Are you interested in commodities, stocks, and financial markets and have good communication skills? If yes, a career as a commodity trader might suit you.
Commodities traders are independent agents who bring commodity buyers and sellers together, help negotiate sales, and arrange sales via established markets. They facilitate commodities trading and arrange mortgages and insurance on behalf of their clients.
To become a commodities trader, you need a VET or university qualification in commerce, economics, finance, accounting, or actuarial studies. Additionally, you must register with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to become licensed.
This blog explains the commodities trader job, the most common duties, the steps to becoming a commodities trader in Australia, and much more.
1. What Are Commodities?
Commodities represent goods or assets with monetary value that can be bought or sold. In Australia, the following commodities are exchanged both in person and online.
2. What Is Commodities Trading?
Like stocks, commodity traders trade commodities and buy or sell for institutional investors, corporate clients, or retail traders. In Australia, commodities are bought and sold on the ASX exchange.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission regulates exchanges and brokers, which oversees financial service providers.
Depending on the markets and conditions, you can trade commodities for a shorter or longer duration.
3. What Is A Commodities Trader?
Commodities traders are independent investment brokers who buy and sell various commodities over multiple exchanges. They provide financial planning services and execute trades in different markets.
These licensed professionals thoroughly understand the price of goods and the factors that influence their price.
They negotiate sales through established physical marketplaces where bidding happens on the "exchange floor" or through a virtual exchange where the commodity exchange is online.
International commodity brokers broadly understand the global trading centres and physical commodity markets. They offer trading advice to their clients who trade beyond domestic markets.
4. Commodity Trader Job Description
Use financial publications to analyse market conditions and trends.
Make fast decisions about buying or selling raw products or physical goods from the marketplace.
Follows the market cycles and economic factors that impact the supply and demand for a commodity, such as politics, retail spending, and weather conditions.
Research specific commodities and market conditions and trade them across national and overseas exchanges.
Compute and record the cost of transactions
May perform spot trading, where the goods are delivered instantly, as opposed to future delivery.
Operate software platforms and tools to perform option trading
Promote services to new and current clients
Network with investment professionals and other traders
Communicate with clients throughout the execution of trades
Offer advice to clients concerning the purchase and sale of commodities.
Understand futures contracts
Develop connections within relevant industries
Stay up-to-date on recent industry developments.
5. What Is A Financial Broker?
Financial Brokers work as independent agents who simplify the exchange of commodities and make arrangements for insurance and loans on behalf of clients.
They are financial investors who trade commodities for large companies and financial institutions. They primarily work in an office but may require travel to meet with their clients or place a bid at a stock exchange.
For example, the social trading platform eToro is a broker allowing one to follow other traders and copy their strategies. You can create a free account HERE and start observing other successful traders. It also provides virtual money if you need more confidence to use real cash.
6. Finance Broker Job Description In Australia
A finance broker is responsible for the following tasks:
Determine the specific insurance and financial requirements of clients
Research and review available insurance and finance products to meet the requirements of clients
Analyse the financial status of clients, discuss financial options and build financial strategies
Suggest loan combinations that fulfil the requirement of clients
Interview potential clients to discuss insurance policy conditions, risk coverage, benefits, and premium rates and make recommendations on the type and amount of cover
Liaise with banks, loan lenders, financiers, and insurers, to arrange the most appropriate financial instruments for clients, such as insurance, and home loans
Create documents that specify the conditions of repayments, finance, and loan periods
Make arrangements for commercial leases, commercial finance, equipment finance, project finance, and finance for real-estate developers.
7. What Skills Do You Need To Become A Commodities Trader?
Commodity trading is a specialised role within the financial industry. Critical evaluation of market trends, quick thinking, and customer service abilities are the basic skills you need to work in this profession.
In addition to these, you will also need good technical knowledge and soft skills such as:
Knowledge of investment formulas to decide on buying or selling items based on their existing value
Good understanding of financial markets and commodities trading processes
Knowledge of sales techniques to initiate a sales call and network with existing leads to find new customers
Clear speaking tone
Effective verbal communication to interact with financial professionals and clients to execute complex deals in real-time
8. Qualifications For Commodity Traders In Australia
To become and work as a commodity trader, you usually need to study for a VET or university qualification. Some of the recommended options are:
Bachelor's in Commerce – UNSW Sydney
Bachelors of Commerce (Finance and Financial Planning)
Bachelor's in Economics – The University of Sydney
Bachelor of Actuarial Science – UNSW Sydney
Bachelor of Accounting – Western Sydney University
Diploma of Accounting – Victoria University
Consider gaining relevant work experience
Register with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and get licensed before offering paid trading services.
9. Steps To Become A Commodities Trader In Australia
To work in commodities trading, you must follow multiple steps, including qualifying, gaining on-the-job experience, and obtaining a license.
Here are the steps to start your profession as a commodities trader:
Step 1: Understand Commodity Trading
You usually need a VET qualification or a university degree in commerce, finance, economics, or a related field to work in this role.
The course gives an overview of the finance sector, the current economic structure of domestic and global markets, financial instruments, financial ratios, investments, stocks, commodities, trading, and more.
