What are commodity markets?Futures Exchanges are markets where financial institutions and individuals can trade a wide variety of commodities.
The world’s major exchanges for trading commodities are mainly located in the United States:
- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) - a commodity futures exchange based in Chicago and operated by CME.
- Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) - an exchange based in Atlanta, focused on energy commodities.
- New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) - an exchange located in New York City and operated by CME.
How does commodity trading work?The most common way for trading commodities is to buy or sell a futures contract. The price of a commodity futures contract is standardised, meaning the underlying instrument’s quantity (pound, ounce, barrel, etc) is predetermined and appears the same for all market providers.
A futures contract also obligates the holder to buy or sell a commodity at a predetermined price on a delivery date in the future.
In CFD trading, once a commodity futures contract expires, a trader can either close the trade and open a new trade, or alternatively, allow the contract to roll over to the next month (if possible).
How are raw materials traded as commodities?There are 3 main asset classes of commodities:
Energies or Energy Commodities – refers to a variety of oil and gasoline-derived products needed for vehicles, generators and other engines. Among these are US-based West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Oil, international Brent Oil, extracted from the North Sea, as well as Natural Gas, Heating Oil and Gasoline.
Metals, Precious Metals (Gold, Silver, Platinum, etc) and Base Metals (Copper, etc) – refers primarily to Gold and Silver, originally used in the form of coins, bars and bullions, and issued by governments and central banks.
Agriculture or Agricultural Commodities – consists of a wide range of soft commodities, i.e., crops and livestock that are grown, as opposed to metals that are mined or energies that are extracted. The most common agricultural commodities are Coffee, Wheat, Live Cattle, Corn and Soybeans.
Click here for a full list of tradable commodities at Plus500.
How do you start trading commodities CFDs?To start trading commodities with Plus500, simply:
- Sign up / Log in to your account.
- Search for the instrument you want to trade from our range of ‘All Commodities’.
- Click the 'Buy' or 'Sell' button depending on the direction you think the commodity will move.
- Open a trade.