Top 10 Most Traded Commodities in the World
The trading of commodities is something that has been done since the dawn of civilisation. It involves the buying and selling of goods said to be valuable. While some of these commodities come and go, those featured in the top 10 most traded commodities in the world have been proven to stand the test of time.
From blankets to t-shirts, cotton is everywhere in our daily lives and is one of the oldest fibres on the planet. Cotton has been traded for thousands of years and to this day remains on as the world’s most in-demand commodities. The largest producers of cotton in the world today are the United States, China and India.
Wheat is used in many of the things we eat on a daily basis, for example, bread, cereal and deserts. Wheat is also used in flour, which is one of the most popular cooking ingredients. Naturally, the reliance on wheat makes it an essential commodity. The growing popularity in people becoming mindful of their health has also led to an upturn in wheat trading.
Like wheat, corn is used heavily in a large number of foods that we eat on daily. It is also used in massive amounts to feed farm livestock such as chickens and cows. Corn is one of the most relied upon agricultural products in the world and provides a central source of income for farmers across the world. Research also suggests that corn will in time become a relevant source of alternative energy.
Search through your fridge and cupboards and see how many products you are able to find that do not contain sugar – the chances are it won’t be many. In the western world in particular, sugar is a major part of everyday diets. Sugar is found in the vast majority of snack and junk food and most countries in the world trade in this commodity. The vast majority of today’s sugar comes from Brazil.
Silver is a very valuable commodity, particularly for investors who rely up silver as a safe way to invest money. Unlike fiat currency (paper money), the value of silver is not be controlled by world governments and central banks and investing in silver can have great future financial benefits. Silver is also used in a variety of other products from planes and cars to medical instruments and jewellery.
5) Brent Oil
The first of two oils on the list of the top 10 most traded commodities in the world is Brent oil. Brent oil is used widely throughout Europe and Africa and is found mostly in the North Sea. The light sweet crude oil is the global benchmark for other grades and is widely used to determine the price of crude oil in Europe and other countries.
Gold has long been one of the world’s most traded commodities and is presently as popular as ever with investors fearful of the future of fiat currency in the current economic climate. The amount of new business, TV, radio and print advertisements offering “cash for gold” is a good example of the demand that gold is experiencing.
3) Natural Gas
Despite governments working towards more renewable energy sources, natural gas is still an essential commodity and vital in day-to-day life. Natural gas is used for everything from cooking to heating to lighting in our homes and businesses, and it would be hard to imagine life without it. Norway and Russia are currently the largest natural gas exporters in the world. Natural gas also has a constantly fluctuating price.
Although it probably isn’t surprising that coffee has featured on the list of the most traded commodities in the world, the high placing will come as a shock to many people. The popularity of Coffee is largely due to the amount consumed in the U.S. and Europe. This is evident by the number of Starbucks and Café Nero’s there are in town and city centres. Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day!
1) Crude Oil
If the number two commodity did come as somewhat of a surprise, the number one most traded commodity in the world today definitely will not! Crude oil is used in plastic, lubricants, asphalt and as a heating source which make it vital; however, its biggest purpose is without doubt petroleum. The liquid which is naturally found in rock is used to fuel everything from cars to boats and is mostly found in the Middle East where it is extracted, transported to refineries via pipelines and then shipped by tankers to countries all over the world. Every country in the world relies heavily on the use of crude oil.