The Best Trading Books for People Trying to Learn Commodity Markets

Trading in general is difficult at its best and dang near impossible at its worst. Between sifting through the piles of bad information, people trying to sell you things, and just overall confusion; it’s difficult to know where to start. I have been lucky enough to have worked with some excellent people over the years who have pointed me in the right direction on multiple occasions. That being said, I have still suffered through a lot of failure and wasted time chasing things that didn’t pan out. To help those interested in learning more about commodities and commodity markets, I have compiled a list of what I believe are the best trading books for people trying to learn commodity markets

These books cover a range of topics from market mechanics to history, to options theory. A few of them aren’t even commodity related and are just generally good market books. 


Book cover for "The World For Sale"

The World for Sale

More of a general history/information book than a how-to on commodity trading, but still very good. This book covers the largest commodity traders in the world and how they control the raw materials that go into building and feeding everything.

Book cover for "Oceans of Grain"

Oceans of Grain

Another book that’s more history oriented but provides great context for those looking to get involved in agricultural trading. This book follows the history of wheat and its trade around the world. From Roman times to the flood of US wheat on the world market after the US civil war, this book will provide you with context as to why agricultural trade is so important.

Book cover for "The Quants"

The Quants

Not really a commodity book, but great for forward looking market perspective. Years ago, the markets were controlled by those involved in the open outcry process, but that has changed drastically with the advent of the computer. In more recent times, markets are controlled by computer programs and so called “quants.” This book covers the rise of quants and helps you get to thinking about where markets and technology could be headed next.

Book cover for "Commodities and Commodity Derivatives"

Commodities and Commodity Derivatives

This book is heavy on the academic and modeling side but provides great context for commodity pricing models. It focuses primarily on the application of Brownian motion in the context for commodity derivative pricing.

Book cover for "Trading Commodities and Financial Futures"

Trading Commodities and Financial Futures

More oriented towards entry level people in or around commodity markets, this book is packed full of useful information related to futures, options, and other basic market tools. It covers interesting trading stories and useful details for those new to the markets. If you are just starting out in commodity markets, this is likely one of the first books I would read.

Book cover for "Option Volatility and Pricing"

Option Volatility and Pricing

Widely regarded as the bible of option trading, Option Volatility and Pricing should be considered mandatory reading for people just getting started in option markets.