Learn About the Different Types of Commodity ETFs

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There's no doubt that commodity ETFs make it much easier to invest in commodities. You don't have to buy bags of grain to feed the livestock in your backyard or build a power plant in your basement to harness nuclear energy. Instead, you can call your broker or even hop on your laptop and buy an ETF online. One trade, one transaction, little commission.

Picking the right commodity ETF, on the other hand, is a different story. Below is a list of the different types of commodity ETFs you can potentially include in your portfolio. From broad commodity funds to specific industry ETFs, there's a fund that makes sense for your investing strategy. Just make sure you watch and research each one before you make any trades.

Broad Commodity ETFs

Commodity ETFs are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invest in physical commodities, such as agricultural goods, natural resources, and precious metals. A commodity ETF is usually focused on either a single commodity, holding it in physical storage. The ETFs below track a diversified basket of commodities:

  • BCM - iPath Pure Beta Broad Commodity ETN
  • DJP - iPath Dow Jones-AIG Commodity Index Total Return ETN
  • GCC - GreenHaven Continuous Commodity Index ETF
  • GSG - iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust
  • GYLD - Arrow Dow Jones Global Yield ETF
  • PDBC - Power Shares DB Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy Portfolio
  • RJI - ELEMENTS Rogers International Commodity ETN
  • USCI - United States Commodity Index Fund

Broad Agriculture ETFs

These ETFs invest in a broad range of agricultural products:

  • JJA - iPath DJ-UBS Agriculture Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • MOO - Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF
  • TAGS - Teucrium Agriculture ETF
  • VEGI - iShares MSCI Global Agricultural Producers Fund

Individual Types of Agriculture ETFs

These invest in individual types of agricultural products:

  • CHOC - iPath Pure Beta Cocoa ETN
  • NIB - iPath DJ-UBS Cocoa Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • CAFÉ - iPath Pure Beta Coffee ETN
  • JO - iPath DJ-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • BAL - iPath Dow Jones AIG Cotton TR Sub-Index ETN
  • CTNN - iPath Pure Beta Cotton ETN
  • CORN - Teucrium Corn Fund
  • GRU - ELEMENTS MLCX Grains Index Total Return ETN
  • JJG - iPath DJ-UBS Grains Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • WEET - iPath Pure Beta Grains ETN
  • WEAT - Teucrium Wheat Fund
  • COW - iPath DJ AIG Livestock TR Sub-Idx ETN
  • LSTK - iPath Pure Beta Livestock ETN
  • UBC - UBS E-TRACS CMCI Livestock Total Return ETN
  • CANE - Teucrium Sugar Fund
  • SGAR - iPath Pure Beta Sugar ETN
  • SGG - iPath DJ-UBS Sugar TR Sub-Index ETN
  • SOYB - Teucrium Soybean Fund
  • CUT - Claymore/Beacon Global Timber Index ETF
  • WOOD - iShares S&P Global Timber & Forestry Index ETF
  • SOIL - Global X Fertilizers/Potash ETF

Energy ETFs

These ETFs invest in a broad range of energy sources:

  • AXEN - iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Energy Sector Index ETF
  • CHIE - Global X China Energy ETF
  • ENY - Claymore/SWM Canadian Energy Income ETF
  • ERX - Direxion Daily Energy Bull 3X Shares ETF
  • ERY - Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X Shares ETF
  • FILL - iShares MSCI Global Energy Producers Fund
  • FXN - First Trust Energy AlphaDEX ETF
  • GEX - Market Vectors Global Alternatve Energy ETF
  • ICLN - iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index ETF
  • IPW - SPDR S&P International Energy Sector ETF
  • IXC - iShares S&P Global Energy Sector ETF
  • IYE - iShares Dow Jones US Energy Sector ETF
  • JJE - iPath DJ-UBS Energy Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • ONG - iPath Pure Beta Energy ETN
  • PBD - Invesco Global Clean Energy ETF
  • QCLN - First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index ETF
  • RGRE - RBS Rogers Enhanced Energy ETN
  • RJN - ELEMENTS Rogers International Commodity Energy ETN
  • RYE - Rydex S&P Equal Weight Energy ETF
  • UBN - UBS E-TRACS CMCI Energy Total Return ETN
  • VDE - Vanguard Energy ETF
  • XLE - Energy Select Sector SPDR

Individual Types of Energy ETFs

These ETFs track specific types of energy:

  • FUE - ELEMENTS MLCX Biofuels Index Total Return ETN
  • GRN - iPath Global Carbon ETN
  • NLR - Market Vectors Nuclear Energy ETF
  • KWT - Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF
  • TAN - Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy ETF
  • FAN - First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF
  • URA - Global X Uranium ETF

Oil ETFs

Another popular type of commodity ETF is oil and natural gas. However, since oil and gas can't be stockpiled like precious metals, these ETFs invest in futures contracts instead of the commodity itself.

