this low in February, gold was struggling at the $1800 level, versus the struggle at $1850 now.

Total Net Longs now sits at the lowest level since Sept 28 when the gold price was around $1735. Again, this shows the price has held up fairly well in the face of strong selling pressure.

Figure 1: Net Notional Position

The chart below focuses on only Managed Money. It shows how closely the price of gold follows the activity of Managed Money. Except for the summer of 2020, Managed Money correlates extremely strongly with the gold price. This chart also shows that Managed Money has been dumping gold at a very steady pace for three months.

Figure 2: Managed Money Net Notional Position

Weak Hands at Work

The weekly chart shows that despite very consistent selling pressure, it has not been as extreme as in the past. The biggest net reduction was 20k on April 26th. Prior to the recent sell-off, big down weeks could see a more than 50k contract reduction.

Figure 3: Silver 50/200 DMA

The table below has detailed positioning information. A few things to highlight:

Historical Perspective

Looking over the full history of the COTs data by month produces the chart below (values are in dollar/notional amounts, not contracts).

Three major takeaways:

Figure 4: Gross Open Interest

The CFTC also provides Options data. This has mainly been dominated by Producers, but recently Managed Money has played a larger role within the market. The current period shows Managed Money Net Longs increasing from $2.4B which is down $7.5B from the peak in July 2020 when it hit $10B.

Produce Gross Option Shorts have dropped to the lowest level since June 2019. Producer Gross Option Longs ($1.3B) are at the lowest level since July 2009 ($1.1B). For perspective, this number stood at $14B in July 2020.

Figure 5: Options Positions

The final chart below looks at net notional positioning against price on a longer time frame. As mentioned, while the correlation of Managed Money is strong, it is not perfect. The long-term bull market continues despite the volatile gyrations of Managed Money positioning.

Figure 6: Net Notional Position


Silver has seen an incredible collapse in Net Long positioning for Managed Money. Since the 48k peak on March 8, Hedge Funds are now only Net Long by $3k. Last week, net positioning was short for the first time since June 8, 2019!

Figure 7: Net Notional Position

The chart below shows the relentless selling over the last two months. The latest week finally saw a bounce back as shorts covered their positions.

Figure 8: Net Change in Positioning

The table below shows a series of snapshots in time. This data does NOT include options or hedging positions. Important data points to note:

Historical Perspective

Looking over the full history of the COTs data by month produces the chart below. Unlike gold, the “Other” category has remained surprisingly stable over this time.

Surprisingly, the current Gross position is actually a bit more than November 2021. Prior to that, June 2020 was the last time Gross Longs stood at such a low level.

Figure 9: Gross Open Interest

The Option market is significantly smaller than gold with Non-Rep dominating the group with $217M long and $141M short. The next biggest long is half the size with Producers running at $104M.

Figure 10: Options Positions

Finally, looking at historical net positioning shows the correlation of Managed Money positioning with price. In the smaller silver market, the swings are far more volatile than seen in gold.

Figure 11: Net Notional Position


Based on the correlation table below there is no doubt the influence of Managed Money on the price of both metals. They tend to push and pull the price around very erratically. The correlation has weakened some in gold in 2022 but remains extremely strong in Silver.

Other is pretty much the opposite, with a negative correlation in silver of -0.88 (extreme inverse correlation). This compares to a very weak correlation in general for Other gold.

It’s very interesting to note that over a longer period, Other has the much stronger correlation while Hedge Funds show no correlation. This makes sense because Other has more patiently ridden the bull market while Hedge Funds are continuously getting on and off the train.

As Hedge Funds have dumped gold and silver at a rapid pace, the price continues to hold up. Gold is starting to carve out a stronger base near $1850/ Silver has not held up as well but still sits comfortably above the $20 psychological support zone.

The gold correlation chart is a great way to think about the market. Hedge Funds are highly correlated over short periods but completely miss the big long-term moves. Other has a poor track record over the near-term, but dominates the long term correlation.

Anyone who truly understands the precarious nature of the US economy and the impossible balancing act coming from the Fed should recognize the value of gold and silver. They should not try and time moves like Hedge Funds but instead take their cue from the “Other” category which clearly has the long term view in mind.

Data Source:

Data Updated: Every Friday at 3:30 PM as of Tuesday

Last Updated: May 31, 2022

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