Best Performing Commodity ETFs Of The Year

Best Performing Commodity ETFs Of The Year

Here are the best-performing ETFs within the best-performing asset class of 2022.

sumit
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Senior ETF Analyst
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Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
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Edited by: Sumit Roy

In a year in which stocks have struggled and bonds have done worse, commodities are an isolated bright spot.  

The S&P GSCI Spot Index is up 33% on a year-to-date basis, a phenomenal move in just under three months. For context, the S&P 500 is down 3.7% in the same period, while the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is down by 6.5%.  

Importantly, investors in commodities have been able to capture all of this year’s gains in underlying raw materials prices. Usually, roll costs from contango eat into returns, causing investment performance to deviate from the performance of spot indices like the aforementioned S&P GSCI Spot Index. But not this year.  

Supply concerns have caused many commodity futures curves to shift into backwardation, temporarily erasing worries about roll costs. The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity Indexed Trust (GSG) gained 34.2% year-to-date, giving it a return that’s even slightly better than spot prices. 

A good chunk of GXG’s outperformance comes from its holdings of energy commodities like oil and natural gas. Similarly, when we look at the best-performing commodity ETFs of the year thus far, many of the top performers are energy ETFs. 

Those include the United States Brent Oil Fund (BNO), up 58.5%; the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), up 56%; and the United States Gasoline Fund (UGA), up 47.6%. 

As everyone is well aware, energy prices have surged this year on the back of supply concerns related to the war between Russia and Ukraine. 

The conflict’s repercussions have been felt not only in energy markets, but commodity markets across the board. A whole host of commodities are exported from either Russia or Ukraine, including wheat, corn nickel, palladium and more.  

The iPath Series B Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (JJN) and the Teucrium Wheat Fund (WEAT) spiked 72.8% and 43.6%, respectively, this year. 

Along with exchange-traded products targeting single commodities, several broader commodity ETPs also found themselves on the commodities top 20.  

The Elements Rogers International Commodity Index-Energy TR ETN (RJN), which tracks a basket of energy commodities, is up 60.2% year-to-date, while the iPath S&P GSCI Total Return Index ETN (GSP), which tracks a production-weighted basket of global commodities, is up 50.6%. 

It will be interesting to see whether commodities can keep up this sizzling performance through year end.  

For a full list of this year’s best performing commodity ETFs, see the table below: 

 

Best Performing Commodity ETFs Of The Year (ex. leveraged/inverse)

FundTickerYTD Rtn
iPath Series B Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETNJJN 72.8%
ELEMENTS Rogers International Commodity IndexRJN 60.2%
United States Brent Oil Fund LPBNO 58.5%
iPath Series B Bloomberg Energy Subindex Total Return ETNJJE 57.5%
United States Natural Gas Fund UNG56.0%
iPath Series B Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETNGAZ 54.8%
United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund UNL50.9%
iPath GSCI Total Return Index ETNGSP 50.6%
iPath Pure Beta Crude Oil ETNOIL 50.2%
United States Oil Fund USO 48.5%
United States Gasoline Fund UGA 47.6%
GS Connect S&P GSCI Enhanced Commodity Total Return Strategy Index ETNGSCE 47.3%
Proshares Trust-Proshares K-1 Free Crude Oil Strategy ETFOILK 43.7%
Teucrium Wheat FundWEAT 43.6%
Invesco DB Energy FundDBE 43.2%
iShares S&P GSCI Commodity Indexed TrustGSG 42.5%
United States 12 Month Oil Fund USL 41.4%
iShares GSCI Commodity DynamicCOMT 38.0%
ETRACS Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return ETN Series BDJCB 35.2%
iPath Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return ETNDJP 35.1%

Note: Data measures total returns for the year-to-date period through March 25.

 

​Follow Sumit Roy on Twitter @sumitroy2

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining etf.com, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.