What are Commodities?

Commodities are raw materials that are used to produce more complex goods, including agricultural products, mineral ores and fossil fuels. You can think of commodities as the building blocks of the global economy – they’re used to create products that we rely on every day. In terms of financial markets, commodities are physical goods that are bought, sold and traded in markets, distinct from securities such as stocks and bonds that exist only as financial contracts.

Types of commodities

Commodities can generally be divided into three main categories:


Metal commodities are commonly used in manufacturing and construction. Some metals, such as gold and silver, are also used in jewelry and for investment purposes. Examples of metal commodities include: Gold, Silver, Platinum, Copper, Nickel, Aluminum, Palladium


Energy commodities play a crucial role in keeping the global economy ticking over. Without energy, we would be unable to transport people and goods across the world, power factories, or heat our homes. Examples of energy commodities include: Oil and Natural Gas


Agricultural commodities are crops and animals that are grown or raised on farmland. Most agricultural commodities are used to produce food, however, some have industrial uses. Examples of agricultural commodities include: Sugar, Cotton, Cocoa, Wheat

What drives commodity prices?

Investors in the commodity market aim to profit from supply and demand trends or reduce risk through diversification by adding different asset classes to their portfolios. **

“The real advantages to commodity trading are differentiated exposures from the stock market and the potential for inflation protection,”

says Ryan Giannotto, chartered financial analyst (CFA) and director of research at GraniteShares, an ETF issuer based in New York City.