Is There an ETF for Sugar?

by Daisy

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have revolutionized the investment landscape by offering easy access to a wide range of asset classes without the complexities associated with direct investment. Among the diverse offerings, commodities ETFs have become popular for those looking to hedge against inflation or diversify their portfolios. Sugar, as a commodity, holds significant economic value and interest. This article explores the realm of sugar ETFs, focusing on the Teucrium Sugar Fund (CANE), the only sugar ETF currently available on the market.

What Is Sugar ETFs?

Sugar ETFs provide a streamlined way for investors to gain exposure to the sugar market, specifically through sugar futures. These ETFs are designed to track the price changes of sugar, allowing investors to benefit from price movements without the need to directly engage in the futures market, which can be complex and require a substantial amount of capital and knowledge.


A sugar ETF primarily invests in sugar futures contracts, offering a convenient and cost-effective method for investors to participate in the sugar market. By doing so, these ETFs simplify the process of investing in sugar, removing the need for investors to open a futures trading account, which can be cumbersome and involves higher risk and margin requirements.


ETFs are traded on major stock exchanges, making them easily accessible to retail investors. This ease of access, combined with the ability to buy and sell shares throughout the trading day, enhances their appeal. Additionally, ETFs often come with lower expense ratios compared to mutual funds, providing a cost-effective investment vehicle.

Available Sugar ETFs

Currently, the Teucrium Sugar Fund (CANE) is the only ETF dedicated to sugar available to investors. Launched in September 2011, CANE has been the go-to option for those looking to invest in sugar via an ETF.

Teucrium Sugar Fund (CANE)

CANE is structured to track the performance of sugar futures contracts. Specifically, it utilizes a blend of three futures contracts: one-third in the second-to-expire contract, one-third in the third-to-expire contract, and one-third in the fourth-to-expire contract, weighted equally. This methodology aims to mitigate the effects of contango and backwardation, common issues in futures markets that can erode returns.

Performance Metrics

Assets Under Management (AUM): As of the latest data, CANE holds assets worth approximately $20 million. This relatively modest AUM reflects its niche market appeal.

Average Volume: The average trading volume for CANE is around 30,000 shares per day. While this indicates moderate liquidity, it’s sufficient for most retail investors, though larger institutional trades might influence market movements.

Recent Price Changes: Over the past year, CANE has experienced significant price fluctuations, reflecting the volatile nature of the sugar market. Price changes are primarily driven by global sugar supply and demand dynamics, weather conditions affecting crop yields, and geopolitical factors.

Expense Ratio: CANE’s expense ratio stands at 1.0%, which is on the higher end for commodity ETFs. However, this fee is justified by the fund’s unique exposure and the complexities involved in managing sugar futures contracts.

Investment Metrics and Rankings

When evaluating CANE, it is essential to consider various investment metrics and how the fund ranks relative to other U.S.-listed commodity ETFs.

Commodity Power Rankings

3-Month Fund Flows: Fund flows indicate the net amount of money moving into and out of the ETF. For CANE, the 3-month fund flows have been relatively stable, reflecting consistent investor interest despite market volatility.

Returns: Over a three-month period, CANE’s returns have mirrored the performance of sugar prices. This period has seen significant price movements due to varying factors such as weather conditions affecting sugarcane harvests and international trade policies impacting sugar exports and imports.

Assets Under Management (AUM): Compared to other commodity ETFs, CANE’s AUM is modest. Larger commodity ETFs, such as those tracking gold or oil, typically have AUMs in the billions. However, within the niche market of agricultural commodities, CANE holds a significant position.

Expense Ratios: CANE’s expense ratio of 1.0% is relatively high compared to broad-based commodity ETFs, but it is in line with other niche commodity funds. Investors should weigh this cost against the potential benefits of gaining specific exposure to the sugar market.

Dividend Yields: Unlike some commodity ETFs that pay dividends, CANE does not offer a dividend yield. This is typical for funds focused on futures contracts, as these do not generate income like equity investments.

Comparative Rankings: Within the context of U.S.-listed commodity ETFs, CANE is unique in its singular focus on sugar. While it may not rank high in terms of AUM or liquidity compared to more diversified commodity ETFs, it provides unparalleled exposure to sugar futures, making it a valuable tool for specific investment strategies.

See Also: What is the symbol for sugar futures?

Inflation Hedge Potential

Commodities, including sugar, have historically been viewed as potential hedges against inflation. During periods of inflation, the prices of goods and services rise, and commodities often see corresponding increases. This relationship can make commodity ETFs like CANE an attractive option for investors looking to protect their portfolios from the eroding effects of inflation.

Sugar as an Inflation Hedge

Sugar prices are influenced by a variety of factors, including weather conditions, agricultural policies, and global supply and demand dynamics. When inflationary pressures mount, the cost of producing and transporting sugar can rise, leading to higher sugar prices. By investing in CANE, investors can potentially benefit from these price increases.

Considerations for Investors

While sugar can serve as an inflation hedge, investors should be aware of the inherent volatility in the sugar market. Prices can be highly unpredictable, influenced by factors beyond the typical scope of financial markets, such as weather patterns and crop yields. As a result, investing in CANE requires a tolerance for risk and an understanding of the underlying market dynamics.

Strategic Allocation

For those looking to hedge against unexpected inflation, allocating a portion of their portfolio to commodity ETFs like CANE can be a strategic move. This allocation should be balanced with other assets to ensure a diversified portfolio that can withstand various market conditions.


The Teucrium Sugar Fund (CANE) stands out as the sole ETF dedicated to providing exposure to the sugar market. With its unique structure and focus on sugar futures contracts, CANE offers investors a straightforward way to invest in sugar without the complexities of a futures account. While the fund’s expense ratio is relatively high, its targeted exposure can make it a valuable component of a diversified investment strategy, particularly for those looking to hedge against inflation.

Investing in CANE requires an understanding of the sugar market and its inherent volatility. By considering the fund’s performance metrics, expense ratios, and the potential for inflation hedging, investors can make informed decisions about incorporating this niche commodity ETF into their portfolios. As always, it is advisable to conduct thorough research and consult with a financial advisor to ensure that any investment aligns with one’s overall financial goals and risk tolerance.

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