Over the entire history of the world, the term ‘trading’ is the way to get things that we want. Since the beginning of history, people trade desired stuff with items that are in their possession. In this modern world, that idea of trading is still alive; just the way gets changed with time.
People usually trade goods and services in exchange for money. However, this type of trading doesn’t always mean purchasing the actual product. So it is often related to the worth of the services or goods.
Anyway, commodity trading varies from person to person, region to region, or maybe country to country. For example, suppose an area where maybe farming is an undivided part of life. So you can’t ignore the importance of corps and livestock becoming part of commodity trading for that area.
Besides livestock and corps, energy and metals are also part of commodity trading as the demand is worldwide for all these things, which are also part of our daily life.
History of commodity trading
The world’s oldest civilization is thought to be Sumer, which is the period between 4500 BC to 4000 BC. So we can easily say that commodity trading is as ancient as human civilization itself. The Sumerians used clay tokens sealed in a clay vessel in exchange for goats, seashells, or maybe pigs. Clay writing tablets represent the amount of the trading commodity, more specifically, the number of clay tokens sealed inside the clay vessels, so merchants deliver the number of goats or seashells related to that number of tokens.
This concept of trading was a world-changing concept for commodity trading. Over the centuries, traders improved their system continuously by leading gold and silver as measures on exchanges. Gold is a precious metal that has value based on beauty and association with royalty. That also has become such a popular commodity for its attributes such as easy melting, scarcity, density, etc.
By observing history, we have categorized the commodities into four main types that are popular and available for trading worldwide.
Such as gold, silver, platinum, etc.
This category covers commodities like crude oil, gasoline, and natural gas.
This category includes rice, cotton, wheat, soybean, corn, cocoa, coffee, etc.
Meat and livestock
Commodities such as feeder cattle, live cattle, pork bellies, etc., are listed in this category.
In this century, future contract trading has become popular to invest in commodities as it is available worldwide, which involves minor disturbance and storage issues, unlike traditional ways.
Top 10 commodities, which gives the “green lite” to trade
In this part, we discuss the top 10 commodities to trade. Let’s look at the list below.
Crude oil (Brent Crude)
There is no doubt crude oil is the largest demandable commodity worldwide. It is one of the two types of oil available to trade, which is drilled from oil fields in the North Sea’s Brent, the Forties, Oseberg, and Ekofisk fields, off the shores of the UK and Norway.
The specialty of crude is sweet. So because of its low sulfur content, and is also described as a light for its low density. Therefore, it is comparatively easy to refine into usable products.
Crude oil (WTI)
Another type of crude oil is West Texas Intermediate (WTI), also known as Texas light sweet (ticker: CL), also defined as medium-grade oil. New York Mercantile Exchange’s oil futures contracts are an underlying commodity, drilled in various US states – such as Louisiana, Texas, and North Dakota – and sent to Cushing, Oklahoma for price settlement.
In the past, crude oil (WTI) price depended on the United States Consumption, but now it is more likely correlated with Brent oil with its more accessible export facility.
It is a precious metal that is a derivative that is highly researched for its beauty and glossiness. The traditional use of gold remains the same as it is used for jewelry production, investment sometimes. Some small amounts are also used in chemical reactions and conduct electricity. Followed by Australia, Russia, and the United States, most gold is mined in China.
However, gold is also known as a “safe-haven” investment as the gold price rises with the political and economic uncertainty.
It is the second most attractive commodity on our list after gold. Silver is widely used in solar panels, photographic films, and electrical contacts. It is also a “safe-haven” asset after gold, but gold is more reliable somehow because gold price doesn’t relate to any industrial use. On the supply side, silver is most often extracted from other ore metals, especially copper.
It is an energy-type commodity used for heating, cooking, and generating electricity. It is also used as a fuel for vehicles. Nowadays, it’s become a popular commodity because of its increasing demand.
It is a trendy agricultural commodity that has low production costs and contains high protein. The United States is the leading producer and exporter of soybeans. The major importers of the US soybeans are China, the EU, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan. As long as the US is the biggest producer, soybeans’ price affects the US economy.
It is an essential metal for its attributes, like it is a good conductor for heat and electricity. It is also waterproof, primarily used for industrial machinery, electrical wire, pipes, roof tiles, etc. Followed by the US, Peru, and China, copper is mined mainly in Chile.
It is a necessary commodity that is a food source. It is used to produce corn syrup, ethanol, animal feed, starch, etc. There are several types of corn: flint, dent, popcorn, pod, flour, and sweet corn. The major producers of corn around the world are Brazil, China, Argentina, and the US. It is an agricultural product, so corn price and production are affected by the bad weather. The world has been taking many steps to maintain global supplies for corn.
Platinum is an undervalued asset with a higher possibility of booming in the following years due to its significant presence in the Hydrogen economy. Besides, significant users of platinum are industries and jewelry. It has a record of working as a “safe-haven” asset besides gold.
Finally, the price of different commodities is driven by various factors. For example, the gold price and the oil price don’t have the same characteristics of movements.
Meanwhile, investors of steel must be different from the investors of corn. So we suggest it would be better for anyone, before trading any commodity, to check all related data that affects that commodity price movement.