Commitments of Traders

Commitments of Traders (COT) Reports Descriptions

Introduction and Classification Methodology

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) publishes the Commitments of Traders (COT) reports to help the public understand market dynamics. Specifically, the COT reports provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for futures and options on futures markets in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC.

The CFTC releases the weekly COT reports in static format to support the historical usage patterns of industry professionals viewing and accessing each week’s data. Each historical report is viewable with the data for the respective reporting week, along with all historical data compressed within an annual file. In October 2022, CFTC began publishing weekly and historical report data within a public reporting environment to support industry professionals needing to customize, search, filter, and download report data for analysis and trends. 

The COT reports are based on position data supplied by reporting firms (FCMs, clearing members, foreign brokers and exchanges). While the position data is supplied by reporting firms, the actual trader category or classification is based on the predominant business purpose self-reported by traders on the CFTC Form 40 and is subject to review by CFTC staff for reasonableness. CFTC staff does not know specific reasons for traders’ positions and hence this information does not factor in determining trader classifications. In practice this means, for example, that the position data for a trader classified in the “producer/merchant/processor/user” category for a particular commodity will include all of its positions in that commodity, regardless of whether the position is for hedging or speculation. Note that traders are able to report business purpose by commodity and, therefore, can have different classifications in the COT reports for different commodities. For one of the reports, Traders in Financial Futures, traders are classified in the same category for all commodities.

Due to legal restraints (CEA Section 8 data and confidential business practices), the CFTC does not publish information on how individual traders are classified in the COT reports.

Generally, the data in the COT reports is from Tuesday and released Friday. The CFTC receives the data from the reporting firms on Wednesday morning and then corrects and verifies the data for release by Friday afternoon.

COT Public Reporting Environment

The COT Public Reporting Environment (PRE) provides an application programming interface (API) to allow users to customize their experience with the COT market report data. The API allows users to search and filter across columns for each of the datasets, including reporting date or week, commodity groups, subgroups, or name, and contract market name. Customized data report results can be downloaded to available formats -- CSV, RDF, RSS, TSV, or XML.

Types of Reports

There are four main reports:

1. Legacy -- The Legacy reports are broken down by exchange. These reports have a futures only report and a combined futures and options report. Legacy reports break down the reportable open interest positions into two classifications: non-commercial and commercial traders.

2. Supplemental -- The Supplemental report includes 13 select agricultural commodity contracts for combined futures and options positions. Supplemental reports break down the reportable open interest positions into three trader classifications: non-commercial, commercial, and index traders.

3. Disaggregated -- The Disaggregated reports are broken down by agriculture, petroleum and products, natural gas and products, electricity and metals and other physical contracts. These reports have a futures only report and a combined futures and options report. The Disaggregated reports break down the reportable open interest positions into four classifications:

  1. Producer/Merchant/Processor/User
  2. Swap Dealers
  3. Managed Money
  4. Other Reportables

Please see the “Disaggregated Explanatory Notes” for further information.

4. Traders in Financial Futures -- The Traders in Financial Futures (TFF) report includes financial contracts, such as currencies, US Treasury securities, Eurodollars, stocks, VIX and Bloomberg commodity index. These reports have a futures only report and a combined futures and options report. The TFF report breaks down the reportable open interest positions into four classifications:

  1. Dealer/Intermediary
  2. Asset Manager/Institutional
  3. Leveraged Funds
  4. Other Reportables

    Please see the “Traders in Financial Futures Explanatory Notes” for further information.

    Short and Long Format of Reports

    The Legacy and Disaggregated reports are available in both a short and long format. The TFF report is only available in the long format. The Supplemental report is only available in the short format.

    The short format shows reportable open interest and week-to-week open interest changes separately by reportable and non-reportable positions. For reportable positions, additional data is provided for commercial and non-commercial holdings, spreading (in certain categories only), changes from the previous report, percent of open interest by category, and numbers of traders.

    The long report, in addition to the information in the short report, groups the data by crop year, where appropriate, and shows the concentration of positions held by the largest four and eight traders.

    Release Schedule

    Reports Dated November 29, 2022 - Current Disaggregated Reports:

     

    Disaggregated Futures Only

    Disaggregated Futures-and-Options -Combined

    Agriculture

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Petroleum and Products

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Natural Gas and Products

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Electricity

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Metals and Other

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Current Traders in Financial Futures Reports:

     

    Traders in Financial Futures; Futures Only

    Traders in Financial Futures; Futures-and-Options -Combined

    Financial

    Long Format

     

    Long Format

     

    Current Legacy Reports:

     

    Futures Only

    Futures-and-Options-Combined

    Chicago Board of Trade

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Chicago Mercantile Exchange

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Chicago Board Options Exchange

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Minneapolis Grain Exchange

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Commodity Exchange Incorporated

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    ICE Futures U.S.

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    ICE Futures Europe

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    ICE – Futures Energy

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    New York Mercantile Exchange

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    NODAL Exchange

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Long Format

    Short Format

    Supplemental Commodity Index

    CIT Report

     

    Supplemental Report

    In a CFTC Press Release 5262-06 (December 05,2006), the CFTC announced that, in addition to the existing weekly Commitments of Traders reports, a supplemental report would be published beginning January 5, 2007.

    The Commission’s actions in response to its comprehensive review of the Commitments of Traders Reporting program are summarized in Comprehensive Review of the Commitments of Traders Reporting Program published December 5, 2006. An Executive Summary of the December 5, 2006 report is also available.

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