Price Formation in Commodities Spot and Derivative Markets

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The unstoppable race of commodity prices comes at a critical moment, when European and US economies are languishing in regaining the ground lost as a result of the recent financial crisis. Policy makers and the public opinion are shrouded in a mist of mounting worries and anger around commodity prices. Regulators worldwide agreed in the G20 to address price volatility and are bringing forward a number of regulatory proposals to improve the regulation, functioning, and transparency of commodity markets.

This task force brought together financial and non-financial firms with regulators and academics to shed light on the price formation mechanisms in spot and future markets, focusing on three major areas: trading, market abuse, and competition. ECMI partnered once more with the Centre of European Policy Studies (CEPS) to engage the European institutions and the major experts in this area to provide input to this group. The task force was chaired by Ann Berg, a leading expert in commodities, commodity futures and food security issues. Research fellows Christian Egenhofer and Diego Valiante acted as rapporteurs, merging their expertise in environment and finance.

Please download the Task Force Prospectus to find a detailed account of the objectives, methodology and work plan of this task force. For more information please contact Research Fellow Diego Valiante at diego.valiante@ceps.eu or phone 0032 2 229 39 14. 

Task Force Meetings

Six full-day task force meetings were held at CEPS and ECMI offices in Brussels. Click in each of the meetings below to learn more.

  • 1st meeting: Friday 30th September 2011
    • Energy commodities - sustainability of global supply and demand, market abuses and surveillance
  • 2nd meeting: Friday 21st October 2011
    • Energy commodities - sustainability of global supply and demand, market abuses and surveillance
  • 3rd meeting: Friday 18th November 2011
    • Raw materials - trading practices and financialisation, competition and market structure
  • 4th meeting: Friday 9th December 2011
    • Raw materials - market abuses and surveillance, sustainability of global supply and demand
  • 5th meeting: Friday 20th January 2012
    • Agricultural commodities - market abuses and surveillance, sustainability of global supply and demand
  • 6th meeting: Friday 10th February 2012
    • Agricultural commodities and food - trading practices and financialisation, competition and market structure
  • Lauch event: 2013

About the Chair

Ann Berg is a leading expert in commodities, commodity futures, and food security issues. In a career that spans over 35 years, she began as a grain exporter and later became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade where she operated as an independent futures trader for 18 years. She was twice elected to the Board of Director of the CBOT and served on the Executive Committee of the National Grain Trade Council in Washington DC. She has advised foreign governments, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Catalyst Institute, and multinational and foreign corporations on a variety market related issues. In 2010, she became a senior consultant to UN-FAO.