The SAFEX Commodity Derivatives Market provides a platform for price discovery and efficient price risk management for the grains market in South and Southern Africa. More recently, the Division also offers derivatives on precious metals and crude oil.
Commodity markets have existed for many centuries and were the first to innovate contracts in which to manage price risk. The use of derivative instruments through futures and options contracts, provide market participants with the ability to manage their price risk in the underlying physical market. By trading on a formal exchange which connects buyers and sellers, not only is price discovery achieved in a transparent fashion, but all transactions are guaranteed through the derivatives clearing structure.
Producers and users of agricultural commodities who hedge their price risk are thereby limiting their exposure to adverse price movements. This encourages increased productivity in the agricultural sector as farmers and users are able to concentrate their efforts on managing production risks. Production risks associated with variables such as the weather, farm/production management and seasonal conditions.
The physically settled commodities rely on warehouse receipts to facilitate the delivery process. The warehouse receipts are utilized by financial institutions who offer financing to clients who own the receipts. Derivative contracts also enable institutions to fund input costs to producers who hedge their price risk and in so doing encourage sustainable production.