Commodity market

A commodity market is a market that trades in primary economic sector rather than manufactured products. Soft commodities are agricultural products such as wheat, coffee, cocoa, fruit and sugar. Hard commodities are mined, such as gold and oil.[1] Investors access about 50 major commodity markets worldwide with purely financial transactions increasingly outnumbering physical trades in which goods are delivered. Futures contracts are the oldest way of investing in commodities. Futures are secured by physical assets.[2] Commodity markets can include physical trading and derivatives trading using spot prices, forwards, futures, and options on futures. Farmers have used a simple form of derivative trading in the commodity market for centuries for price risk management.[3]

A financial derivative is a financial instrument whose value is derived from a commodity termed an underlier.[2] Derivatives are either exchange-traded or over-the-counter (OTC). An increasing number of derivatives are traded via clearing houses some with Central Counterparty Clearing, which provide clearing and settlement services on a futures exchange, as well as off-exchange in the OTC market.[4]

Derivatives such as futures contracts, Swaps (1970s-), Exchange-traded Commodities (ETC) (2003-), forward contracts have become the primary trading instruments in commodity markets. Futures are traded on regulated commodities exchanges. Over-the-counter (OTC) contracts are "privately negotiated bilateral contracts entered into between the contracting parties directly".[5] [6]

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) began to feature commodities in 2003. Gold ETFs are based on "electronic gold" that does not entail the ownership of physical bullion, with its added costs of insurance and storage in repositories such as the London bullion market. According to the World Gold Council, ETFs allow investors to be exposed to the gold market without the risk of price volatility associated with gold as a physical commodity.[7][8][notes 1]

Chicago bot
Chicago Board of Trade Futures market


Commodity-based money and commodity markets in a crude early form are believed to have originated in Sumer between 4500 BC and 4000 BC. Sumerians first used clay tokens sealed in a clay vessel, then clay writing tablets to represent the amount—for example, the number of goats, to be delivered.[9][10] These promises of time and date of delivery resemble futures contract.

Early civilizations variously used pigs, rare seashells, or other items as commodity money. Since that time traders have sought ways to simplify and standardize trade contracts.

Gold and silver markets evolved in classical civilizations. At first the precious metals were valued for their beauty and intrinsic worth and were associated with royalty. In time, they were used for trading and were exchanged for other goods and commodities, or for payments of labor.[11] Gold, measured out, then became money. Gold's scarcity, its unique density and the way it could be easily melted, shaped, and measured made it a natural trading asset.[12]

Beginning in the late 10th century, commodity markets grew as a mechanism for allocating goods, labor, land and capital across Europe. Between the late 11th and the late 13th century, English urbanization, regional specialization, expanded and improved infrastructure, the increased use of coinage and the proliferation of markets and fairs were evidence of commercialization.[13] The spread of markets is illustrated by the 1466 installation of reliable scales in the villages of Sloten and Osdorp so villagers no longer had to travel to Haarlem or Amsterdam to weigh their locally produced cheese and butter.[13]

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, often cited as the first stock exchange, originated as a market for the exchange of commodities. Early trading on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange often involved the use of very sophisticated contracts, including short sales, forward contracts, and options. "Trading took place at the Amsterdam Bourse, an open aired venue, which was created as a commodity exchange in 1530 and rebuilt in 1608. Commodity exchanges themselves were a relatively recent invention, existing in only a handful of cities."[14]

In 1864, in the United States, wheat, corn, cattle, and pigs were widely traded using standard instruments on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the world's oldest futures and options exchange. Other food commodities were added to the Commodity Exchange Act and traded through CBOT in the 1930s and 1940s, expanding the list from grains to include rice, mill feeds, butter, eggs, Irish potatoes and soybeans.[15] Successful commodity markets require broad consensus on product variations to make each commodity acceptable for trading, such as the purity of gold in bullion.[16] Classical civilizations built complex global markets trading gold or silver for spices, cloth, wood and weapons, most of which had standards of quality and timeliness.

Through the 19th century "the exchanges became effective spokesmen for, and innovators of, improvements in transportation, warehousing, and financing, which paved the way to expanded interstate and international trade."[17]

Reputation and clearing became central concerns, and states that could handle them most effectively developed powerful financial centers.[18]

Commodity price index

In 1934, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics began the computation of a daily Commodity price index that became available to the public in 1940. By 1952, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a Spot Market Price Index that measured the price movements of "22 sensitive basic commodities whose markets are presumed to be among the first to be influenced by changes in economic conditions. As such, it serves as one early indication of impending changes in business activity."[19]

Commodity index fund

A commodity index fund is a fund whose assets are invested in financial instruments based on or linked to a commodity index. In just about every case the index is in fact a Commodity Futures Index. The first such index was the Commodity Research Bureau (CRB) Index, which began in 1958. Its construction made it unuseful as an investment index. The first practically investable commodity futures index was the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, created in 1991,[20] and known as the "GSCI". The next was the Dow Jones AIG Commodity Index. It differed from the GSCI primarily in the weights allocated to each commodity. The DJ AIG had mechanisms to periodically limit the weight of any one commodity and to remove commodities whose weights became too small. After AIG's financial problems in 2008 the Index rights were sold to UBS and it is now known as the DJUBS index. Other commodity indices include the Reuters / CRB index (which is the old CRB Index as re-structured in 2005) and the Rogers Index.

