Freight Derivatives

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DEFINITION of 'Freight Derivatives'

A financial instrument's value that is derived on the future levels of freight rates, such as "dry bulk" carrying rates and oil tanker rates. Freight derivatives are used most often by end users (such as ship owners and grain-houses) and by suppliers (such as integrated oil companies and international trading corporations) to mitigate risk and hedge against price spikes in the supply chain.

As with all derivatives, market speculators, like hedge funds and individual traders, participate in both the buying and selling of these contracts providing for a new, more liquid, marketplace.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Freight Derivatives'

Freight derivatives now include exchange-traded futures (ETFs), swaps futures and the older "Forward Freight Agreements", which were sold over-the-counter. Freight derivatives are most often used to hedge risks against large swings in price, a model popularized in the agriculture and commodities industries.

Freight derivatives are a relatively new product in the global marketplace, but the advent of clearing services has brought increased safety, and with it liquidity, into the business.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between hedging and speculation?

    Hedging involves taking an offsetting position in a derivative in order to balance any gains and losses to the underlying ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How are futures used to hedge a position?

    Futures contracts are one of the most common derivatives used to hedge risk. A futures contract is as an arrangement between ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between forward and futures contracts?

    Fundamentally, forward and futures contracts have the same function: both types of contracts allow people to buy or sell ... Read Full Answer >>
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