A futures contract is a legal agreement, generally made on the trading floor of a futures exchange, to buy or sell a particular commodity or financial instrument at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future.
Futures contracts are standardized to facilitate trading on a futures exchange and, depending on the underlying asset being traded, detail the quality and quantity of the commodity.
A Commodities LED Ticker primarily focuses on showing the near month for instruments traded on exchanges controlled by the CME Group including:
- the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
- the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).
- the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
- the Commodity Exchange (COMEX).
You can view a full list of the products traded on the CME website.
There are two basic types of commodities: soft and hard commodities. Soft commodities are listings for coffee, cocoa, sugar, corn, wheat, soybeans, fruit, livestock, etc. Hard commodities are mined products such as gold, silver, natural gas, crude oil etc.