What is Commodity Trading: Overview & Benefits of Investing


Commodity trading is a prevalent term in the investment world. Beyond stocks, many commodities are traded in markets, and investing in them can diversify your portfolio and enhance gains. Things can yield substantial returns over time due to their fluctuating prices when approached with prudence.

What are Commodities?

Commodities are fundamental raw materials utilised in the production of everyday goods. They are the backbone of the global economy, encompassing items such as oil, sugar, metals, and more. Gold, corn, crude oil, coffee, and wheat are among the most extensively traded commodities worldwide. The price movement of one commodity can have ripple effects globally. For instance, a surge in crude oil prices can impact economies and industries worldwide.

Commodity Exchanges in India

Similar to stock exchanges, India boasts several commodity exchanges. These platforms facilitate the buying and selling commodities, ensuring a transparent and efficient trading process.

How to Start Trading in Commodities?

  1. Open a Demat Account: Just as a demat account is necessary for stock trading, it’s essential for commodity trading. Opt for a reputable stockbroker that offers critical insights and recommendations. It’s crucial to choose a broker with competitive rates and comprehensive services.
  2. Deposit an Initial Amount: After account setup, an initial deposit is required, typically ranging from 5% to 10% of the contract value, contingent on the chosen commodity.
  3. Devise a Trading Plan: Understanding the commodity market and assessing your risk appetite is vital. Every trader has unique risk preferences and financial positions, so tailor your strategy accordingly.

Different Ways to Trade in Commodities

  1. Direct Investment: This is the most straightforward method, where you directly purchase commodities like gold or silver in coins or jewellery. However, this approach comes with high transaction costs and concerns about storage and purity.
  2. Purchase Stocks: Another avenue is buying stocks of companies associated with a particular commodity. For example, investing in an energy company’s stocks gives exposure to the energy sector. A company with solid fundamentals can still be profitable even if the commodity’s price drops.
  3. Commodity ETFs and Mutual Funds: ETFs and mutual funds based on commodities offer another investment option. For instance, gold or silver ETFs expose these metals without concerns about purity or storage.

Benefits of Commodity Trading

  1. Diversification: Commodities introduce your portfolio to a distinct asset class, ensuring balance and risk mitigation. A diversified portfolio is essential to navigate market volatility.
  2. Hedge Against Inflation and Geopolitical Risks: Commodities often see price surges, especially during high inflation. Investing in them can help maintain purchasing power amidst rising prices, acting as an inflation hedge. Additionally, commodities can buffer against geopolitical events that might disrupt supply chains.


Commodity trading can be a lucrative venture when executed with a well-defined strategy. It offers two primary benefits: portfolio diversification and a hedge against inflation and geopolitical uncertainties. By understanding the basics of the commodity market and accurately gauging risk appetite, investors can maximise the value derived from commodity trading.