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Commodity Prices Fell in December amid Fiscal Cliff Concerns

January 16th, 2013

van eck globalThe UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity (“CM”) Commodity Total Return Index (ticker: CMCITR), a modern commodity index designed to reduce the potential negative effects of contango, returned -1.26 percent in December, bringing full-year performance for the index to a gain of 2.80 percent, according to data released today by Van Eck Global and Bloomberg.

Commodity prices overall appeared to suffer during December due to worries surrounding the U.S. “fiscal cliff,” which overshadowed positive announcements involving “QE4,” stabilizing Chinese manufacturing and retail data, and a decline in the U.S. unemployment rate. Further bright spots could be seen in the U.S. housing market, as the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed prices rising in October, the ninth consecutive month of such increases.

Energy was the best performing sector in December, while industrial metals and livestock both saw declines. Agriculture saw declines due to weakening demand. Precious metals posted the weakest showing in December as they failed to perform well on global easing, thus indicating that other, potentially temporary, year-end factors weighed on the gold market.


CMCITR roll yield was negative for the month. WTI contango narrowed and Brent backwardation widened. Natural gas contango narrowed and hovered in manageable levels. Sugar and wheat contango widened during the month. Copper and silver contango widened, while gold contango narrowed slightly.

CMCITR performance was negative in December, but outperformed the other main “constant maturity” indexes. The index also outperformed each of these competitors for the full year of 2012. This includes the Continuous Commodity Index (CCITR: -3.30 percent in December; -5.01 for 2012) and the Greenhaven Continuous Commodity Index (GCC: -3.42 percent in December; -3.77 percent YTD).

During December, CMCITR also exceeded the more traditional Dow Jones UBS Commodity Index (DJUBSTR), which returned -2.61 percent (-1.06 percent YTD) though it was outperformed by the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (SPGSCITR), which returned -0.65 percent in December (+0.08 percent in 2012).

CMCITR diversifies across 28 commodity components and up to five maturities. The Index was designed to minimize investment exposure to the front end of the futures curve; and by diversifying exposure across multiple maturities the Index seeks to mitigate the impact of contango, a major concern for commodity investors.

CMCITR is the underlying index for the Van Eck CM Commodity Index Fund (tickers: CMCAX, COMIX, CMCYX), an open-end, index-based mutual fund launched at the end of 2010.

Contango Defined

Contango refers to an upward-sloping futures curve. When a curve is in contango, the futures price is greater than the spot price. As a result, the price of a futures contract is greater than the price of an expiring contract. When this occurs, investors will incur an added cost each time a contract expires and it is rolled over and replaced it with another contract.

Fund Performance

The performance shown for the indices does not reflect fees and charges, which are assessed with the purchase and ownership of the Fund. Indices are not securities in which investments can be made.

Average Annual Total Returns (%) as of December 30, 2012
1 Mo1 3 Mo1 YTD1 1 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 10 Yr Life
Class A: NAV (Inception 12/31/10) -1.31 -3.84 1.23 1.23 -3.55
Class A: Maximum 5.75% load -6.98 -9.33 -4.62 -4.62 -6.36
UBS Bloomberg CMCI -1.26 -3.61 2.80 2.80 4.16 0.21

1One-month and year-to-date returns are not annualized.

The tables present past performance, which is no guarantee of future results and which may be lower or higher than current performance. Returns reflect applicable fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements. Had the Fund incurred all expenses and fees, investment returns would have been reduced. Investment returns and Fund share values will fluctuate so that investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Fund returns assume that dividends and capital gains distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at NAV. Index returns assume that dividends of the Index constituents have been reinvested.

Expenses: Class A: Gross 1.66%; Net 0.95%. Expenses are capped contractually until 05/01/13 at 0.95% for Class A. Caps exclude certain expenses, such as interest.

About Van Eck Global

Founded in 1955, Van Eck Associates Corporation was among the first U.S. money managers helping investors achieve greater diversification through global investing. Today, the firm continues this tradition by offering innovative, actively managed investment choices in hard assets, emerging markets, precious metals including gold, and other alternative asset classes.

Market Vectors exchange-traded products have been offered by Van Eck Global since 2006 when the firm launched the nation’s first gold mining ETF. Today, Market Vectors ETFs and ETNs span several asset classes, including equities, municipal bonds and currency markets.

Van Eck Global also offers mutual funds, variable insurance products, separate accounts and alternative investments. Designed for investors seeking innovative choices for portfolio diversification, Van Eck Global’s investment products are often categorized in asset classes having returns with low correlations to those of more traditional U.S. equity and fixed income investments.

All indices are unmanaged and include the reinvestment of all dividends, but do not reflect the payment of transaction costs, advisory fees or expenses that are associated with an investment in the Fund. An index’s performance is not illustrative of any fund’s performance. Indices are not securities in which investments can be made. Results reflect past performance and do not guarantee future results. This performance is historical and is provided to illustrate market trends. The DJUBS is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities. The S&P GSCI is composed of futures contracts on 24 physical commodities, with high energy concentration and limited diversification. Both indices buy and sell short-term (i.e., “front month”) futures contracts. In comparison, the UBS Bloomberg CMCI is composed of futures contracts on 28 physical commodities and buys and sells contracts with maturities of three months and, for some commodities, up to three years.

UBS and Bloomberg own or exclusively license, solely or jointly as agreed between them all proprietary rights with respect to the Index. In no way do UBS or Bloomberg sponsor or endorse, nor are they otherwise involved in the issuance and offering of the Fund nor do either of them make any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the holders of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in the Fund or commodities generally or in futures particularly, or as to results to be obtained from the use of the Index or from the Fund.

Risks: You can lose money by investing in the Fund. Any investment in the Fund should be part of an overall investment program, not a complete program. Commodities are assets that have tangible properties, such as oil, metals, and agriculture. Commodities and commodity-linked derivatives may be affected by overall market movements and other factors that affect the value of a particular industry or commodity such as weather, disease, embargoes or political or regulatory developments. The value of a commodity-linked derivative is generally based on price movements of a commodity, a commodity futures contract, a commodity index or other economic variables based on the commodity markets. Derivatives use leverage, which may exaggerate a loss. The Fund is subject to the risks associated with its investments in commodity-linked derivatives, risks of investing in wholly owned subsidiary, risk of tracking error, risks of aggressive investment techniques, leverage risk, derivatives risks, counterparty risks, non-diversification risk, credit risk, concentration risk and market risk. The use of commodity-linked derivatives such as swaps, commodity-linked structured notes and futures entails substantial risks, including risk of loss of a significant portion of their principal value, lack of a secondary market, increased volatility, correlation risk, liquidity risk, interest-rate risk, market risk, credit risk, valuation risk and tax risk. Gains and losses from speculative positions in derivatives may be much greater than the derivative’s cost. At any time, the risk of loss of any individual security held by the Fund could be significantly higher than 50% of the security’s value. Investment in commodity markets may not be suitable for all investors. The Fund’s investment in commodity-linked derivative instruments may subject the fund to greater volatility than investment in traditional securities.

For a description of these and other risk considerations, please refer to the Fund’s prospectuses, which should be read carefully before you invest. Again, the Fund offers investors exposure to the broad commodity markets, currently by investing in a combination of commodity-linked structured notes and swaps. The Fund has obtained a private letter ruling from the IRS confirming that the income produced by certain types of structured notes constitutes “qualifying income.”

Please call 800.826.2333 or visit vaneck.com for performance information current to the most recent month end and for a free prospectus and summary prospectus. An investor should consider the Fund’s investment objective, risks, and charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus and summary prospectus contains this and other information. Please read it carefully before investing.


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