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Commodity Markets: Products, Trading and Financing

  • Overview

    Global interest in commodity markets has significantly increased in recent years, not only due to increased living standards and the associated changes in consumption patterns, but these commodities have attracted a broader range of market participants that are in search of returns and enhanced exposures to a large portfolio of asset classes. Commodities now form an important part of the portfolios of hedge funds and asset managers, among others. Additionally, physical processes associated with these markets such as enhanced processing, genetic modifications to organisms and better risk management tools have provided expanded tool sets to all market participants.


    These newer investors have brought benefits as well as complications to these markets in the form of information systems about the financial side of these products, pricing tools based on applications of mathematical procedures, and an increased set of financial assets, including structured products. These changes require market participants to improve their understanding of existing market characteristics and acquire new skills to interact more competitively across markets.

    This program is focused on the recognition and understanding of the risks and subtleties of derivatives structures and transactions from the perspectives of the producer, processer and financial institutions. It is designed to equip business and risk managers with the knowledge and skills to fully recognize, understand, assess and mitigate the changing risks as the cash and derivatives markets.


    • Review and comprehensively understand cash market processes and procedures
    • Develop an understanding of the regulatory structures
    • Explain how derivatives and structured products are used to manage risk
    • Describe the mechanics of various associated derivative products and collateralization issues and requirements
    • Intuitively understand the pricing, hedging, and other issues associated with derivative products

    Who Should Attend?

    • Finance and Accounting staff
    • Corporate Risk managers
    • Traders
    • Brokers & Dealers
    • Fund Managers
    • Compliance
    • Sales Managers
    • Portfolio Managers
    • Audit


    Your boilerplate.  I have 9 case studies available and examples as well as exercises.


  • Day 1

    Commodity Market Structure and the Corporate Risk Environment

    • Corporate operations and the role of commodity risk
    • Commodity market categories
    • The unique nature of physical vs financial assets
    • Market characteristics: Exchange traded vs OTC
    • Price discovery and market transparency

    Market Participants

    • Ags, Energies and Metals – who are the participants
    • Speculators, hedgers and investors
    • More detail on energy markets – products, suppliers and consumers
    • More detail on Metal markets – products, suppliers and consumers
    • More detail on Ag markets – products, suppliers and consumers

    Case Study: Hedging jet fuel – how to correctly and incorrectly create this hedge.


    • The role of receipt, negotiability
    • Collateral aspects
    • Delivery processes and flowcharts
    • Transportation modes and routes
    • Supply chains
    • Inco terms
    • Repo financing in commodities
    • Documentation, insurance and bonding

    Case Study: LME Warehousing and Stocks, Understanding Inco Terms

    Day 2

    Primer on Derivatives: Linear Products

    • The role volatility, black swans and market blow-ups
    • Pricing forwards and futures
    • The cost of carry model
    • Mean reversion in commodity pricing
    • Hedging and risk reduction

    Case Study: Blowups Happen

    Primer on Derivatives: Non-linear Products

    • Option introduction
    • Options concepts – Call and Put Options
    • Option characteristics and terminology: How options are quoted
    • Option pricing factors

    Option Pricing and Trading

    • Intrinsic value, time value, and payoff diagrams
    • Trading options: How option markets functions
    • Simple option trading strategies
    • Understanding option payoff profiles

    Case Study: Using options as a risk management tool

    Day 3

    Option Trading II

    • How option prices change
    • American vs. European options
    • Option spread trading – money spread and calendar spread
    • Taxonomy of option trading methods
    • Trading strategies involving two options
    • Trading strategies with three or more options
      • Spreads
      • Strips, Straps and Strangles
      • Butterflies and Condors
      • Ratioed Back spreads
    • Adjusting risk exposure with option trades
    • Managing risk and hedging

    Case Study: Trading Option Practice

    Technical Analysis Introduction

    • Trading systems and models
    • The importance of timing
    • Using Candlesticks
    • Understanding point and figure charts
    • Chart patterns and models
    • Rules of thumb for trading
    • Support and Resistance

    Case Study: Sample Studies and Analysis

    Risk Tools and Measurement

    • VaR, CVaR – uses and abuses
    • Compliance issues
    • Understanding Credit risk issues
    • Introduction to FAS 133

    Case Study: Understanding hedge vs speculative accounting

    Political and Other Risk Scenarios

    • Dealing with import and export taxes & tariffs – case studies
    • Country risk and economics
    • Dealing with defaults & Force Majeure events

    Case Study: Force Majeure examples: Good and Bad!

  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – 10/10 of the world’s largest banks have chosen us as there training provider and we have delivered training across the largest banks and have trained over 25,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 100+ strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 25,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 99 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 4.2/5 on service and 4.7/5 on Coursecheck
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • Mark Holder


    Dr. Mark Holder is a consultant in financial markets, providing services to leading global Investment Banks, Exchanges, and Commodity Firms.  He is also a lead partner for a proprietary trading firm located in Hong Kong.  He has prior experience as the Director of Research and Product Development at two Exchanges, as well as Managing Director for a leading financial training company.  His background also includes 14 years of teaching experience at the masters and PhD levels.  While at the university he was the Chairman of the Department of Finance and Program Director of the Master Science in Financial Engineering program.   Dr. Holder has designed and conducted training programs for a wide range of clients including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Reuters, Dubai Financial Services Authority, CSRC, Guotai Junan, Aberdeen Asset Management and many other leading financial institutions for the past 15 years. These programs have covered a wide variety of topics, including Derivatives, Risk Management and Financial Modeling, for audiences such as Analysts and Associates to Managing Directors and Vice Chairs. He has also offered courses for Practical Training requirements and client-based courses as well.   Dr. Holder is also an accomplished author.  His publication record includes more than 50 articles in leading journals.  He was the Editor of the journal Review of Futures Markets, a leading academic journal covering the field of derivatives and markets for over 10 years. Mark has significant prior experience working in fixed incomes and derivatives from the CBOT and as a trader. He has firsthand knowledge of market practices and operations.  His evaluations show he can convey this information is an intuitive way to participants to maximize their understanding and knowledge.