Commodities markets, both historically and in modern times, have had tremendous economic impact on nations and people. The impact of commodity markets throughout history is still not fully known, but it has been suggested that rice futures may have been traded in China as long ago as 6,000 years. Shortages on critical commodities have sparked wars throughout history (such as in World War II, when Japan ventured into foreign lands to secure oil and rubber), while oversupply can have a devastating impact on a region by devaluing the prices of core commodities.
Countries, corporations and consumers alike closely watch energy commodities such as crude. The average Western consumer can become significantly impacted by high crude prices. Alternatively, oil-producing countries in the Middle East (that are largely dependent on petrodollars as their source of income) can become adversely affected by low crude prices. Unusual disruptions caused by weather or natural disasters cannot only be an impetus for price volatility, but can also cause regional food shortages.
Stay with us if you want to find out about the role that various commodities play in the global economy and how investors & traders can turn economic events into opportunities.