ACE 427: Commodity Price Analysis

Commodity Price Analysis (ACE 427) teaches the basics of analyzing commodity prices from a fundamental perspective. The course covers supply and demand fundamentals, how they impact price, and how to track them with USDA reports.

“Students come away from ACE 427 being able to intelligently pay attention to commodity markets. I begin the class by having students listen to a market report from a local radio broadcaster; to many of them this is a remote concept,” says Mindy Mallory, the course instructor. “But I assure them that by the end of the semester, they will be able to listen to a market report and make sense of it.”

The course combines typical lecture-style sessions with lab sessions that allow students to recreate or extend Microsoft Excel analyses from assigned readings. The labs sharpen students’ skills in commodity analysis and familiarize them with Excel, a common tool in such analysis.

“Through a lot of hands-on computer lab activities and other assignments, students get into the publicly available data on supply and demand,” says Mallory. “It gives them a small taste for what professional market analysis feels like.”

Students follow market analyses produced by various professionals—academic economists, commercial grain handlers, professional brokers, market advisors, proprietary traders—to learn who does commodity price analysis professionally and how they implement the course topics every day on the job.

Mallory says, “I love commodity markets, so it is really fun for me to teach students the lingo and get them up to speed with how markets work and how someone might think about managing risk in various business situations.”

Financial Security Professor Mindy Mallory