Home Commodities Everything you need to know about commodity trading in India

Everything you need to know about commodity trading in India


Commodity trading is a critical part of India’s economy and plays an important role in the country’s growth and development. Thanks to its vast resources and diverse geography that allow the production of a wide range of commodities, India has become one of the major players in the global commodity market. 

There are three commodity exchanges operational in India – the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), and Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX). These exchanges offer trading in a variety of commodities, including agricultural products, metals, energy, and other goods.

Over the years commodity trading in India has evolved significantly, with the adoption of technology and the introduction of new trading products. Electronic trading has become increasingly popular, with traders able to buy and sell commodities online from anywhere in the world. Derivatives trading has also gained momentum, with options and futures contracts becoming popular instruments for hedging and speculating on commodity prices. This has increased participation and volumes in commodity trading. Another reason behind traders taking over commodity markets is it remains available even after the stock markets close, which provides them an opportunity to react to international price moves immediately. There are several ways to participate in commodity trading in India –

Trading through commodity exchanges: The Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), and Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) are the three main commodity exchanges in India. To participate in commodity trading through these exchanges, you need to open a trading account with a broker who is a member of the exchange. Once you have a trading account, you can buy and sell commodities online.

Investing in commodity mutual funds: Another way to participate in commodity trading in India is through commodity mutual funds. These funds invest in commodities or commodity-based companies and provide exposure to the commodity market without directly trading in commodities. You can invest in commodity mutual funds through a mutual fund company or a broker.

Investing in commodity ETFs: Commodity exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are another option for investing in commodities. These funds invest in a basket of commodities and trade on the stock exchange like a stock. You can buy and sell commodity ETFs through a broker.

Physical trading: Physical trading involves buying and selling commodities directly, rather than trading through an exchange or investing in mutual funds or ETFs. This is a more complex and risky way of participating in commodity trading, as it requires knowledge of the market and access to storage and transportation facilities.

Before participating in commodity trading, it is essential to do your research and understand the risks involved. You should also have a clear understanding of the commodity you wish to trade, its market dynamics, and the factors that affect its price. Additionally, it’s important to choose a reliable broker or mutual fund company that can provide accurate and timely information about the commodity market.

Trading in Commodity Derivatives

To trade in commodity derivatives, you need to open a trading account with a broker who is a member of a commodity exchange. The broker will provide you with a unique client code that you can use to trade in derivatives. You will need to have a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card. 

Once you have a trading account, you can place an order for a commodity derivative. You can place a buy order or a sell order, depending on your trading strategy then you will need to specify the quantity, price, and expiry date of the derivative contract. Commodity derivatives are traded on margin, which means that you need to pay only a percentage of the total contract value as margin. The margin varies depending on the commodity and the exchange. The margin is calculated based on the volatility of the commodity and the risk involved in the trade.

At the expiry of the contract, you can either settle the contract or roll over the contract to a new expiry date. If you settle the contract, you will need to pay or receive the difference between the contracted price and the market price of the commodity on the expiry date.

Commodity derivatives trading involves a high degree of risk, and it is essential to have a clear understanding of the market dynamics and the factors that affect the price of the commodity. It is advisable to consult with a financial advisor before participating in commodity derivatives trading.

In conclusion, commodity trading is a crucial component of India’s economy, and it is poised for continued growth in the coming years. While there are challenges, the government and the private sector are working to address them and create a more robust and efficient commodity market in the country. The popularity of commodity trading is bound to increase in the coming years as it finds acceptance among a broader trader base.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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