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»What is a "Commodity"?

Commodity includes all kinds of goods. FCRA defines "goods" as "every kind of movable property other than actionable claims, money and securities". Futures' trading is organized in such goods or commodities as are permitted by the Central Government. At present, all goods and products of agricultural (including plantation), mineral and fossil origin are allowed for futures trading under the auspices of the commodity exchanges recognized under the FCRA. The national commodity exchanges have been recognized by the Central Government for organizing trading in all permissible commodities which include precious (gold & silver) and non-ferrous metals; cereals and pulses; ginned and un-ginned cotton; oilseeds, oils and oilcakes; raw jute and jute goods; sugar and gur; potatoes and onions; coffee and tea; rubber and spices, etc.


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»What is a "Commodity Exchange"?

Commodity exchange is an association, or a company or any other body corporate organizing futures trading in commodities.

»Why do we need a commodity trading exchange?

Earlier, all the sellers and buyers of a commodity used to come to a common market place for the trade. Buyer could judge the amount of produce that year while the seller could judge the amount of demand of the commodity. Thus they could dictate their terms and hence the counter party was left with no choice. Thus, in order to hedge from this unfavorable price movement, need of the commodity exchange was felt.
»What are Derivatives?

The term "Derivative" indicates that it has no independent value, i.e. its value is entirely "derived" from the value of the underlying asset. The underlying asset can be securities, commodities, bullion, currency, livestock or anything else. In other words, Derivative means a forward, future, option or any other hybrid contract of pre determined fixed duration, linked for the purpose of contract fulfillment to the value of a specified real or financial asset or to an index of securities.

»Different types of participants in a derivatives mkt

There are three types of traders in the derivatives market namely

Hedgers: They are in the position where they face risk associated with the price of an asset. They use derivatives to reduce or eliminate risk. For example, a farmer may use futures or options to establish the price for his crop long before he harvests it. Various factors affect the supply and demand for that crop, causing prices to rise and fall over the growing season. The farmer can watch the prices discovered in trading at the CBOT and, when they reflect the price he wants, will sell futures contracts to assure him of a fixed price for his crop.

Speculators: Speculators wish to bet on the future movement in the price of an asset. They use derivatives to get extra leverage. A speculator will buy and sell in anticipation of future price movements, but has no desire to actually own the physical commodity.

Arbitrators: They are in the business to take advantage of a discrepancy between prices in two different markets. If, for example, they see the future prices of an asset getting out of line with the cash price, they will take offsetting positions in the two markets to lock in a profit.

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