Commodity futures are known to exhibit a fair amount of volatility, but there is perhaps no group of assets more volatile than the softs. Soft commodities, which consist of cocoa, coffee, cotton, and sugar, are known for their large daily movements, as it is not uncommon to watch these contracts jump by 3% in a single trading session. As such, they make for extremely lucrative trading opportunities, despite their high risks. So it comes as no surprise that a number of investors actively trade these four commodities in hopes of turning big gains. It is also important to note that all four of these have very different price drivers, so while an asset like cotton has enjoyed a strong 2012, coffee has done just the opposite [see also Five Commodity MLPs With Sky High Yields].
Coffee beans are in fact the seeds of the coffee tree, but are referred to as beans because of their striking resemblance. The coffee plant itself is actually a fruit, and its end product is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. In fact, the crop is so popular, that over 2.25 billion cups are consumed daily around the globe; that’s enough to give one cup to one third of the world’s population. The farming of coffee beans began nearly 3,000 years ago, and was first introduced to the Americas in the early 1700’s. The beans are typically handpicked once the fruit is ripe, and the processing and cultivation of this crop occurs all around the world. As an investment, coffee has become a popular go to source for investors to make a play on economic trends. With such a large global reach, news from any part … See the full story here