Commodity trading is the market activity, which links the producers of the commodities effectively with their commercial consumers. Commodity trading mainly takes place in the commodity markets where raw or primary products are usually exchanged. The raw commodities here are traded on regulated commodities exchanges, in which they are bought and sold in standardized forms of contracts. Many different factors affect the prices of commodities. This includes taxes, money supply, and inflation. Other factors such as transportation and its costs, Politics, weather and technology and its changes can have an effect as well. If, for instance, you were speculating in gold, you would buy gold biscuits, nuggets if you feel the price would go up in the future and you would wait for some time and sell it when the returns are highest. If it were, the other way round it would be wise to sell it soon before the price further decreases. There is always a buyer and a seller involved in the trading process. Even though the profits in the case of commodity are quite large, it is quite difficult and is practically impossible to make consistently correct decisions all the time about what and when to buy and sell. Commodities count as extremely lucrative investment opportunities due to their liquidity, as the speculators do not have to hold onto them. However, risk management strategies play an important role for commodity trading. Size of the market:
The trading of commodities consists of direct physical trading and derivatives trading. Exchange traded commodities have seen an upturn in the volume of trading since the start of the decade. This was largely a result of the growing attraction of commodities as an asset class and a proliferation of investment options which has made it easier to access this market. The global volume of commodities contracts traded on exchanges increased by a fifth in 2010, and a half since 2008, to around 2.5 billion million contracts. During the three years up to the end of 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 value outstanding in the previous three years. Trading on exchanges in China and India has gained in importance in recent years due to their emergence as significant commodities consumers and producers. China accounted for more than 60% of exchange-traded commodities in 2009, up on its 40% share in the previous year. Commodity assets under management more than doubled between 2008 and 2010 to nearly $380bn. Inflows into the sector totalled over $60bn in 2010, the second highest year on record, down from the record $72bn allocated to commodities funds in 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. Standardization
U.S. soybean futures, for example, are of 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)," and 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, feedstuffs, fruits, vegetables, other grains, other beans, hay, other livestock, meats, poultry, eggs, or any other commodity which is so traded.
Derivatives in India
In finance, a derivative is a security whose price is...