Commodity Trading Basics
by 5paisa Research Team Last Updated: 2023-06-05T17:18:25+05:30
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Commodity index is an important tool to measure the performance of commodities relative to other investments. It can provide valuable information to investors and traders, helping them decide which commodities to buy. Given the volatile and ever-changing nature of the commodity markets, having an accurate understanding of how the commodity price index is moving is essential. In this article, we will explore what a commodity index is, why they are important, what types of commodity indexes are available to investors, and how can be used in trading strategies.

What is Commodity Index?

A commodity index is a basket of commodities that reflect the performance of the commodity markets. It tracks the price movements of a variety of different commodities and provides investors with an overall snapshot of how these individual assets are performing against each other. A commodity index can be created by combining futures contracts on various commodities or using market exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The most commonly used indexes are those that cover a variety of sectors, such as energy, agriculture, metals, and currency. These may also include sector-specific indices such as oil and gas, gold, copper, grains, and livestock. The weighting methodology for a given index will vary depending on its composition; some use equal weightings for all components, while others use more sophisticated methods.

How does Commodity Index work?

Commodity indexes work by tracking the prices of a basket of commodities over time. The performance of the index is measured against its benchmark, which is usually another index, such as S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) that can be used to compare its performance.

The value of individual commodities impacts the overall price movements of the commodity index, making it possible to track trends in different industries and regions. By looking at how much each commodity contributes to the index's total value, investors can gain insight into which areas are thriving in the commodity market and which ones are lagging behind.

In addition to tracking price movements, investors can also use commodity indexes for asset allocation purposes, meaning they can allocate a portion of their portfolios to commodities and use the index as a benchmark for performance. This helps them make sure that their allocation is in line with market expectations. Furthermore, commodity indexes are also used to help traders manage their risk in volatile markets by diversifying into different sectors or commodities that have low correlations with each other.

Why should you Trade in Commodity Indices?

Commodity indices are a great way to access the commodity markets without having to invest in individual commodities directly. It provides investors with an easy and cost-efficient way to diversify their portfolios, gain exposure to different sectors, reduce risk by allocating funds to low-correlation assets, and track performance against benchmarks. By using a commodity index, investors can gain valuable insights into the overall market trends and make informed decisions about their investments.

Types of commodity indices on MCX and NCDEX

The Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) and the National Spot Exchange (NCDEX) are two of India's leading commodity exchanges. Both exchanges offer a variety of different commodity indices, including the MCX Index, NCDEX Energy Index, MCX Metal Index, NCDEX Agriculture Index, and NCDEX Currency Index. The index values are calculated based on the price movements of select commodities traded on these exchanges, giving investors an overall view of how these markets are performing. Investors can also use exchange-traded funds to gain exposure to specific commodity indices.

What Are the Major Commodity Indexes?

The most popular commodity indexes include the S&P GSCI, Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index (DJCI), and Rogers International Commodity Index (RICI). Investors use these indices to track the performance of different commodities traded on global markets. They are also used as benchmarks for investor portfolios and offer insights into overall market trends.

How to invest in Commodities?

●    Research the commodity markets and understand how they work
●    Decide which sectors or commodities you want to invest in
●    Select a commodity index that tracks those sectors or commodities
●    Use ETFs to gain exposure to specific indices
●    Ensure proper diversification by allocating funds across different assets and regions
●    Monitor your investments and track performance against benchmarks
●    Be mindful of price movements and adjust your portfolio as needed.


Commodity indices provide investors a cost-efficient way to gain exposure to the commodity markets and diversify their portfolios. By tracking different commodities, they are able to get an overall view of market trends and help manage risk in volatile markets. Investors should research the various indices available on exchanges and utilize exchange-traded funds for easy access to these indices. Through proper asset allocation and monitoring, investors can ensure that their investments align with their goals and expectations.

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