The Knight-Ridder Crb Index
The Knight-Ridder-Commodity Research Bureau Index - the CRB to you and me
- has been updated to reflect today's commodity markets. Here's an explanation
of the changes to this industry barometer.
by Raymond T. Murphy
The Knight-Ridder-Commodity Research Bureau (CRB) Index has been the premier barometer of commodity
prices since 1956, tracking tradables such as wheat and corn, crude and heating oil. Over the years, the index has
evolved into a comprehensive commodity benchmark covering a wide range of actively traded commodity futures
contracts. As futures markets have matured and new markets have come into being, the KR-CRB Index has changed
along with them. By adding crude oil to the index in 1982 and deleting some agricultural commodities in 1987, the
index has kept pace with many of the advances in the commodity investment area.
The KR-CRB Index futures contract began trading on the New York Futures Exchange (NYFE) in 1986. Since then,
the index has been scrutinized to make available a market where both large investors and small are able to replicate
the movement of a basket of commodity futures contracts at a fraction of the cost of owning the individual contracts.
Over the years, several component commodities of the index came to be viewed as nonessential, while other
important commodities were added. As time passed, these changes were all undertaken with the sole purpose of
maintaining an accurate and meaningful measurement of commodity prices. The final and most significant changes
were implemented on December 6, 1995.