Commitments of Traders (COTs)


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The Commitments of Traders (COT) reports provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for market reports, in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC. [1]

In the traditional COT report, traders are separated into three categories under two broad classifications: nonreportable and reportable. "Nonreportable" traders are small speculators whose positions fall short of CFTC reporting thresholds. "Reportable" traders hold positions large enough that they are required to report to the CFTC daily.

Reportable traders are further split into either "commercial" or "noncommercial" designations:

  • Commercials deal with a commodity in the cash market. They include producers, merchants, processors and users of commodities that manage their business risks by hedging with futures. Swap dealers are also included in the commercial category, since they use futures to hedge residual exposures from their derivatives activities. [2]
  • Noncommercial traders trade futures speculatively, and include professional money runners such as commodity pools, managed accounts and hedge funds. [2]

On September 4, 2009, the CFTC started publishing a new Disaggregated Commitments of Traders report, in which positions in 22 physical commodities are split into four categories: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User; Swap Dealers; Managed Money; and Other Reportables. [3]

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