This knowledge will be a base for learning how to trade commodities in the market.
Step 2: Learn About Commodities
There are many commodities to trade in Australia. Start by identifying the one that interests you, has high liquidity, and has a decent trading volume.
Understand the market, factors that impact the trade, past performance, and trends. After you know the commodity you want to trade, it is time to learn how to trade in the market.
Step 3: Use A Regulated Platform
Once you have the theoretical knowledge, the next step is to find an ASIC-regulated trading platform, such as eToro, to learn how commodity trading works. You can create an eToro trading account HERE. It is the best trading platform in Australia and worldwide.
Many trading platforms offer a facility to trade commodities with a demo account and practice trading strategies before trading with real money.
Invest a lot of time in understanding market behaviour, analysing data, and experimenting with technical charts, tools, indicators, and trading strategies.
Step 4: Gain Commodity Trading Experience
To gain confidence and develop specialised trading knowledge, you can consider working as a junior futures trader in a commodity trading company.
Working in the commodities trading industry and dealing with individual clients will help you gain market knowledge and prepare you to work independently for clients.
Moreover, work experience will also help you qualify for the licensing exam. Many large firms also offer internship programs helping to build knowledge and make professional connections with the company to increase your chances of getting hired.
Step 5: Register For A Commodities Trading License
You need to be licensed to work as a commodity trader in Australia.
To gain registration, students should undertake a professional year that involves 100 hours of training after they complete their studies. Further, they also must pass the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority exam.
Obtain an Australian Financial Services (AFS) license from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to become a licensed commodities trader.
Step 6: Apply For Jobs
Many firms look for beginner traders to service smaller trading accounts.
After learning and practising on the job in commodity trading, traders can seek job positions for financial institutions that serve larger trading accounts.
Step 7: Consider Specialisation
Experienced traders can consider advancing their careers by specialising in the following fields:
10. Commodities Trader Work Environment
A Commodities trader job is fast-paced and requires making quick trading decisions based on the trends of the market and client interests.
They usually work on days when commodity markets are open, Monday to Friday, during standard trading hours. Commodities traders often deal with bulk money.
They may work in a stressful environment that expects them to facilitate profitable commodity trade transactions. Commodities traders also work with executive management to strategise and complete trades for large-scale clients.
The job may require standing or sitting for prolonged durations when working in commodity exchanges. Most commodities traders travel to visit their clients and discuss their trade objectives.
As the job offers flexibility to work independently, they can offer their services from any part of the state.
11. What Is Commodity Trader Salary In Australia?
The national average commodities trader salary is $86,491 per year. However, commodities traders also have the potential to earn more from commissions and bonuses.
Experience and the size of the brokerage firm where a trader works also determine Australia's overall financial broker salary.
12. Job Outlook For Commodity Traders In Australia
The commodities market has been there since time immemorial. From the continents to oceans, traders have transported commodities to nooks and corners of the planet. As the oldest market, commodities trade in large volumes daily.
Technology advancement has taken commodity trading to a new level. Gone are the days when people stockpiled innumerable oil, metals, or natural gas barrels.
Modern-day commodities markets have simplified commodity trading to a great extent. With cutting-edge technologies and tools, you can trade commodities in the form of financial derivatives.
Thus, you no longer must travel long distances to exchange tradable assets physically. With just a few clicks, you can participate in the thriving global commodities market and trade commodities CFD contracts at your convenience.
High growth prospects, hedging against inflation, a high Return on Investment, diversification, and ease of trading have made traders actively engage in commodities trading.
According to the national job outlook service, Commodities Traders grew moderately over the last five years. Due to huge interest and high demand among traders, you can expect a stable rise in commodity traders and job openings.
Commodities Traders are in demand all over Australia, particularly in industries related to Wholesale Trade, Forestry and Fishing, Agriculture, and Scientific and Technical Services.
Around 87% of workers work full-time for approx. 47 hours per week. 29% of workers are female, and the average working age in this profession is 39 years.
13. FAQs On Commodity Trading In Australia
What Are The Ways To Trade Commodities In Australia?
There are two ways to own a physical commodity: Exercised Options and Future Contracts.
You can trade commodities via an online trading platform. However, brokers charge a specific fee in commissions, deposit fees, withdrawal fees, overnight fees, and inactivity fees to use the platform.
Additionally, brokers charge a research fee to provide advanced data on commodities for more informed trading.
What Tools And Technologies Do Financial Brokers Use?
Commodities traders spend most of their time in front of computers, handling client calls and working on data management and financial tracking software.
When travelling or away from the office, they stay in touch with their clients through mobile phones and laptops.
How To Trade Commodities In Australia?
You can trade in commodities in Australia through futures exchanges, such as the Australian Securities Exchange. It offers futures contracts on various physical commodities.
Using this exchange platform, users can also speculate on the value of a commodity through other derivatives markets.
Tips To Trade Commodities On The Exchanges
New to commodity trading? Don't worry. Here are some tips that will help you while trading:
Only invest what you can afford to lose.
There are plenty of commodities you can trade in Australia, including grains, livestock, metals, and energy. Identify the one that interests you and gain extensive knowledge and skills.