Cash commodity

Cash commodities or "actuals" refer to the physical goods—e.g., wheat, corn, soybeans, crude oil, gold, silver—that someone is buying/selling/trading as distinguished from derivatives.[3]

Call options

In a call option counterparties enter into a financial contract option where the buyer purchases the right but not the obligation to buy an agreed quantity of a particular commodity or financial instrument (the underlying) from the seller of the option at a certain time (the expiration date) for a certain price (the strike price). The seller (or "writer") is obligated to sell the commodity or financial instrument should the buyer so decide. The buyer pays a fee (called a premium) for this right.[21]

Electronic commodities trading

In traditional stock market exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), most trading activity took place in the trading pits in face-to-face interactions between brokers and dealers in open outcry trading.[22] In 1992 the Financial Information eXchange (FIX) protocol was introduced, allowing international real-time exchange of information regarding market transactions. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ordered U.S. stock markets to convert from the fractional system to a decimal system by April 2001. Metrification, conversion from the imperial system of measurement to the metrical, increased throughout the 20th century.[23] Eventually FIX-compliant interfaces were adopted globally by commodity exchanges using the FIX Protocol.[24] In 2001 the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (later merged into the CME group, the world's largest futures exchange company)[23] launched their FIX-compliant interface.

By 2011, the alternative trading system (ATS) of electronic trading featured computers buying and selling without human dealer intermediation. High-frequency trading (HFT) algorithmic trading, had almost phased out "dinosaur floor-traders".[22][notes 2]

Complexity and interconnectedness of global market

The robust growth of emerging market economies (EMEs, such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China), beginning in the 1990s, "propelled commodity markets into a supercycle". The size and diversity of commodity markets expanded internationally,[25] and pension funds and sovereign wealth funds started allocating more capital to commodities, in order to diversify into an asset class with less exposure to currency depreciation.[26]

In 2012, as emerging-market economies slowed down, commodity prices peaked and started to decline. From 2005 through 2013, energy and metals' real prices remained well above their long-term averages. In 2012, real food prices were their highest since 1982.[25]

The price of gold bullion fell dramatically on 12 April 2013 and analysts frantically sought explanations. Rumors spread that the European Central Bank (ECB) would force Cyprus to sell its gold reserves in response to its financial crisis. Major banks such as Goldman Sachs began immediately to short gold bullion. Investors scrambled to liquidate their exchange-traded funds (ETFs)[notes 3] and margin call selling accelerated. George Gero, precious metals commodities expert at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Wealth Management section reported that he had not seen selling of gold bullion as panicked as this in his forty years in commodity markets.[27]

The earliest commodity exchange-traded fund (ETFs), such as SPDR Gold Shares NYSE ArcaGLD and iShares Silver Trust NYSE ArcaSLV, actually owned the physical commodities. Similar to these are NYSE ArcaPALL (palladium) and NYSE ArcaPPLT (platinum). However, most Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs) implement a futures trading strategy. At the time Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia could sink into recession. He argued that "We live in a dynamic, fast-developing world. It is so global and so complex that we sometimes cannot keep up with the changes". Analysts have claimed that Russia's economy is overly dependent on commodities.[28]

Contracts in the commodity market

A Spot contract is an agreement where delivery and payment either takes place immediately, or with a short lag. Physical trading normally involves a visual inspection and is carried out in physical markets such as a farmers market. Derivatives markets, on the other hand, require the existence of agreed standards so that trades can be made without visual inspection.


US soybean futures, for something else, are of not being standard grade if they are "GMO or a mixture of GMO and Non-GMO No. 2 yellow soybeans of Indiana, Ohio and Michigan origin produced in the U.S.A. (Non-screened, stored in silo)". They are of "deliverable grade" if they are "GMO or a mixture of GMO and Non-GMO No. 2 yellow soybeans of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin origin produced in the U.S.A. (Non-screened, stored in silo)". Note the distinction between states, and the need to clearly mention their status as GMO (genetically modified organism) which makes them unacceptable to most organic food buyers.

Similar specifications apply for cotton, orange juice, cocoa, sugar, wheat, corn, barley, pork bellies, milk, feed, stuffs, fruits, vegetables, other grains, other beans, hay, other livestock, meats, poultry, eggs, or any other commodity which is so traded.

