Difference Between Commodity Exchange and Stock Exchange

An exchange is a special platform where people make transactions and exchange money, goods, securities, or derivative contracts. The latter refers to an obligation to buy or sell an asset when its price reaches a certain level.


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In general, the exchange works almost like an ordinary grocery market, i.e. everything is decided by the balance of supply and demand: the higher demand for this or that good, the higher its price. Only at the exchange securities are commodities, they are also called assets.

If investors lose interest in some asset, its value begins to fall, up to zero – and then the company, which issues these securities, can completely leave the exchange.

The commodity exchange is an important element of the economy, which insures against risks, and determines the price of goods and raw materials. There are no real transactions on the commodity market.  A stock exchange is an organizer of trading on the securities market, which has a license for this activity. Now – more about what are these and how they work.

Commodity Exchange vs Stock Exchange

A commodity exchange is an association of market participants: sellers, buyers, and intermediaries for the sake of creating the most favorable conditions for pricing, commodity turnover, the conclusion of trade agreements, acceleration of capital turnover, determination of prices, analysis of supply and demand, and other trade operations.

Trade within the commodity exchange is carried out not in the usual way, but on the basis of samples, standards, and relevant forms of documents regulating prices, the number of goods, their nomenclature, methods, and terms of delivery, etc. On the other hand, the stock exchange is an organizer of trading on the securities market, which has a license for this activity.

Most of the largest stock exchanges nowadays are universal and, apart from trading with securities, can fix transactions in currency and other exchange-traded goods, having corresponding sectors in their structure. However, the historical specialization of a stock exchange is precisely in the organization of securities trading.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonStock Exchange Commodity Exchange
DefinitionRefers to an organized market for buying and selling of enforceable contracts Refers to a marketplace where securities are bought or sold
ProductsDeals with the commodities’ future contractsDeal with the shares
Ownership statusNo ownership status achievedThe investor owns shares of a company 
Investment durationMainly short termUsually long term
RiskHighly risky due to the high volatility of commoditiesLess risky due to the stability 

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What is Commodity Exchange?

Commodity is a special type of financial markets, where buyers and sellers of commodities and raw materials, as well as speculators, meet and make deals. Trading at the commodity exchange may be held as “with the voice” in the trading hall and with the help of the electronic trading system.

The commodity exchange is a legal entity and acts on the basis of economic independence and self-government. It has its own bank accounts (settlement, currency, and other), separate property and balance sheet, as well as a seal with the name of the exchange.

The commodity exchange does not operate to make a profit, and therefore is not a commercial intermediary. Both legal entities and individuals engaged in commercial and production activities may be members of the commodity exchange. It is important to understand that the commodity exchange does not trade commodities, but futures. Each commodity exchange futures contract is simultaneously a purchase for one party and a sale for the other party. The selling party takes a short position because it sells, and the buying party takes a long position because it buys.

What is Stock Exchange?

A stock exchange is an online marketplace where securities such as stocks, bonds, investment units, and more complex instruments such as options and futures can be traded. It makes sure that all parties meet their obligations and that transactions are executed quickly and reliably.

The securities exchange may have millions of transactions a day, and hundreds of thousands of investors, but in fact, it is a non-profit organization. Exchange members – representatives of financial organizations control their work.

Stock exchanges can be non-profit organizations, open or closed joint-stock companies, or state or quasi-state organizations. Not everyone is allowed to work in the securities market. Brokers and dealers participate in trading along with personnel (managers, organizers, brokers, consultants). Brokers conclude transactions on behalf of their clients, i.e. they provide intermediary services. Dealers use their own funds.

Main Differences Between Stock Exchange and Commodity Exchange 

Commodity Exchange

  1. Pricing is based on an analysis of supply and demand,
  2. Counterparties choose each other at their will, voluntarily,
  3. Trades are held according to unified rules, established by a particular exchange,
  4. There is a standard form of contract, which allows for simplifying trading, even more,
  5. The commodity exchange does not function for the purpose of making a profit, and therefore is not a commercial intermediary.

Stock Exchange

  1. Providing access to new capital for business development,
  2. Making it easier for you and other investors, including venture capitalists, to realize their investments,
  3. The ability to offer employees additional incentives by granting stock options – this can incentivize and motivate your employees to work toward long-term goals,
  4. Determine the value of your business,
  5. Raising your public profile and providing confidence to your customers and suppliers.
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