While still up month to date, July has been ending on a shaky note for equity bulls, but based on what bulls in the commodity sector have had to contend with, it has been a walk in the park. Through this morning, the CRB Commodities Index is down just over 10% month to date. While commodities are a volatile sector, a decline of this magnitude is rare even for the CRB index. If the index remains at or below current levels between now and month end, July 2015 will be only the sixth month in the post-WWII period where the CRB index saw a double-digit percentage decline.
While energy-related commodities have been the primary culprit behind the weakness in the CRB index, the declines have been broad-based. As shown in the table to the right, of the nineteen commodities in the index, sixteen are down this month while only three are up. Of those three MTD winners, Orange Juice is leading the way higher with a gain of just 3.63%, followed by Lean Hogs (1.02%), and Nat Gas (+0.25%), which is up just barely on the month. Besides energy-related commodities like Crude Oil, Heating Oil, and Gasoline, we have also seen notable weakness in ag-related commodities like Wheat (-18.27%), Corn (-12.38%), and Soybeans (-9.09%). Declines like these make the mid single-digit drops in metals seem palatable.