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Особенности торговли на товарных рынках, регуляторы торговли
Spot trading is any transaction where delivery either takes place immediately, or with a minimum lag between the trade and delivery due to technical constraints. Spot trading normally involves visual inspection of the commodity or a sample of the commodity, and is carried out in markets such as wholesale markets. Commodity markets, on the other hand, require the existence of agreed standards so that trades can be made without visual inspection.
A forward contract is an agreement between two parties to exchange at some fixed future date a given quantity of a commodity for a price defined today. The fixed price today is known as the forward price. Early on these forward contracts were used as a way of getting products from producer to the consumer. These typically were only for food and agricultural products.
A futures contract has the same general features as a forward contract but is standardized and transacted through a futures exchange. Although more complex today, early forward contracts for example, were used for rice in seventeenth century Japan. Modern forward, or futures agreements, began in Chicago in the 1840s, with the appearance of the railroads. Chicago, being centrally located, emerged as the hub between Midwestern farmers and producers and the east coast consumer population centers.
In essence, a futures contract is a standardized forward contract in which the buyer and the seller accept the terms in regards to product, grade, quantity and location and are only free to negotiate the price.
Hedging, a common practice of farming cooperatives, insures against a poor harvest by purchasing futures contracts in the same commodity. If the cooperative has significantly less of its product to sell due to weather or insects, it makes up for that loss with a profit on the markets, since the overall supply of the crop is short everywhere that suffered the same conditions.
Delivery and condition guarantees
In addition, delivery day, method of settlement and delivery point must all be specified. Typically, trading must end two (or more) business days prior to the delivery day, so that the routing of the shipment can be finalized via ship or rail, and payment can be settled when the contract arrives at any delivery point.
U.S. soybean futures, for example, are of standard grade if they are "GMO or a mixture of GMO and Non-GMO No. 2 yellow soybeans of Indiana, Ohio and Michigan origin produced in the U.S.A. (Non-screened, stored in silo)," and of deliverable grade if they are "GMO or a mixture of GMO and Non-GMO No. 2 yellow soybeans of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin origin produced in the U.S.A. (Non-screened, stored in silo)." Note the distinction between states, and the need to clearly mention their status as GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) which makes them unacceptable to most organic food buyers.
Similar specifications apply for cotton, orange juice, cocoa, sugar, wheat, corn, barley, pork bellies, milk, feedstuffs, fruits, vegetables, other grains, other beans, hay, other livestock, meats, poultry, eggs, or any other commodity which is so traded.
Standardization has also occurred technologically, as the use of the FIX Protocol by commodities exchanges has allowed trade messages to be sent, received and processed in the same format as stocks or equities. This process began in 2001 when the CME launched a FIX-compliant interface and has now been adopted by commodity exchanges around the world.
Regulation of commodity markets
In the United States, the principal regulator of commodity and futures markets is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission but it is the National Futures Association that enforces rules and regulations put forth by the CFTC.
Commodity markets and protectionism
Developing countries (democratic or not) have been moved to harden their currencies, accept International Monetary Fund rules, join the World Trade Organization (WTO), and submit to a broad regime of reforms that amount to a hedge against being isolated. China's entry into the WTO signalled the end of truly isolated nations entirely managing their own currency and affairs. The need for stable currency and predictable clearing and rules-based handling of trade disputes, has led to a global trade hegemony - many nations hedging on a global scale against each other's anticipated protectionism, were they to fail to join the WTO.