Standardization has also occurred technologically, as the use of the FIX Protocol by commodities exchanges has allowed trade messages to be sent, received and processed in the same format as stocks or equities. This process began in 2001 when the Chicago Mercantile Exchange launched a FIX-compliant interface that was adopted by commodity exchanges around the world.[24]


Derivatives evolved from simple commodity future contracts into a diverse group of financial instruments that apply to every kind of asset, including mortgages, insurance and many more. Futures contracts, Swaps (1970s-), Exchange-traded Commodities (ETC) (2003-), forward contracts, etc. are examples. They can be traded through formal exchanges or through Over-the-counter (OTC). Commodity market derivatives unlike credit default derivatives for example, are secured by the physical assets or commodities.[2]

Forward contracts

A forward contract is an agreement between two parties to exchange at a fixed future date a given quantity of a commodity for a specific price defined when the contract is finalized. The fixed price is also called forward price. Such forward contracts began as a way of reducing pricing risk in food and agricultural product markets. By agreeing in advance on a price for a future delivery, farmers were able protect their output agains't a possible fall of market prices and in contrast buyers were able to protect themselves against's a possible rise of market prices.

Forward contracts for example, were used for rice in seventeenth century Japan.

Futures contract

Futures contracts are standardized forward contracts that are transacted through an exchange. In futures contracts the buyer and the seller stipulate product, grade, quantity and location and leaving price as the only variable.[29]

Agricultural futures contracts are the oldest, in use in the United States for more than 170 years.[30] Modern futures agreements, began in Chicago in the 1840s, with the appearance of the railroads. Chicago, centrally located, emerged as the hub between Midwestern farmers and east coast consumer population centers.


A swap is a derivative in which counterparties exchange the cash flows of one party's financial instrument for those of the other party's financial instrument. They were introduced in the 1970s.[31][32]

Exchange-traded commodities (ETCs)

Exchange-traded commodity is a term used for commodity exchange-traded funds (which are funds) or commodity exchange-traded notes (which are notes). These track the performance of an underlying commodity index including total return indices based on a single commodity. They are similar to ETFs and traded and settled exactly like stock funds. ETCs have market maker support with guaranteed liquidity, enabling investors to easily invest in commodities.

They were introduced in 2003.

At first only professional institutional investors had access, but online exchanges opened some ETC markets to almost anyone. ETCs were introduced partly in response to the tight supply of commodities in 2000, combined with record low inventories and increasing demand from emerging markets such as China and India.[33]

Prior to the introduction of ETCs, by the 1990s ETFs pioneered by Barclays Global Investors (BGI) revolutionized the mutual funds industry.[33] By the end of December 2009 BGI assets hit an all-time high of $1 trillion.[34]

Gold was the first commodity to be securitised through an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in the early 1990s, but it was not available for trade until 2003.[33] The idea of a Gold ETF was first officially conceptualised by Benchmark Asset Management Company Private Ltd in India, when they filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Board of India in May 2002.[35] The first gold exchange-traded fund was Gold Bullion Securities launched on the ASX in 2003, and the first silver exchange-traded fund was iShares Silver Trust launched on the NYSE in 2006. As of November 2010 a commodity ETF, namely SPDR Gold Shares, was the second-largest ETF by market capitalization.[36]

Generally, commodity ETFs are index funds tracking non-security indices. Because they do not invest in securities, commodity ETFs are not regulated as investment companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940 in the United States, although their public offering is subject to SEC review and they need an SEC no-action letter under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. They may, however, be subject to regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.[37][38]

The earliest commodity ETFs, such as SPDR Gold Shares NYSE ArcaGLD and iShares Silver Trust NYSE ArcaSLV, actually owned the physical commodity (e.g., gold and silver bars). Similar to these are NYSE ArcaPALL (palladium) and NYSE ArcaPPLT (platinum). However, most ETCs implement a futures trading strategy, which may produce quite different results from owning the commodity.

Commodity ETFs trade provide exposure to an increasing range of commodities and commodity indices, including energy, metals, softs and agriculture. Many commodity funds, such as oil roll so-called front-month futures contracts from month to month. This provides exposure to the commodity, but subjects the investor to risks involved in different prices along the term structure, such as a high cost to roll.[7][8]

ETCs in China and India gained in importance due to those countries' emergence as commodities consumers and producers. China accounted for more than 60% of exchange-traded commodities in 2009, up from 40% the previous year. The global volume of ETCs increased by a 20% in 2010, and 50% since 2008, to around 2.5 billion million contracts.

Over-the-counter (OTC) commodities derivatives

Over-the-counter (OTC) commodities derivatives trading originally involved two parties, without an exchange. Exchange trading offers greater transparency and regulatory protections. In an OTC trade, the price is not generally made public. OTC commodities derivatives are higher risk but may also lead to higher profits.[39]

Between 2007 and 2010, global physical exports of commodities fell by 2%, while the outstanding value of OTC commodities derivatives declined by two-thirds as investors reduced risk following a five-fold increase in the previous three years.

