They say there is an ETF for just about any investing strategy and just about any sector. Today, there are five new ETFs hitting the market from BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) under its iShares ETF platform. These new ETFs will cover producers of (rather than the commodities) of agriculture, energy, select metals and mining, gold, and silver. There is going to be an overlap here against other competing ETF products so we are only going to list the major competitors of these already on the market.
iShares MSCI Global Agriculture Producers Fund (NYSE: VEGI) targets the front end of the production chain (fertilizers or agricultural materials) while excluding exposure from companies at the end of the production chain (packaging and marketing). This is a bit similar to but nowhere near identical to the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSE: MOO).
iShares MSCI Global Energy Producers Fund (NYSE: FILL) tracks the MSCI ACWI Select Energy Producers Investable Market Index. This is similar to the ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas (NYSE: DIG), but without the leverage.
iShares MSCI Global Select Metals & Mining Producers Fund (NYSE: PICK) aims to track the MSCI ACWI Select Metals & Mining Producers Ex Gold & Silver Investable Market Index. This one is not identical to but has overlaps with the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (NYSE: XME).
iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners Fund (NYSE: RING) aims to track the MSCI ACWI Select Gold Miners Investable Market Index. We consider this an alternative to the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX).
iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners Fund (NYSE: SLVP) aims to track the MSCI ACWI Select Silver Miners Investable Market Index. We would consider its an alternative to the Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE: SIL).
As far as why these are different from some other ‘production’ ETFs, iShares explains that these include only companies at, or near, the initial phase of production of the commodity. Investors can target the front end of the production chain instead of including the back-end of the production chain to focus on the aspects more sensitive to fluctuations in the underlying commodity price. Companies further down the production cycle are impacted by a number of factors in addition to commodity prices.
An ETF for just about anything… now competing ETFs for many more strategies.
JON C. OGG