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Commodity Trade and Finance looks at the economics of key commodity groups, including energy, agriculture and metals. It examines the supply/demand fundamentals of several major and minor commodities, physical characteristics, production and consumption patterns, trade flows and pricing mechanisms. It also covers, in brief, the main tools used to hedge price risk, such as futures, options and swaps.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781843117049
ISBN-10: 1843117045
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 23mm)
Pages: 328
Imprint: Informa Law
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 2-Dec-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Book Review: Commodity Trade and Finance by Michael N. Tamvakis - Reviewed by (19 Jul 2015)

FROM INFORMA LAW: A STRAIGHTFORWARD APPROACH TO THE ECONOMICS OF COMMODITIES -- NOW IN A NEW SECOND EDITION

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

This notable book on the economics of commodities and commodities trading, as well as the production and distribution of commodities, will certainly be appreciated by international commercial lawyers in a number of areas of the world where commodities are among the main sources of wealth, including Canada, large chunks of the United States of America and of course, the major oil producing Gulf states.

The author, Professor Michael Tamvakis has created a clear, lucid and -- considering the gigantic scope of the subject matter -- succinct yet information-rich account of the dynamics of key commodity groups, namely energy, agriculture and metals. The book actually functions as an overview of how commodities - and the processes by which they are eventually accessed by the end-user – can and do shape everyday life, including local and global politics.

Published by Informa Law from Routledge, part of the Taylor and Francis Group, this is the second edition of a book which, one would surmise, is destined to be regarded as a classic work on this subject, and on which Tamvakis is demonstrably an expert. As Professor of Commodity Economics and Finance at Cass Business School, his areas of expertise include international commodity trade, commodity derivatives and the economics of energy and shipping.

This new and updated edition, which has been completely revised and restructured, contains additional chapters on oil refining, electricity and price risk management for energy metals and agricultural commodities. These chapters on oil and refined oil products and on iron ore and steel are particularly illuminating.

Tamvakis points out that even though all main groups of commodities are of paramount importance in our lives, it is energy -- i.e. energy sources oil, gas etc. -- that occupy our immediate concern and attention, ‘particularly in times of crisis’, especially as they comprise the largest of the key commodity groups.

Written in clear, straightforward prose and logically structured, the book is replete with revelations about, for example, the characteristics of commodities and markets, as well as methods of extraction, production, transport distribution, pricing and so forth.

What, for instance, causes fluctuations in oil prices -- and is there in fact a world shortage of iron ore? The book answers these and literally hundreds of other such questions, clarified throughout by illustrative charts, diagrams and maps. In examining the fundamental economics of commodities of all kinds, this book actually makes facts fascinating and puts key economic activities in perspective. It will certainly attract the interest of academics, students and of course those working in any aspect of commodities, including legal practitioners seeking background information to support advisory activities for corporate and commercial clients.

The publication date is cited as at 2015.


Author Biography - Michael N. Tamvakis

Michael Tamvakis is a Professor of Commodity Economics and Finance at the Cass Business School.