Agricultural commodities and food prices

"Agricultural commodities and food speculation" is a topic that affects everyone. World hunger is an urgent challenge and will continue to grow in the future. Food security is a vital part of the solution. One way to help combat the challenge is to invest in soft commodities and the entire agricultural value chain.


This is certainly a controversial debate. To some people, food futures markets are simply ’betting on food’. That raises the question of whether participating in markets for soft commodities can ever be justified. Based on scientific evidence, Deutsche Bank’s position is that participation is not just a ’can’ but a ’must’. We explain the background issues and provide answers to the frequently asked questions.

The underlying questions are extremely important. Does food speculation really cause increases in price and price volatility? What really creates shortages of food staples like wheat, corn and soy in many parts of the world?

To the discussion

Our position: the most important questions and answers

Our position: the most important questions and answers

You can find out about the position of Deutsche Bank on the subject of agricultural financial products and a possible correlation with food prices here. Read about how we want to find possible solutions for the complex issues relating to the causes of the hunger problem and the responsibility of investors. more
Voices of critics

Voices of critics

In the last few years, many researchers have investigated the price fluctuations affecting staple foods and the role of agricultural index funds. Nevertheless, to date the question of the impact of agricultural speculation has not been completely clarified with absolute certainty. more

Background: Food speculation – the facts

Extensive research informs our measured judgements – we apply this principle to the intensely discussed topic of food speculation as well as others. It’s easy to make superficial judgements – but upon closer examination, the issues are more complex. Broad or yes/no answers cannot suffice.

Answers to frequently asked questions: More on food speculation – the facts


Agricultural speculation helps limit risks

Agricultural speculation plays a vital role: It helps farmers, food producers and brokers limit their price risks and secure their liquidity. Read more on...

  • how the futures market for soft commodities actually works.
  • how a corn farmer secures the price for his harvest on the futures market.
  • what role agricultural index funds play.

More on how agricultural speculation can help limit risks.



Agricultural speculation and commodity prices – is there a link?

According to the latest scientific findings, index funds and agricultural speculation do not cause increases in food prices.Public opinion, however remains sceptical and governments want to regulate agricultural futures markets more strictly. Learn more about...

  • the scientific findings.
  • the arguments for and against agricultural speculation.
  • where governments stand.
  • where Deutsche Bank stands.
  • the reasons why Deutsche Bank continues to offer agricultural finance products.

More about the possible link between agricultural speculation and commodity prices.


IMF Primary Commodity Price Graph

What drives agricultural prices?

Many people do not have enough to eat – and rising agricultural prices are one reason. Deutsche Bank is very concerned about this development and has conducted a detailed analysis to truly understand what makes prices for soft commodities so volatile. Our analysis shows that demand is growing faster than supply.

More about why agriculture prices are rising


Agricultural investments to increase productivity and sustainability

Commodities speculation within agriculture is a controversial issue for many people. But to bring more food to market, agriculture has to become more productive and sustainable. That means urgently needed capital must flow into agricultural projects and the market must become more transparent. Find out...

  • what needs to happen in the agricultural sector needs to guarantee food supplies
  • how Deutsche Bank supports growth and change in the agricultural sector
  • why we support market transparency, how commodity derivate markets support infrastructure development, and where we see investment opportunities

More about the role of agricultural investments for more productivity and sustainability


Agriculatural commodities

Africa Agriculture Trade and Investment Fund: Higher incomes. Greater Food Security.

Discover how the AATIF special fund aims to achieve higher incomes and greater food security for Africa. AATIF is an innovative public-private partnership. It was founded by KfW Development Bank and Deutsche Bank on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

More about food security in Africa 


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