As most people are aware, commodities are a great investment option. However, the popular players such as gold and silver seem to overshadow the other available commodities. Firstly, commodities are categorized as either emerging, soft, or hard.
Emerging commodities include resources such as pollution rights, solar energy, water rights, wind energy, and water. It is important to note that emerging commodities cannot be bought as is; instead, one will have to purchase shares in the companies that deal with these commodities.
Hard commodities include zinc, unleaded gasoline, iron ore, steel, aluminum, copper, natural gas, nickel, heating oil, palladium, crude oil, tin, platinum, silver, lead, gold, and gas oil. There are also other hard commodities that include rare earth metals such as terbium, and other minor metals such as magnesium.
Soft commodities include salt, barley, wool, sugar, soybean oil, tea, adzuki beans, soybean meal, coffee beans, rubber, canola, live cattle, cotton, corn, cocoa, oats, orange juice, and rice. Soft commodities are usually things that are grown and harvested as opposed to mined.
Although there are several very large commodity trading companies that include Bunge Limited, Vitol, Cargill, Glencore International AG, among others; they are not the ones responsible for trading in commodities.
In order to trade in commodities in the United States, you will need to use platforms such as Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), KCBT and NYMEX.