Futures For You by Carley Garner
About the softs
Where can I find fundamental information on the softs futures markets?
The soft commodities were made famous by the 1980s movie Trading Places, but many novice commodity traders find it difficult to find fundamental research about the complex. The challenge lies primarily in the fact that the softs are typically grown, cultivated, and harvested abroad, and thus, often there isnít conveniently released data on production and demand statistics. This is unlike other commodities such as the grains and meats, in which the Usda reports weekly and monthly updates on such figures.
If you arenít familiar with the softs, they are the food and fiber complex consisting of cotton, cocoa, sugar, orange juice, and coffee. In addition to the dearth of statistical data available on this topic, the figures that are available may be less reliable because production primarily takes place in countries that are less technologically advanced and with looser regulation relative to the US. As a result, it isnít uncommon for this group of futures contracts to experience extreme and sometimes unexplained moves.