Commodity Trading Risks

What is commodity trading? Commodity trading is the business of profitably purchasing and selling items generated by nature or by humans. Commodity trading may be divided into two types: spot trading and futures trading.

Spot trading entails purchasing and selling commodities on a cash basis at the current market price. Futures trading, on the other hand, involves purchasing and selling commodities at a preset price in the future.

Commodity Trading Zerodha

Commodity trading on Zerodha offers investors to invest in and trade commodities such as gold, silver, metals, oil, and other agricultural goods. Zerodha Commodities Pvt. Limited, which is a member of the MCX, offers commodities futures and options trading to its customers.

Commodity Trading Risks

Commodity risks are becoming more important differentiators in commodity traders’ company growth. Every commodity trading organization is vulnerable to these risks, which often result in commodity price swings. Commodity hazards can interrupt a company’s trading activities and negatively impact its financial performance. To make your commodities trading activities more efficient, you must have a solid risk management strategy in place. A tech-driven risk management strategy may also help your company become more resilient to commodities risk exposures.

Commodity risk management and control are critical for an organization to trade commodities efficiently while avoiding excessive risks. The source and effect of price variations must be better understood by commodity trading companies.

Platforms for commodity trading risk management can give a complete analysis of potential exposures and their consequences. This can help firms gain a better understanding of their financial and operational performance. The biggest commodities risks that you must manage and control in order to secure optimal business growth are listed below.

1.Operational Risks

One of the main causes of large financial downturns in commodities trading enterprises throughout the world is poor risk management. Commodity trading operational risks include a wide range of concerns, such as systematic breakdowns or simply accounting and data-entry mistakes. Operational risks emphasize the vulnerabilities and uncertainties that businesses confront in their day-to-day operations.

Disruptions in internal processes or systems cause operational hazards. Operational hazards can also be caused by ineffective trade management systems. These dangers are frequently related to how an organization operates and manages day-to-day obligations. All types of exposures linked with the maintenance of systems and equipment are included in operational hazards.

2.Credit Risks

Credit risk is the risk of a loss happening as a result of one or more parties failing to comply with the terms of a financial transaction. It may also be described as the risk that a lender will not get the money owing to them from a party with whom they have a contract. As a result, credit risk refers to the risk of not being paid for selling commodities items to a counterparty.

Credit risk is usually caused by the counterparty’s financial status deteriorating. This might cause the lending party’s cash flow to be disrupted, which can have a negative impact on their company’s finances. As a result, it’s critical to constantly have a solid financial risk management system in place to mitigate credit risks while trading commodities.

3.Counterparty Risks

When two parties enter into a commercial deal, there is a risk that one of them may not fulfil their financial obligations. This danger is referred to as counterparty risk, and it is present in all financial transactions and agreements. It’s a danger that arises when one of the parties to a contract breaks one of the contract’s terms or agreements.

Counterparty risk is a common occurrence in trading marketplaces, affecting both large and small dealers. Protecting your company from counterparty risks requires a systematic strategy that includes appropriate counterparty selection, documentation, and other risk management measures. Failure to select the appropriate counterparty might result in costly exposure events and severe losses for your company.

4.Liquidity Risks

Liquidity risk is defined as the inability of a commodity to be bought or sold rapidly enough to avoid or minimise a loss. When a commodities trading company’s short-term loan commitments are not met, liquidity risk arises. Liquidity risks are divided into two categories: financing / cash flow liquidity risk and market / asset liquidity risk.

The danger that a commodities trading firm may not be able to fulfil its overdue obligations is referred to as funding or cash flow liquidity risk. The danger of not being able to sell a commodity is known as market liquidity risk. This might be because no one wants to buy the commodity that the commodities trading company is selling.

5.Market Risks

Commodity trading market risks refer to the danger of losing money owing to unfavourable or unpleasant price fluctuations. This form of risk arises as a result of fluctuating commodity prices, which has an influence on the entire market. Market risks, also known as systemic risks, cannot be totally avoided due to their unpredictability.

When it comes to market risks, the likelihood of risk exposures is often longer than for other risks. Commodity traders of all types, regardless of commodity or firm size, might be subject to commodity risks. As a result, commodities trading companies must use appropriate risk management strategies to protect themselves from market hazards.

6.IT Risks

Hardware and software failures, as well as malicious assaults, are all examples of IT hazards that can disrupt your business operations. It may potentially put your data at risk of serious data loss by exposing it to numerous security dangers. Security, availability, and performance are just a few of the business-critical areas where IT risks exist.

IT hazards may drastically reduce the value of your organisation by compromising your business data or limiting the effectiveness of your operations. To guarantee that your trading activities run well, you need a deeper understanding of your IT risk environment. As a result, in order to safeguard your company against common IT risks, you’ll need a robust risk management strategy in place.

