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Learn Commodities Trading - What Do I Need To Know About Futures Trading?

Aug 17, 2007
We assume that you are familiar with the basics of commodities - what they are and the different types of trading. In this article, we will delve in a little more into the futures trading, which is the most common found on many markets these days. Because it is the most common, here we will take a closer look.

A lot of times, commodities like oil are most commonly traded in future trades. For example a barrel of oil can be marked at seventy dollars on a contract for a future trade. The date of expiration will be on this contract, as well as the name of the company it is for. This name must be specific to be of any quality on the contract. This can help differentiate the place the person is expecting the oil to come from, because there are so many places it can come from.

Another very important aspect that should be discussed in intro to commodities part 2 and in regards to future trading is the price. The price itself is very closely related to the company it comes from. That is part of the reason it is so important to state on the contract, where the oil is being purchased. Or whatever the commodity may be at the time. As far as oil, the company affects the price because there are different production processes, refining processes and shipping costs and compositions.

Coming back to the original example in our intro to commodities is the fact that seventy dollars is being asked for this barrel of oil. This means that a small amount of this total must be paid up front. This is called a margin. Lot's of different things affect this margin, but five percent is usually the average one. The contract will usually state how much oil they want and the five percent is determined from the total.

The main thing to remember in commodities is the date. The date when the product is due, in this case the oil, is very important. There are specialists who actually deal with the oil themselves, but the trader will have to ensure this happens. Otherwise there are lots of losses that can happen from this. However if the spot price, or the price of this oil at any given time, changes the contract must change to fit this information. Once this contract is signed, the trader is obligated. All details are best worked out ahead of time.

As you can see from this article, there is more to future trading in commodities than meets the eye. A lot of future trades in commodities are a lot more complicated. But this brief overview of the main way that commodities are traded should help you out.
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