Money under management more than doubled between 2008 and 2010 to nearly $380 billion. Inflows into the sector totaled over $60 billion in 2010, the second highest year on record, down from $72 billion the previous year. The bulk of funds went into precious metals and energy products. The growth in prices of many commodities in 2010 contributed to the increase in the value of commodities funds under management.[40]

Contract for Difference (CFD)

A commodity contract for difference (CFD) is a derivative instrument that mirrors the price movements of the commodity underlying the contract.

Commodity CFDs are transacted worldwide (apart from the US) through regulated brokers. CFD investors can speculate on the price of a commodity moving higher (going long the CFD) or lower (going short the CFD). CFD investors do not actually own the commodity. Instead, they enter into a contract with a broker to capture the difference between the price of the commodity at the time that they transact the CFD and the price at the time they choose to exit. CFDs typically require the investor to put up margin of about 3-5% of the price of the underlying commodity contract.

For example;[41] Imagine you’re bullish on oil. You decide to acquire CFDs to capitalize on this. You can acquire a long contract for $60.50.

To buy 20 long CFDs on 3% margin, you would need $3,630 in your account ($60.50 [long price] x 20 [number of contracts] x 100 [number of barrels in a standard contract] x 0.03 [margin percent]). You would then “control” $121,000 worth of oil for your $3,630.

That afternoon, you notice the price is up to $62.50 to $62.75, so you exit the trade, which now has a value of $125,500. Your profit would be approximately $4,500 on the deal. Of course, had the market moved against you, the leverage can have the opposite impact and losses can be significant.

CFDs are complex products for experienced traders.

Commodities exchange

A commodities exchange is an exchange where various commodities and derivatives are traded. Most commodity markets across the world trade in agricultural products and other raw materials (like wheat, barley, sugar, maize, cotton, cocoa, coffee, milk products, pork bellies, oil, metals, etc.) and contracts based on them. These contracts can include spot prices, forwards, futures and options on futures. Other sophisticated products may include interest rates, environmental instruments, swaps, or freight contracts.[3]

Largest commodities exchanges
Exchange Country Volume per month $M
CME Group USA $268,000,000[42]
Tokyo Commodity Exchange Japan -
Euronext France, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, UK -
Dalian Commodity Exchange China -
Multi Commodity Exchange India -
Intercontinental Exchange USA, Canada, China, UK -
Africa Mercantile Exchange Kenya, Africa -
Uzbek Commodity Exchange Tashkent, Uzbekistan -

Traded commodity classes

Top traded commodities
Rank Commodity Value in US$ ('000) Date of
1 Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, etc. $2,183,079,941 2012
2 Electrical, electronic equipment $1,833,534,414 2012
3 Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers, etc. $1,763,371,813 2012
4 Vehicles other than railway, tramway $1,076,830,856 2012
5 Plastics and articles thereof $470,226,676 2012
6 Optical, photo, technical, medical, etc. apparatus $465,101,524 2012
7 Pharmaceutical products $443,596,577 2012
8 Iron and steel $379,113,147 2012
9 Organic chemicals $377,462,088 2012
10 Pearls, precious stones, metals, coins, etc. $348,155,369 2012

Source: International Trade Centre[43]


Energy commodities include crude oil particularly West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil and Brent crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, ethanol and purified terephthalic acid. Hedging is a common practice for these commodities.

Crude oil and natural gas

For many years, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, a light, sweet crude oil, was the world’s most-traded commodity. WTI is a grade used as a benchmark in oil pricing. It is the underlying commodity of Chicago Mercantile Exchange's oil futures contracts. WTI is often referenced in news reports on oil prices, alongside Brent Crude. WTI is lighter and sweeter than Brent and considerably lighter and sweeter than Dubai or Oman.[44]

From April through October 2012, Brent futures contracts exceeded those for WTI, the longest streak since at least 1995.[45]

Crude oil can be light or heavy. Oil was the first form of energy to be widely traded. Some commodity market speculation is directly related to the stability of certain states, e.g., Iraq, Bahrain, Iran, Venezuela and many others. Most commodities markets are not so tied to the politics of volatile regions.

Oil and gasoline are traded in units of 1,000 barrels (42,000 US gallons). WTI crude oil is traded through NYMEX under trading symbol CL and through Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) under trading symbol WTI. Brent crude oil is traded in through Intercontinental Exchange under trading symbol B. Gulf Coast Gasoline is traded through NYMEX with the trading symbol of LR. Gasoline (reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygen blending or RBOB) is traded through NYMEX via trading symbol RB. Propane is traded through NYMEX, a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange since early 2013, via trading symbol PN.