7.Compliance Risks

Commodity trading companies are obligated to follow a slew of laws and regulations that govern commodity trading. Failure to do so might result in significant penalties or losses for commodities traders. Compliance risks are the dangers that come with such failures. Compliance risks are those that are linked with legal or regulatory consequences and the ensuing reputational damage.

When a commodities trading company fails to comply with applicable commodity trading rules and regulations, it may incur compliance concerns. It is critical to take a focused strategy to reduce the likelihood of these legal infractions. Commodity trading risk management policies may also assist you in ensuring that all of your trade operations are legal.

Understanding Commodity Price Risk

Commodity price risk refers to the likelihood that price variations in commodities can result in financial losses for commodity purchasers or producers. Buyers are exposed to the possibility of higher-than-expected commodities prices. Because many furniture producers must buy wood, for example, increased wood prices raise the cost of manufacturing furniture and reduce profit margins.

Lower commodity prices pose a threat to commodity producers. If crop prices are high this year, a farmer may plant more of a crop on less productive land. If prices drop next year, the farmer may lose money on the extra crop grown on less fruitful land. This is a sort of commodity price risk, as well. Commodity producers and consumers may both use commodities markets to mitigate risk.

  • Commodity price risk refers to the possibility that commodity prices will vary in such a way that economic losses would result.
  • Commodity price risk is caused by rises in commodity prices for purchasers, and drops in commodity prices for sellers/producers.
  • Futures and options are two typical mechanisms for hedging commodity price risk.
  • Politics, seasons, weather, technology, and market circumstances are all factors that can impact commodity pricing.

Commodity price risk is a serious concern for businesses and consumers, not just commodity dealers. This is because the purchase and processing of diverse commodities, ranging from metals and energy to agricultural and food goods, is required for everything from raw materials to completed products. As a result, price fluctuations may affect anything from the cost of transportation to the cost of food or plastic items.

Automobile Manufacturers: The Risk to Buyers

Unexpected rises in commodity prices, which can diminish a buyer’s profit margin and make planning difficult, are the source of commodity price risk for purchasers. Automobile makers, for example, are exposed to commodity price risk since they construct automobiles using commodities such as steel and rubber.

For example, steel prices increased by 36% in the first half of 2016, while natural rubber prices increased by 25% after falling for more than three years. Many Wall Street financial experts concluded that automakers and car components manufacturers might face a drop in profit margins as a result of this.

Oil Companies: The Risk to Producers

Commodity producers are exposed to the risk that commodity prices would decrease abruptly, resulting in lower earnings or even losses. Companies that produce oil are acutely conscious of commodity price risk. As oil prices vary, so does the potential profit these businesses may make. Some businesses offer sensitivity tables to assist financial analysts in determining the exact degree of commodity price risk they face.

Commodity Price Risk Hedging

Commodity price risk is frequently hedged by major corporations. Commodity futures and options contracts traded on major commodities markets are one approach to apply these hedges. By eliminating price uncertainty, these contracts can benefit commodities buyers and producers.

Producers and purchasers can hedge against commodity price changes by acquiring a contract that guarantees a set price for a commodity. They can also lock in a worst-case scenario pricing to protect themselves from any losses.

Commodity Price Fluctuations Factors

Politics, seasons, weather, technology, and market circumstances are all factors that can impact commodity pricing. Raw materials, such as the following, are among the most economically important commodities:

Cotton, Corn, Wheat, Oil, Sugar, Soybeans, Copper, Aluminum, Steel

  • Weather

Commodity prices are heavily influenced by seasonal and other weather variations. Due to the abundance of harvests towards the end of the summer, commodities prices tend to decline in October. These seasonally low commodity prices might be one of the reasons why significant stock market collapses are so often in October. Droughts and floods can also cause temporary price rises in some goods.

  • Technology

Technology has the potential to have a significant impact on commodity pricing. Until the 19th and 20th centuries, when isolation processes improved, aluminum was considered a valuable metal. Aluminum costs fell as technology progressed.


 Que.1 What do commodities provide and how may they be employed in a portfolio?

 Ans.    Many investors may be hesitant to invest in commodities. Given the potential for dramatic price fluctuations, commodities investment isn’t for the faint of heart even in the best of conditions. A buy-and-hold strategy might be a source of ballast for a portfolio if commodities are on the verge of a new supercycle, which normally lasts 10-15 years.

Que.2 What are the three most important commodity takeaways right now?

 Ans. Fundamentals, such as the global macroeconomic background, appear to be aligning for a resurgence in commodity investment interest.

  • Due to capital expenditure, both established and emerging countries may see a rise in commodity demand.
  • Commodity investing is risky, thus wide exposure is usually the best strategy when it comes to commodities.