Check out this great article from Open Markets / CME Group. It underscores the important role that speculators and traders play in the overall business of agriculture. Without being able to lay off the risk, farmers would have a tough time calculating profitability. That in turns effects how much they can borrow from the bank.
“He can look at the hedging strategy and see what the farmer’s profit potential is before the trade is executed. “I know if they’re spending $30,000 in margin money, they may be protecting a profit potential of $150,000,” he says. “It’s easier to explain (to the bank’s approving committee) that margin money, which had that label of being money you throw out the window, now its protecting a risk management plan.”
“It’s one more tool that I can use to verify that the money I’m being asked for is being used for a risk management plan, not a speculative plan.”
Right. Who’s taking the other side of the trade?