Understanding Spot Prices: What It Is and Where They Come From

Have you ever heard of spot prices? Let’s dive in and get started!

Spot prices are an important tool in the financial markets. They are used to determine a security or commodity’s current value at a particular time. The “spot” refers to the current market, or operating, price. Spot prices provide traders and investors with a way to gauge the current market value of a security or commodity. Spot prices can be found on various news sites and brokerages. The spot price is the same as what you would pay for an ounce of gold or silver.

Types of Spot Prices

The type of spot price used will depend on the security or commodity being traded.

  • Spot Price of Commodities
  • Spot Price of Foreign Exchange
  • Spot Price of Stocks

Spot price and futures price correlation

Future price means that the trade in which a transaction is completed on a specific day, but the product delivery will only occur in the future, on a predetermined day. Typically, this implies that even though you pay for the gold now, you won’t be able to receive it until later.

  • Convergence is the term used to describe the scenario where the spot price and the futures price are the same. This usually occurs on the day that a futures contract expires.
  • Backwardation is the term used to describe the circumstance where the futures price is less than the spot price. This is quite uncommon and doesn’t occur frequently.
  • Contango is the term used to describe the circumstance when the futures price is greater than the spot price, which is extremely common and occurs most of the time.

Regardless of whether the futures price is in contango or backwardation with the current price, both values will inevitably converge as the futures contract expiry draws near.

What factors determine spot prices?

The demand and supply mechanism controls the spot price of commodities, just like it does for many assets. The current demand for the commodity and the subsequent supply of the items that are being traded on the exchanges control price fluctuations.

 Factors That Influence Spot Prices

Spot prices are influenced by a variety of factors. These factors include supply and demand, speculation, political events, and economic conditions. Supply and demand are the most important factors, as they affect the price of a security or commodity at any given moment.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Spot Prices

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using spot prices. On the one hand, spot prices provide traders and investors with a way to gauge the current market value of a security or commodity. On the other hand, spot prices can be volatile and unpredictable, and they can be affected by a variety of factors.


It is important to be aware of these factors and to use spot prices as a tool to make informed decisions.

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