  • BNO - United States Brent Oil Fund
  • DDG - The Short Oil and Gas ProShares ETF
  • DUG - UltraShort Oil & Gas ProShares ETF
  • HUC - Horizons BetaPro Winter-Term NYMEX Crude Oil ETF
  • OIH - Market Vectors Oil Services ETF
  • OIL - Goldman Sachs Crude Oil Total Return ETN
  • SCO - ProShares UltraShort DJ-AIG Crude Oil ETF
  • USO - United States Oil Fund ETF
  • USL - United States 12 Month Oil Fund ETF
  • UCO - ProShares Ultra DJ-AIG Crude Oil ETF
  • FRAK - Market Vectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF
  • UGA - United States Gasoline ETF

Natural Gas ETFs

  • BOIL - ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Natural Gas ETF
  • KOLD - UltraShort DJ-UBS Natural Gas ETF
  • DDG - The Short Oil and Gas ProShares ETF
  • FCG - First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas ETF
  • FRAK - Market Vectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF
  • GAZ - iPath DJ AIG Natural Gas TR Sub-Index ETN
  • IGAS - Global Natural Gas Small Cap Equity ETF
  • UNG - United States Natural Gas ETF

Natural Resource ETFs

Natural Resources ETFs invest in companies that are engaged in the production, distribution, and storage of natural resources, including but not limited to metals, agricultural goods, lumber, and oil and gas.

  • GNR - SPDR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF
  • GRES - IQ ARB Global Resources ETF
  • GUNR - FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources Index Fund
  • IGE - iShares S&P North America Natural Resources ETF

Water ETFs

Water equities ETFs invest in companies that process and distribute water, arguably the most important resource on the planet.

  • CGW - Claymore S&P Global Water ETF
  • FIW - First Trust ISE Water ETF
  • PHO - Invesco Water Resources ETF

Precious Metal ETFs

Precious metals, like gold and silver, are popular ETFs because the underlying commodity can't go bad or spoil. 

Gold ETFs

  • DUST - Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3x Shares ETF
  • GDX - the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF
  • GDXJ - Market Vectors Gold Miners Junior ETF
  • GLD - StreetTracks Gold Shares ETF
  • GLDX - Global X Gold Explorers ETF
  • GLL - the UltraShort Gold ProShares ETF
  • IAU - iShares COMEX Gold Trust ETF
  • NUGT - Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3x Shares ETF
  • SGOL - ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares ETF
  • UGL - the ProShares Ultra Gold ETF
  • RING - iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners Fund

Other Types of Precious Metal ETFs

These ETFs focus on investments in precious metals, including silver, platinum, palladium, and white metals.

  • AGQ - the ProShares Ultra Silver ETF
  • HUZ - Horizons BetaPro COMEX Silver ETF
  • SIL - Global X Silver Miners ETF
  • SIVR - ETFS Physical Silver Shares ETF
  • SLV - iShares Silver Trust ETF
  • SLVP - iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners Fund
  • ZSL - ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF
  • WITE - ETFS Physical WM Basket Shares ETF
  • COPX - Global X Copper Miners ETF
  • JJC - iPath DJ-UBS Copper Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • CPER - United States Copper Index Fund
  • PPLT - the ETFS Platinum Physical Shares ETF
  • PLTM - First Trust ISE Global Platinum Index Fund
  • PGM - iPath DJ-UBS Platinum TR Sub-Index ETN
  • PALL - the ETFS Palladium Physical Shares ETF
  • JJN - iPath DJ-AIG Nickel Total Return Sub-Index ETN

Base and Industrial Metals ETFs

These ETFs offer exposure to the prices of various base and industrial metals such as aluminum, lead, copper, and nickel.

  • JJM - iPath DJ-UBS Industrial Metals Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • PICK - iShares MSCI Global Select Metals & Mining Producers Fund
  • REMX - Market Vectors Rare Earth Strategic Metals ETF
  • RJZ - ELEMENTS Rogers International Commodity Metal ETN
  • SLX - Market Vectors Steel ETF

Other Types of Metal ETFs

  • JJT - iPath DJ-UBS Tin Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • JJU - iPath DJ-UBS Aluminum Total Return Sub-Index ETN
  • LIT - Global X Lithium ETF

Materials ETFs

Materials ETFs offer exposure to both domestic and foreign equities operating in the basic materials sector–the production and distribution of chemicals, lumber, metals, and other raw materials.

  • CHIM - Global X China Materials ETF
  • FXZ - First Trust Materials AlphaDEX ETF
  • IRV - SPDR S&P Interntial Materials Sector ETF
  • RTM - Rydex S&P Equal Weight Materials ETF
  • SBM - ProShares Short Basic Materials ETF
  • SMN - UltraShort Basic Materials ProShares ETF
  • UYM - Ultra Basic Materials ProShares ETF
  • VAW - Vanguard Materials ETF
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