13 Sep '11, 10am

Banks should end 'secretive' trade in food commodities #foodspeculation

Banks should end 'secretive' trade in food commodities #foodspeculation

Speculators have swamped the food commodities sector over the last five years causing increasingly volatile prices for key staples like wheat and maize, according to a new report by the World Development Movement (WDM). Commodities markets were primarily meant to help producers and buyers find a fair market price for the product through so-called futures contracts. For example a buyer of wheat, such as a bread manufacturer, could protect itself against wheat prices going up in future years by buying a corn futures contact to guarantee itself a stable price. This is known as hedging. However, over the last decade there has been a surge in interest in buying and selling these futures contracts from people with no interest or connection to agriculture or the food sector. These investors are known as speculators. Speculators do not have any commercial interest in the commodity...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1045181/ba...

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