Study the commodity industry, and understand the market, its volatility, and potential market cycles to identify the right time to enter the market and the right way to trade the commodity.
Learn how to use technical charts and trading tools to form the right strategies
Maintain a record of your trades, finances, and other information that will help you in the future.
Have risk management strategies like Stop Losses to shorten your losses while trading.
Keep experimenting with new trading styles and improvising your skills and knowledge.
Why Should You Trade In Commodities CFD?
Commodities are a viable way to diversify your financial portfolio. They form a volatile segment of foreign and domestic economies. They are effective in earning money and hedging.
Here are a few advantages of commodity CFD trading (Contract For Differences) that make it a good trading option in Australia:
No purchase of physical commodities, no storage costs, no transportation costs of merchandise and goods, and no maintenance
You can use Financial leverage.
Fast and easy execution of commodity trades
Choose long or short trades based on falling or rising market conditions.
Choose your preferred assets from a multitude of assets.
What is a Commodity Trader Career Path In Australia?
Commodity Traders usually start their career as Junior Commodity Traders and gradually climb the career ladder to pursue the following roles:
Assistant Manager - Commodity Research Manager
Senior Associate - Commodity Trader
Is Commodity Trading Legal In Australia?
Yes, it is legally allowed to trade in commodities in Australia. However, only those brokers registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission can practice.
If you want to start commodity trading, pick a licensed broker to ensure you have ASIC's consumer protection.
Do I Need To Pay Tax For Commodity Trading In Australia?
Yes, In Australia, commodity trading activities such as options, CFDs (Contracts-for-Difference), futures, and physical transactions like valuable metal contracts come under the Taxation of Financial guidelines.
It implies that you are liable to pay Goods and Services Tax on traded commodities.
How Much Capital Do I Need To Begin Commodity Trading In Australia?
The minimum deposit you need to trade in commodities in Australia depends on the trading platform you choose.
eToro requires a minimum first deposit of $50 (Our Recommendation)
AvaTrade and Plus500 need a minimum first-time deposit of $100
City Index has no minimum deposit requirement
Where Can I Buy Bullion In Australia?
Many bullion dealers in Australia offer trading in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. BullionVault, Perth Mint, and Australian Bullion Company are some places where you can buy and sell valuable metals online or in person.
Are Commodities Risky To Trade?
Commodities trading carries inherent risks. Besides the standard market volatility, various external factors, such as the weather, the value of the Australian Dollar, and the supply and demand of commodities, can impact the value.
That is the reason to always trade within your risk-taking ability.
Which Professional Organisations Offer Commodity Trading Services In Australia?
It is the leading inspection, testing, verification, and certification company. With over 2,600 offices and world-class laboratories, the company operates in around 150 countries worldwide.
SGS has a team of risk management experts to assist traders with commodity trading operations throughout the supply chain, including:
Planning of transportation
Preparing Documentation (export/import permits)
Quality evaluation and testing
Regardless of the commodity you want to trade, they will assess the risks professionally and provide the information for strategic decisions.
RMG Global Trading
It is a leading commodity trading company specialising in sourcing and distributing frozen and dry food commodities.
Their team of intelligent, driven, and diligent professionals use innovative trading software, real-time data, and artificial intelligence to provide streamlined operations, seamless transactions, and superior outcomes for clients throughout the food chain.
Where Can I Trade Commodities As A Beginner?
eToro is a recognised and trusted commodities trading platform. It is great for beginner traders as it allows users to start with a demo account before trading with real money. You can create an eToro trading account HERE.
Traders can access their services on a Mac, PC, or mobile device. With an easy registration process, you can start trading commodity CFDs in a few minutes.
eToro offers an opportunity to trade a broad range of popular commodities in any place during market hours. Here are some of the key features and benefits of using this trading platform:
Fully regulated and licensed
Operates in multiple countries
Offer a wide range of commodities
Multilingual 24/5customer support to clients
Choose from any of their robust trading platforms, such as AvaTradeGO Mobile, MetaTrader4, or MetaTrader5,
Beneficial trading conditions
How To Become A Weather Trader?
Unpredictable weather conditions such as heat, rainfall, snowfall, and wind influence our daily lives and big businesses, including commodities. To mitigate risks posed by bad weather, becoming a "weather trader" has become very popular among youths.
Insurance companies, government organisations, energy companies, agriculture, travel companies, and hedge funds are the key players in weather derivatives.
It helps them hedge the overall risk for commodity production and utilisation. A combination of commodity and weather derivatives is ideal for risk elimination.
Weather traders should understand how to use weather derivatives to eliminate risks of varying weather conditions that change the demand and supply of commodities.
Based on their research and understanding, whether traders take suitable positions to mitigate weather-related risks perceived by commodity businesses.
Since ancient times, investors considering commodities as an integral part of their investment portfolios for diversification, surviving any economic downturn, and maximising profits.
When considering its benefits, commodity trading remains in high demand. Knowledge of the commodities market, such as types of commodities, trading strategies, and continuously improving your skills, is needed to enter and succeed in this profession.
Follow the steps to become a licensed commodities trader and pursue your career goals.
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