Natural gas is traded through NYMEX in units of 10,000 mmBTU with the trading symbol of NG. Heating oil is traded through NYMEX under trading symbol HO.


Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) is traded through ZCE in units of 5 tons with the trading symbol of TA. Ethanol is traded at CBOT in units of 29,000 U.S. gal under trading symbols AC (Open Auction) and ZE (Electronic).


Precious metals

Precious metals currently traded on the commodity market include gold, platinum, palladium and silver which are sold by the troy ounce. One of the main exchanges for these precious metals is COMEX.

According to the World Gold Council, investments in gold are the primary driver of industry growth. Gold prices are highly volatile, driven by large flows of speculative money.[46]

Industrial metals

Industrial metals are sold by the metric ton through the London Metal Exchange and New York Mercantile Exchange. The London Metal Exchange trades include copper, aluminium, lead, tin, aluminium alloy, nickel, cobalt and molybdenum. In 2007, steel began trading on the London Metal Exchange.

Iron ore has been the latest addition to industrial metal derivatives. Deutsche Bank first began offering iron ore swaps in 2008, other banks quickly followed. Since then the size of the market has more than doubled each year between 2008 and 2012.[47]


Agricultural commodities include grains, food and fiber as well as livestock and meat, various regulatory bodies define agricultural products.[48]

On 21 July 2010, United States Congress passed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act with changes to the definition of agricultural commodity. The operational definition used by Dodd-Frank includes "[a]ll other commodities that are, or once were, or are derived from, living organisms, including plant, animal and aquatic life, which are generally fungible, within their respective classes, and are used primarily for human food, shelter, animal feed, or natural fiber.” Three other categories were explained and listed.[49]

In February 2013, Cornell Law School included lumber, soybeans, oilseeds, livestock (live cattle and hogs), dairy products. Agricultural commodities can include lumber (timber and forests), grains excluding stored grain (wheat, oats, barley, rye, grain sorghum, cotton, flax, forage, tame hay, native grass), vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, sweet corn, dry beans, dry peas, freezing and canning peas), fruit (citrus such as oranges, apples, grapes) corn, tobacco, rice, peanuts, sugar beets, sugar cane, sunflowers, raisins, nursery crops, nuts, soybean complex, aquacultural fish farm species such as finfish, mollusk, crustacean, aquatic invertebrate, amphibian, reptile, or plant life cultivated in aquatic plant farms.[50] [51]

In 1900, corn acreage was double that of wheat in the United States. But from the 1930s through the 1970s soybean acreage surpassed corn. Early in the 1970s grain and soybean prices, which had been relatively stable, "soared to levels that were unimaginable at the time." There were a number of factors affecting prices including the "surge in crude oil prices caused by the Arab Oil Embargo in October 1973 (US inflation reached 11% in 1975)."[52]


As of 2012, diamond was not traded as a commodity. Institutional investors were repelled by campaign against "blood diamonds", the monopoly structure of the diamond market and the lack of uniform standards for diamond pricing. In 2012 the SEC reviewed a proposal to create the "first diamond-backed exchange-traded fund" that would trade on-line in units of one-carat diamonds with a storage vault and delivery point in Antwerp, home of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse. The exchange fund was backed by a company based in New York City called IndexIQ. IndexIQ had already introduced 14 exchange-traded funds since 2008.[46][53][notes 4]

According to Citigroup analysts, the annual production of polished diamonds is about $18 billion. Like gold, diamonds are easily authenticated and durable. Diamond prices have been more stable than the metals, as the global diamond monopoly De Beers once held almost 90% (by 2013 reduced to 40%) of the new diamond market.[46]

Other commodity markets

Rubber trades on the Singapore Commodity Exchange in units of 1 kg priced in US cents. Palm oil is traded on the Malaysian Ringgit (RM), Bursa Malaysia in units of 1 kg priced in US cents. Wool is traded on the AUD in units of 1 kg. Polypropylene and Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LL) did trade on the London Metal Exchange in units of 1,000 kg priced in USD but was dropped in 2011.

Regulatory bodies and policies

United States

In the United States, the principal regulator of commodity and futures markets is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The National Futures Association (NFA) was formed in 1976 and is the futures industry's self-regulatory organization. The NFA's first regulatory operations began in 1982 and fall under the Commodity Exchange Act of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act.[54]

Dodd–Frank was enacted in response to the 2008 financial crisis. It called for "strong measures to limit speculation in agricultural commodities" calling upon the CFTC to further limit positions and to regulate over-the-counter trades.[55]

European Union

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) is the cornerstone of the European Commission's Financial Services Action Plan that regulate operations of the EU financial service markets. It was reviewed in 2012 by the European Parliament (EP) and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN).[56] The European Parliament adopted a revised version of Mifid II on 26 October 2012 which include "provisions for position limits on commodity derivatives", aimed at "preventing market abuse" and supporting "orderly pricing and settlement conditions".[57]

