Best & Worst Commodities in 2011

Best and Worst Commodities of 2011

Commodities are something many investors can relate to. What's not to like about gold, crude oil or cocoa? Some commodities have been on a tear in recent months, while others not so much. In fact, the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, a global commodity benchmark tracking 19 commodities that are mostly U.S. traded, is down about 7 percent in 2011. In 2010, the CRB index rose by 15 percent compared with a 13 percent gain for the S&P 500. Several individual commodities continue to greatly outperform th

Commodities are something many investors can relate to. What's not to like about gold, crude oil or cocoa?

Some commodities have been on a tear in recent months, while others not so much. In fact, the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, a global commodity benchmark tracking 19 commodities that are mostly U.S. traded, was down about 7 percent in 2011.

In 2010, the CRB index rose by 15 percent compared with a 13 percent gain for the S&P 500. Several individual commodities continue to greatly outperform the broader market year-to-date, affecting equities and indexes particularly exposed to fluctuating commodity prices.

CNBC’s analytics team compiled a list of the 10 best and worst performing commodities in the CRB index for this year, based on the closing prices on Dec. 28.

By Giovanny Moreano
Posted 30 December 2011

BEST - 5. Crude Oil

Harold Sund | Image Bank | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 8.7%
Closing Price: $99.36 / barrel
52-Week High: $114.83
52-Week Low: $74.95

Related ETF: BNO, +19%

BEST - 4. RBOB Gasoline

Photo: Mark Lennihan

% Chg in 2011: 9%
Closing Price: $2.6513 / gallon
52-Week High: $3.4155
52-Week Low: $2.3597

Related ETF: DBE, +3%

BEST - 3. Gold

% Chg in 2011: 10% Closing Price: $1,564 / ounce 52-Week High: $1923.7 52-Week Low: $1307.7 Related ETF: GLD, +8%

% Chg in 2011: 10%
Closing Price: $1,564 / ounce
52-Week High: $1923.7
52-Week Low: $1307.7

Related ETF: GLD, +8%

BEST - 2. Live Cattle

% Chg in 2011: 13.7% Closing Price: $123.15 / pound 52-Week High: $125.38 52-Week Low: $101.98 COW, -3%
Photo: Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: 13.7%
Closing Price: $123.15 / pound
52-Week High: $125.38
52-Week Low: $101.98

Related ETN: COW, -3%

BEST - 1. Heating Oil

% Chg in 2011: 13.8% Closing Price: $2.8934 / gallon 52-Week High: $3.33 52-Week Low: $2.4678 UHN, +10%
Photo: AP

% Chg in 2011: 13.8%
Closing Price: $2.8934 / gallon
52-Week High: $3.33
52-Week Low: $2.4678

Related ETF: UHN, +10%

WORST - 5. LME Nickel

% Chg in 2011: -26% Closing Price: $18,410 / metric ton 52-Week High: $29,300 52-Week Low: $16,785 JJN, -29%
Photo: Rene Rausch | Wikipedia

% Chg in 2011: -26%
Closing Price: $18,410 / metric ton
52-Week High: $29,300
52-Week Low: $16,785

Related ETN: JJN, -29%

WORST - 4. Sugar

% Chg in 2011: -28% Closing Price: $23.13 / pound 52-Week High: $36.08 52-Week Low: $20.4 SGG, -12%
Photo: Michael Rosenfeld | Photographer's Choice |Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: -28%
Closing Price: $23.13 / pound
52-Week High: $36.08
52-Week Low: $20.4

Related ETF: SGG, -12%

WORST - 3. Cocoa

% Chg in 2011: -29.7% Closing Price: $2,133 / metric ton 52-Week High: $3,775 52-Week Low: $1,983 NIB, -35%
Photo: Aizar Raldes | AFP | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: -29.7%
Closing Price: $2,133 / metric ton
52-Week High: $3,775
52-Week Low: $1,983

Related ETN: NIB, -35%

WORST - 2. Natural Gas

% Chg in 2011: -30% Closing Price: $3.084 / per million BTUs 52-Week High: $4.983 52-Week Low: $3.001 UNG, -45%
Photo: Cameron Davidson | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: -30%
Closing Price: $3.084 / per million BTUs
52-Week High: $4.983
52-Week Low: $3.001

Related ETF: UNG, -45%

WORST - 1. Cotton

% Chg in 2011: -37.4% Closing Price: $90.68 / pound 52-Week High: $219.7 52-Week Low: $84.35 BAL, -23%
Photo: Joe Sohm | Digital Visions | Getty Images

% Chg in 2011: -37.4%
Closing Price: $90.68 / pound
52-Week High: $219.7
52-Week Low: $84.35

Related ETN: BAL, -23%