What is trading in commodities?

Commodities are inseparable from our lives. From the food we eat to the metals we use, all are gifts called Commodities.

Everyone buys and consumes commodities in one way or the other. But do you know that you can also trade in commodities?

Here is a short brief on commodities by CA Aaditya Jain.

CA Aaditya Jain is well known amongst the students as Finance Guru, the stock market guru with the motto of Learn More Earn More.
Today let’s understand everything about commodity trading.

Commodities are raw materials or agricultural products that can be bought and sold in the market. For every economy, they are considered the building blocks. Just like debt and equity, they are traded on different commodity exchanges all over the world.

They are classified into the following broad categories:

Agricultural goods like cotton, food crops, and many more
Energy fuels like crude oil, coal, and fossil fuels
Metals, including precious metals like silver, gold, and platinum
Livestock products like eggs
The commodities differ from each other. But they are considered equal for trading as long as they fulfil the set quality standards.
Now let’s look at commodity trading.

It is rightly said, “Concentrating the investments MAKES you rich. But diversifying them KEEPS you rich.” That is why investing in commodities is an appropriate option for investors to diversify their portfolios.

Generally, the commodity prices are inversely related to stock markets.

When the stock market goes down, the prices go up. So, investors can get good returns and cover up their losses during a stock market crash if they invest in commodities. It also reduces the risk of market volatility.

If you think that you can invest in commodities only by buying them, you are misled! Here are the different ways to invest in commodities.

Like stocks, commodities are traded through derivatives (futures and options) as well. A futures contract is a legal contract to buy or sell the commodity at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future.

The buyer has to buy it at the agreed price at that time, irrespective of the market price. Similarly, the seller has to sell it to the buyer under the same conditions.

It helps to ensure the safety of profits to the farmers in the case of food grains. But he has to forego the additional profits in case the commodity prices increase.

Besides these traders, there are other types of traders known as speculators. They follow an opportunistic approach.

They enter into a futures contract without the intention of executing it! Now you may be wondering if it is unethical from their side.
Before reaching any conclusions, let’s know their entire strategy.

In times of inflation, commodity prices increase. So, commodities become an attractive investment option to get massive returns.

What’s more, there is significant leverage in a future contract. At the same time, there is a significant risk. As you know, the higher the return, the higher the risk.

That is why options contracts are popular in the commodities market.

Here, you have the right to execute the contract on its due date. If the price does not move in the expected direction, all you will lose is the premium paid on the contract You would be amazed to know that you can invest in commodities through stocks! You can do it by investing in stocks related to that commodity. E.g., If you want to invest in energy fuels, you can buy shares of IGL or BPCL.

In the stock market, the risk is comparatively lower, besides the liquidity of investments. And all the information about the company is available publicly. It helps in making informed decisions.

But the stock price may be affected due to other factors as well. It may not have the desired impact on investments.

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