The European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma), based in Paris and formed in 2011, is an "EU-wide financial markets watchdog". Esma sets position limits on commodity derivatives as described in Mifid II.[57]

The EP voted in favor of stronger regulation of commodity derivative markets in September 2012 to "end abusive speculation in commodity markets" that were "driving global food prices increases and price volatility". In July 2012, "food prices globally soared by 10 percent" (World Bank 2012). Senior British MEP Arlene McCarthy called for "putting a brake on excessive food speculation and speculating giants profiting from hunger" ending immoral practices that "only serve the interests of profiteers".[58] In March 2012, EP Member Markus Ferber suggested amendments to the European Commission's proposals, intended to strengthen restrictions on high-frequency trading and commodity price manipulation.[59]

Trading systems

Software for managing trading systems has been available for several decades in various configurations. This includes software as a service. So-called Energy Trading Risk Management (ETRM) includes software such as Triple Point Technology, Sol Arc, Open Link and Gibbon. One of the more popular soft commodity solutions is called Just Commodity, based in Singapore this application caters to a large number of palm oil, edible oil, sugar and wheat trading businesses.

See also


  1. ^ This article covers physical product (food, metals, energy) markets but not the ways that services, including those of governments, nor investment, nor debt, can be seen as a commodity. Articles on reinsurance markets, stock markets, bond markets, and currency markets cover those concerns separately and in more depth.
  2. ^ In July 2009, when a high-frequency trading platform with proprietary algorithmic trading code used by Goldman Sachs to allegedly generate massive profits in the commodity market was stolen by Sergey Aleynikov there was widespread concern about the unintended economic consequences of HFT.
  3. ^ Exchange Traded Funds revolutionized the mutual funds industry when they were introduced. Exchange Traded Commodities, sold first by pioneering investors group Barclays Global Investors (BGI) (now owned by BlackRock) revolutionized the commodity market. By the end of December 2009 Barclays Global Investors (BGI) assets hit an all-time high of $1 trillion ($1,032 billion).
  4. ^ IndexIQ registered Adam S. Patti as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and David Fogel as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President in the City of Rye Brook, New York, on 31 January 2013 as representatives of IndexIQ Advisors LLC sponsoring the IQ Physical Diamond Trust.


  1. ^ "Soft Commodity Definition". Investopedia. 15 February 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c O'Harrow, Robert (21 April 2010). "A primer on financial derivatives". Washington Post.
  3. ^ a b c "Opportunities and Risk: an Educational Guide to Trading Futures and Options on Futures" (PDF). Chicago, Illinois: National Futures Association. 2006. p. 6.
  4. ^ "Understanding Derivatives: Markets and Infrastructure - Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  5. ^ "The Regulation of Derivatives in Canada". Expert Panel. 2007.
  6. ^ Loder, Asjylyn (18 July 2010). "Commodity Manipulation May Be Easier to Prove After Overhaul". Bloomberg.
  7. ^ a b Bytom Lauricella (2 November 2009). "Gold Mutual Funds Vs. Gold ETFs: It Depends on the Goal". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b "The Future of Commodity ETFs". Morningstar. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  9. ^ Banerjee, Jasodhara (16 January 2013). "Origins of Growing Money". India: Forbes India Magazine.
  10. ^ Sinha, Ram Pratap; Bhuniya, Ashis (7 January 2011). "Risk Transfer Through Commodity Derivatives: A Study of Soyabean Oil". Social Science Research Network (SSRN). SSRN 1736406.
  11. ^ The Historical Value of Silver: A 2000-Year Overview
  12. ^ History of gold
  13. ^ a b Dijkman, Jessica Elisabeth Catharina (18 June 2010). "Medieval market institutions: The organisation of commodity markets in Holland, c. 1200 – c. 1450" (PDF). pp. 1–2.
  14. ^ Stringham, Edward (2003). "The Extralegal Development of Securities Trading in Seventeenth Century Amsterdam". Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. 43 (2): 321. SSRN 1676251.
  15. ^ "History of the CFTC: U.S. Futures Trading and Regulation Before the Creation of the CFTC". U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  16. ^ "Variations of commodities in trading". GOptions Trading. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  17. ^ US Commodity Futures Trading Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Regulations. ISBN 1577516095.
  18. ^ Markham, Jerry W. (1987). The History of Commodity Futures Trading and Its Regulation. Praeger. p. 305.
  19. ^ "CRB® BLS Spot Indices". Encyclopedia of Commodity and Financial Prices: Grains and Oilseeds. Commodity Research Bureau (CRB). 2006.
  20. ^ "The Food Bubble", Frederick Kaufman, Harper's, 2010 July
  21. ^ O'Sullivan, Arthur; Sheffrin, Steven M. (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. p. 288. ISBN 0-13-063085-3.
  22. ^ a b McGowan, Michael (2011). "The rise of computerized high frequency trading: use and controversy". Duke Law & Technology Review.
  23. ^ a b Johnson, David. "Stock Market Goes Decimal: Complicated fractions abandoned in favor of pennies".
  24. ^ a b Malabre, Fred; Mendelson, Don (15 December 2011). "Commodities Trading with FIX". CME Group.
  25. ^ a b Lane (Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada), Timothy (25 September 2012). "Financing Commodities Markets presented to the CFA Society of Calgary". Calgary, Alberta.
  26. ^ Firzli, M. Nicolas; Bazi, Vincent (2011). "Infrastructure Investments in an Age of Austerity: The Pension and Sovereign Funds Perspective". Revue Analyse Financière, volume 41. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011.
  27. ^ Fontevecchia, Agustino (15 April 2013). "Violent And Panicky Gold Selling Collapse Bullion And Commodity Markets". Forbes.
  28. ^ Gorst, Isabel (17 April 2013). "Russia and less than $100 oil". Financial Times Blog. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  29. ^ Garner, Carley. A Trader's First Book on Commodities. (New Jersey: FT Press, 2010): pg 19.
  30. ^ Futures Trading Act of 1921, Declared unconstitutional in Hill v. Wallace 259 U.S. 44 (1922), the Grain Futures Act of 1922 and Board of Trade of City of Chicago v. Olsen 262 U.S. 1 (1923).
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Further reading

