By Daniela Pylypczak
As is perhaps always the case, commodity markets have had quite an action-packed year thus far. Landmark events, such as President Obama's re-election and this summer's massive drought brought on by record-breaking temperatures have propelled many commodities into some volatile swings, rewarding those lucky investors while burning many others. But during Thanksgiving week, it is perhaps more appropriate for us to reflect on those commodities we're particularly grateful for. Below, we highlight three commodity ETFs that have delivered stellar performances thus far in 2012 (YTD returns as of Nov. 20, 2012).
1. DJ-UBS Grains Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEARCA:JJG)
This ETF offers exposure to three of the hottest commodities of 2012; soybeans, corn and wheat. Grain investing has been relatively volatile this year, due to a massive drought in the United States brought on by the hottest summer on record. Analysts expect this bullish momentum to continue for quite some time as the surging demographic trends seen in today's global economy have undeniably secured significant long-term prospects for this corner of the market. Already this year, JJG, along with the MLCX Grains Index TR ETN (NYSEARCA:GRU) and the Pure Beta Grains ETN (NYSEARCA:WEET), have posted stellar performances, logging in year-to-date gains over over 20%.
2. Physical Silver Shares (NYSEARCA:SIVR)
Holders of the world's second-favorite precious metal have been rewarded quite handsomely this year despite the commodity’s highly volatile trading throughout 2012. Silver spot prices skyrocketed in the first quarter, only to take a massive tumble during the summer months. September shaped up to be a more successful month for the white metal, however, while Obama's re-election gave a significant boost to both gold and silver ETFs. Currently SIVR is up over 19% YTD, while its iShare’s competitor SLV trails behind by a mere 14 basis points.
3. United States Gasoline Fund (NYSEARCA:UGA)
Another highly volatile commodity, gasoline futures have once again proven to be a powerful tool for those willing to stomach the risk. Holders of UGA were perhaps on the verge of euphoria during the first quarter of 2012, as prices exhibited a steady uptrend until April. After reaching its high, gasoline futures took a steep tumble, though the commodity has been slowly clawing its way back since bottoming out in June. And thanks to a recent uptick in prices (caused largely by supply issues and Hurricane Sandy) UGA has logged in an over 17.5% gain thus far in 2012.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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