What Is a Spot Price?

What Is a Spot Price?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

A spot price is the current market price for a good or service that can be bought or sold for immediate delivery. Typically, it’s associated with the trading of commodities like oil, gold, or grains, but can also apply to securities, like stocks or bonds. The nature of the spot price is such that it’s open to the influences of supply and demand in the market, making it quite volatile.

Related Questions

1. How is the spot price implemented in commodity trading?

In commodity trading, the spot price reflects the price that people are willing to pay for a product or commodity if it’s bought and delivered right away. When someone buys a commodity on ‘spot’, they pay the spot price, and the commodity is delivered immediately.

2. What’s the difference between a spot price and a future price?

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The spot price is for immediate purchase and delivery of a commodity, while the future price, on the other hand, is the price at which a particular commodity could be bought or sold for at a future date. Futures prices are usually used by traders who don’t actually want the physical delivery of the commodity, but instead want to profit from price movements.

3. How does supply and demand influence spot prices?

Just like any other market, spot prices are heavily influenced by supply and demand. When demand for a commodity rises, it often leads to an increase in the spot price. Conversely, when there’s a surplus of the commodity leading to an increase in supply, the spot price can drop.

4. Can spot prices be manipulated?

Yes, spot prices can sometimes be manipulated. In certain markets, large scale buyers or suppliers may intentionally change the price at which they’re willing to buy or sell to influence the spot price to their advantage. However, these instances are typically exceptions rather than the rule.

5. What’s the impact of spot price fluctuations on the economy?

Fluctuations in the spot prices of commodities can have significant impacts on the economy. As these prices change, they can influence industries that depend on these commodities, including affecting the price of products we use daily. Extreme fluctuations can impact financial markets and the overall stability of economies.