External links

Corn exchange

A corn exchange is a building where merchants traded corn. Such trade was common in towns and cities across England until the 19th century, but as the trade became centralised in the 20th century many such buildings were used for other purposes. Several have since become historical landmarks.

For the history of corn exchanges, see:

Corn Exchanges in England

grain trade

Commodity market and

Commodities exchange

Edward Francis Hutton

Edward Francis Hutton (September 7, 1875 – July 11, 1962) was an American financier and co-founder of E. F. Hutton & Co., one of the largest financial firms in the United States.

Howard Buffett

Howard Homan Buffett (August 13, 1903 – April 30, 1964) was an American businessman, investor, and politician. He was a four-term Republican United States Representative for the state of Nebraska. He was the father of Warren Buffett, the famed American billionaire businessman and investor.

Ivan Boesky

Ivan Frederick Boesky (born March 6, 1937) is a former American stock trader who became infamous for his prominent role in an insider trading scandal that occurred in the United States during the mid-1980s.

Jack Dreyfus

John J. "Jack" Dreyfus, Jr. (August 28, 1913 – March 27, 2009) was an American financial expert and the founder of the Dreyfus Funds.

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Dreyfus was a graduate of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He is widely publicized for being the man who "invented" the commonplace mutual fund through direct marketing to the public.After selling the fund during the early 1970s, Dreyfus became a major proponent of phenytoin as a means to control nervousness and depression when he received a prescription for Dilantin in 1966. Dreyfus' book about his experience with phenytoin, A Remarkable Medicine Has Been Overlooked, sits on the shelves of many physicians courtesy of the work of his foundation. The book Despite well over $100 million in personal financing, his push to see phenytoin evaluated for alternative uses has had little lasting effect on the medical community. This was partially due to Parke-Davis's reluctance to invest in a drug nearing the end of its patent life.

His early television commercials featuring a lion emerging from the Wall Street subway station were successful.

According to Barron's Magazine end of Century issue, Jack Dreyfus was considered the 2nd most significant money manager of the last century.

Dreyfus married in 1939 Joan Personette, from whom he was divorced; they had one child, John (Jonny).

His paternal grandfather was a first cousin of Alfred Dreyfus, the protagonist of the French 19th-century anti-Semitic scandal known as the Dreyfus affair.

Jack Dreyfus was also a renowned, championship bridge player.

Jack Dreyfus wrote and published his autobiography titled The Two Lives of Jack Dreyfus--The Lion of Wall Street copyright 1996. Still a proponent of phenytoin, he had his autobiography bound together with his previous work, A Remarkable Medicine Has Been Overlooked. This single volume containing both works, he distributed for free.

John "Jack" Dreyfus died on March 27, 2009.

James R. Keene

James Robert Keene (February 8, 1838 - January 3, 1913) was a Wall Street stockbroker and a major thoroughbred race horse owner and breeder.

John Fitzwilliam Stairs

John Fitzwilliam Stairs, also known as John Fitz William Stairs (January 19, 1848 – September 26, 1904) was an entrepreneur and statesman, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a member of the prominent Stairs family of merchants and shippers founded by William Machin Stairs (1789–1865) that included the Victorian era explorer, William Grant Stairs.

