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An introduction to commodities

by Neil Schofield

Languages: English

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About the trainer:

Neil Schofield is the principal of FMT Ltd., a UK-based company offering training services in the areas of treasury, derivatives, capital markets and risk management to financial institutions, central banks and corporations worldwide.

Neil was global head of Financial Markets training at Barclays Capital from 2001 to 2008. He teaches primarily on the rates business, covering all of the major asset classes and their respective derivative products from foreign exchange through to commodities.

Before joining Barclays Capital, he was a director at Chisholm-Roth Training for 4 years, where he was responsible for the provision of training services for a number of blue chip global investment banks. Clients included Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase.

He started his training career at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he was originally employed as an internal auditor. Over a period of nine years, he conducted numerous internal and external training seminars including the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve System in the USA.

He has also held positions with Security Pacific Hoare Govett (now trading as Bank of America) and Lloyds TSB.

Neil holds a B.Sc. in Economics from Loughborough University and an MBA from Manchester Business School. He was elected as a Fellow of the IFS School of Finance (formerly the Chartered Institute of Bankers) in 1999.

Neil was appointed as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Reading ICMA center in April 2007.

He is the author of the book Commodity Derivatives: Markets and Applications and Trading the Fixed Income, Inflation and Credit Markets both published by Wiley.

He is currently writing two books a co-authored book entitled “Trading inflation: markets, instruments and strategies” and a sole-authored book “Equity derivatives: corporate and institutional and applications”.


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An introduction to commodities by Neil Schofield

About the training

#Contango   #Backwardation   #Forward prices   #Commodity futures   #Commodity indices

The course is designed for finance professionals who are interested in understanding the mechanics of commodity markets. The course starts by defining what is meant by a traded commodity and how this differs from a non-traded product. One of the key topics covered is the general demand and supply dynamics of commodity markets and how this links into valuation from both a theoretical and empirical perspective. The course illustrates how commodity futures play a pivotal role in the pricing of commercial contracts and how this influences a participant’s view on hedging the resultant market risk. The course can also be structured to consider the different types of instrument that a participant may use to gain exposure to the asset class for investment purposes.

Learning outcomes

Differentiate commodities

Differentiate between a traded and non-traded commodity

Commodity supply chain

Describe a generic commodity supply chain

The nature of the price risk

Identify the nature of the price risk faced by participants along the supply chain.

Commodity valuation

Outline the main theoretical and empirical methods of commodity valuation

Commodity futures

Describe the main features of commodity futures

Commodity price risk

Describe how futures could be used to hedge commodity price risk

Commodity investment

Describe the main instruments that are used for commodity investment purposes


  • What are commodities?

  • Commodity supply chains

  • How are commodities valued?

  • The nature of commodity price risk

  • Introduction to commodity hedging using futures

  • Introduction to commodity investing

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