Commodities price chart dating to 1700

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While stored, the purchase prices would occasionally change so the first contract for a future price was created.

This As more farmers and merchants began delivering their wares to Chicago, the first American exchange was set up in 1848. This group of brokers established a more efficient, standardized method of exchanging goods and payment by creating futures contracts.

In most cases, the underlying commodity is not even exchanged between the contract seller and buyer.

Activity in the markets is measured in volume – the number of contracts traded.

Through Internet activity, futures traders on remote islands can interact through brokers in large cities worldwide, thus creating a diverse global marketplace for establishing commodity pricing.

And trading is no longer limited to daytime operations.

Currently, the ten most active exchanges conduct over one billion trades per year, and there are exchanges in over 30 countries.

During the early years of the 21 century, several markets combined to form super-exchanges which offer a broader selection of contracts that can be traded.

to protect their financial interests against losses in other investment areas, such as stocks and bonds.

Individuals and investment companies poured millions of dollars into the commodities and futures markets.

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