Home » Finance » Investing

Commodity Trading - A Brief Overview

May 25, 2008
Commodity Trading is strictly speaking the trading of physical commodities - such as soyabeans, wheat, corn, gold, silver, cattle, oil etc. - or their futures contracts on the established commodity exchanges.

Farmers use commodity trading to lock in favorable prices prior to an ensuing harvest. Hence, there are real commercial reasons for trading in commodities. However, they are also traded for pure speculation by private traders seeking to make a commodity trading profit by speculating in the price movement over their chosen time-frame.

More than any other type of speculation, such as forex or stock trading, commodity markets involve a very high degree of seasonality. Hence, it is important that the trader be very aware of the underlying cycles affecting the market in question.

That said, commodity trading can be done successfully by giving a very high degree of emphasis to the price charts alone. The commodities trade extremely well according to technical analysis methods. For example, Fibonacci price retracements and time cycle analysis work extremely well on commodity charts. So too do other technical indicators such as moving averages, price gaps, support and resistance points, trendlines and so on.

Trading commodities can be an extremely volatile and unpredictable business because these markets are known for their sudden and sustained price surges and collapses. Compare a long-term commodity chart of something like soybeans or oil to any stock index and you will see the difference. Hence, it is vital in commodity trading that you are extremely disciplined in your approach and employ strict money management rules. A good stop loss order, placed in the market at the time you place your trade, is a must.

Traders also play the spreads between commodities, which is an extremely popular form of commodity trading, and which effectively multiplies the range of profit opportunities hugely. Examples of spreads is the wheat-corn spread, where traders speculate on the relative price of one to the other. Other spread opportunities occur in the price differentials between different delivery months of the same commodities' futures contracts. Hence, you might buy the contract nearer to expiration and sell the one further out with the expectation that long-term prices of that commodity will fall with respect to near term prices.

Once you also realize that there are active options contracts in all the major instruments, it becomes clear that commodity trading is a very desirable niche within the universe of speculation.

As with all forms of trading, mental and financial discipline are key factors to success in commodity trading. Given their extreme volatility, it is paramount that you have a proven method before you ever speculate a single dollar in these often unpredictable markets.

You must also remember that these are real physical products involved, and they can literally be delivered if you fail to close out your position before the expiry of the commodity future or option contract. Otherwise, it can result in a truck pulling up outside your house with your delivery of soybeans, live cattle or cocoa - depending on what you have been trading. This has been known to happen!

That said, the opportunities present in commodity trading are huge and exciting. These are markets that see some real action, and you also have the pleasure of knowing that you are trading in real world items, which can give your trading a whole new meaning.
About the Author
Discover FREE expert Trading videos, podcasts and articles packed

with secret strategies to super-charge your Trading and rocket

your profits. Dr. Asoka Selvarajah also offers you his critical

FREE report, The 7 Deadly Mistakes Of Commodity Trading.

Visit His Online Trading Site (CommodityTradingRebel.Com) Right Now!
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 243
Print Email Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources