Overview of the Agricultural and Soft Commodity Markets

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the agricultural and soft commodity markets: Grains, Wheat, Sugar, Cotton, Coffee, Cocoa and FCOJ. It will cover the driving forces behind the current markets and identifies the key factors to consider for future market developments. In addition it will also explore the main tools that can be used for trading these markets from both a risk management and speculative perspective.

Course Information

Price £1,600 + VAT
Duration 2 days
Location London
Available Dates
Oct 21 2021  Register Now

Who Should Attend

  • Those with limited knowledge of the soft and agricultural markets who require an overview of the factors that affect the industry
  • Dealers in physical and paper markets
  • New entrants to the energy markets
  • Government departments dealing with commodity and supply issues
  • IT staff of commodity organisations
  • Settlement/administrative/operations people
  • Commodities and derivatives publications
  • Individuals working in organisations such as: trading companies, banks, brokers, agri producers, consumers, millers, distribution companies, government and association organisations.

Booking Information

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7065 7706

Course Content

Day 1

Development of the markets

  • History-significant milestones
  • Key Agriculture & Soft Traded Markets: Coffee, Cocoa, Sugar, Corn, Wheat, Cotton, OJ
  • Key Trade flow reviews & physical arbitrage
  • Changing global diets
  • Key producers and consumers
  • Pricing benchmarks
  • Price influences and links with energy markets - biofuels

Production Influences

  • fertilization
  • disease
  • weather
  • competing crops
  • government support and trade accords
  • Genetic modified crops review


  • Tree crops Vs Row Crops
  • Supply and demand
  • Key crop cycles and seasons across Coffee, Cocoa, Sugar, Grains
  • Spreads
  • How to improve trading results using seasonal patterns

Domestic Use and Exports

  • Important distinctions and impact on trade
  • Freight logistics
  • Key INCO terms and delivery terms
  • The dry bulk freight market, review of freight markets and freight trading FFA

Crop Development and Processing/Manufacturing

  • Planting, Flowering
  • Picking, Drying, Milling
  • Review of dry and wet milling processes
  • Links to co-generation power and biomass products
  • Role of the trade/merchants
  • Supply and demand
  • Market Evolution

Coffee Fundamentals

  • Deliverable and non-deliverable growths
  • Producer Vs consumer Stocks
  • Consumption trends
  • Future supply concerns

Day 2

Sugar Fundamentals

  • Production trends
  • Link between ethanol and sugarcane
  • Artificial sweeteners, self-sufficiency
  • Surplus/deficit stocks
  • Government Subsidies and Programs
  • EU, India, Brazil, USA, others

Cotton Fundamentals

  • Competing Crops
  • Yields
  • Supply and demand
  • US farm program

Cocoa Fundamentals

  • Disease, political/social risk
  • Consumer dependence on few suppliers
  • Cocoa by-products, value-added production at origin
  • Manufacturer coverage
  • Consumption trends

FCOJ Fundamentals

  • Florida weather, disease
  • Brazil
  • Consumption trends

Grains (Corn, Wheat) Fundamentals

  • Deliverable and non-deliverable growths
  • Producer Vs Consumer Stocks
  • Consumption trends
  • Future supply concerns

Key Derivative Markets

  • Review of key futures, options markets in agriculture and softs markets
  • Global financial links between markets

Trading and risk management

  • Spot/Physical
  • Forward
  • Futures and options
  • Role of the funds, speculators
  • Spreads, Arbitrage

Market Influencing Reports

  • CFTC Commitment of Traders
  • Speculation and Hedge
  • USDA
  • Private trade estimates