/ kəmɑːdəti /
ETYM French commodité, from Latin commoditas. Related to Commode.
Articles of commerce; SYN. goods.
Something produced for sale. Commodities may be consumer goods, such as radios, or producer goods, such as copper bars.
Commodity markets deal in raw or semiraw materials that are amenable to grading and that can be stored for considerable periods without deterioration.
Commodity markets developed to their present form in the 19th century, when industrial growth facilitated trading in large, standardized quantities of raw materials. Most markets encompass trading in commodity futures—that is, trading for delivery several months ahead. Major commodity markets exist in Chicago, Tokyo, London, and elsewhere. Although specialized markets exist, such as that for silkworm cocoons in Tokyo, most trade relates to cereals and metals. Softs is a term used for most materials other than metals.