Known as "John F.", he studied at Dalhousie University and then entered the management of the family's vast business empire. He was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1879, resigning in 1882 to successfully run for election to the House of Commons of Canada in Ottawa where he served as a Conservative Party member until 1896.

Stairs was president of many companies, including Nova Scotia Steel, Eastern Trust, Trinidad Electric (B.W.I.) and Royal Securities Corporation. He served as director of the Dartmouth and Halifax Steamboat Company, Nova Scotia Sugar Refining, the Union Bank of Halifax, Consumer Cordage, and during his lifetime, came to dominate the financial elite of the Maritime provinces.

He also employed Max Aitken (later, Lord Beaverbrook) at the beginning of Aitken's business career, hiring him in 1902 when he set up Royal Securities, the first investment firm in Eastern Canada. Max Aitken was at Stairs' bedside when he died in Toronto, Ontario. His remains were sent to Halifax where he was buried in the Fairview Cemetery.

John W. Henry

John William Henry II (born September 13, 1949) is an American businessman and investor and the founder of John W. Henry & Company, an investment management firm. He is the principal owner of The Boston Globe, the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing. In March 2006, Boston Magazine estimated Henry's net worth at 1.1 billion but noted that his company had recently experienced difficulties. In November 2012, the company announced that it would stop managing clients' money by the end of the year, and Henry confirmed that total assets under the firm's management had fallen from $2.5 billion in 2006 to less than $100 million as of late 2012. As of July 2017, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.6 billion.

Jun Song

Jun Song (born July 19, 1975 in Seoul, South Korea) is a former investment manager from New York City, New York and the winner of the CBS reality show Big Brother 4.

Larry Hite

Lawrence D. Hite is a hedge fund manager who, along with Ed Seykota, is one of the forefathers of system trading.

Linda Bradford Raschke

Linda Bradford Raschke (/'ræʃki/) is an American commodities and futures trader. She is President of LBRGroup, Inc., a registered CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor) and money management firm, and President of LBR Asset Management, a CPO (Commodity Pool Operator).

Monroe Trout

Monroe Trout, Jr. (born January 22, 1962) is a retired financial speculator and hedge fund manager profiled in the book New Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager. Monroe Trout, Jr.'s expertise is in quantitative analysis, with pattern recognition backed by statistical analysis. He subscribes to Ayn Rand's Objectivism. He has traded stocks, stock index futures, commodity futures, and options on all these, both for his own account and as an advisor for others.

Ray Dalio

Raymond Dalio (born August 8, 1949) is an American billionaire investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. Dalio is the founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, one of the world's largest hedge funds. As of January 2019, he is #79 of the world's 100 wealthiest people, according to Bloomberg.

Stephen A. Schwarzman

Stephen Allen Schwarzman (born February 14, 1947) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the Chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm he established in 1985 with former CEO and Chairman of Lehman Brothers and US Secretary of Commerce Pete Peterson. His personal fortune is estimated at $12.4 billion as of December 2018. As of 2017, Forbes ranked Schwarzman at 117th on its World's Billionaires List. Schwarzman chaired President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum for 6 months.

Stock exchanges in Ukraine

Stock exchanges in Ukraine are less common type of exchange than commodity market and are the youngest. Stock exchanges really surfaced by the end of the 1990s, but it was not until the Orange Revolution when stock market in Ukraine showed a noticeable growth. Number of stock exchanges in Ukraine belong to Russian owners.

Thomas Peterffy

Thomas Peterffy (born 1944) is a Hungarian-born American billionaire businessman. He is the founder, chairman, CEO, and the largest shareholder of Interactive Brokers. Peterffy worked as an architectural draftsman after emigrating to the United States, and later became a computer programmer. In 1977, Peterffy purchased a seat on the American Stock Exchange and played a role in developing the electronic trading of securities. According to Forbes he is the richest Hungarian, and the richest person in Florida.

Timothy Sykes

Timothy Sykes (born April 15, 1981) is a penny stock trader. He is best known for earning $1.65 million by day trading while attending Tulane University.

Toby Crabel

Toby Crabel (born May 5, 1955) is a United States commodities trader. In 2005, the Financial Times called Crabel "the most well-known trader on the counter-trend side". He is the fund manager of "Crabel Capital Management," which has previously ranked highly on Absolute Return magazine's list of US groups with more than $1 billion Assets under management. Crabel managed 3.2 billion dollars with growth of 16.7% in 2005. Crabel has a strong record of positive returns, having avoided a single losing year between 1991 and 2002.Crabel released his book, Day Trading with Short-term Price Patterns, in 1990.

Tom Basso

Thomas F. Basso is an American hedge fund manager. He was president and founder of Trendstat Capital Management. Trendstat was closed in 2003 when assets under management fell to $65M. He is the author of two books, Panic-Proof Investing and the self-published The Frustrated Investor. In 1998, he was elected to the board of the National Futures Association.

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