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What are the strategies for swing trading in commodity markets?

Strategies for Swing Trading in Commodity markets

Swing trading, in its simplest aspect, is a strategy for speculative trading involving the acquisition and disposal of assets to create large profits within a specified period. These periods often range from a day all the way up to several weeks, with the common denominator being the aim to capitalize on anticipated price surges or declines.

Commodity markets, including assets like gold, oil, and agricultural products, present fertile grounds for swing trading due to their pronounced volatility, liquidity, and susceptibility to economic and seasonal factors. As a swing trader in the commodity market, you are essentially looking to exploit the market’s ‘swings’.

Let’s delve into various strategies to help you optimize swing trading in commodities.

Understanding the Commodity Cycle

Fundamental analysis is a crucial element in swing trading, particularly in commodity markets. Factors such as supply and demand, weather patterns and geopolitical concerns can all influence commodity prices. Understanding the commodity cycle—the fluctuations in commodity prices over time—can help you foretell price trends and make informed decisions. If, for example, you anticipate that a severe weather event may disrupt corn supplies, you could anticipate an upward swing in corn prices and position accordingly.

Trend Following

Trend following is a principal strategy in swing trading. This strategy is based on the assumption that commodity prices will continue to move in the direction of the trend. Therefore, traders will buy an asset when its price trend goes up (bullish) and sell it when the trend goes down (bearish). Technical analysis tools such as moving averages, Relative Strength Index (RSI), or the Average True Range (ATR) can be invaluable for spotting these trends.

Trend following may seem simple on paper, but execution can be difficult as markets only trend about 30% of the time. Therefore, traders must be patient and disciplined to wait for trends to develop while also being diligent regarding exit strategies to protect against reversals.

Reverse Swing Trading

In reverse swing trading, the trader seeks to profit from changes in a commodity’s trend. This involves selling commodities that have been trending upwards right before their prices start falling and buying commodities that have been on a downward trend just as their prices start to increase. Identification of these inflection points can again be facilitated through technical analysis tools—peak/trough analysis, trendline breaks, and divergence identification, for instance.

Scalp Swing Trading – Commodities

What is Swing Trading?

Swing trading is a trading strategy where you hold positions for a few days to weeks to profit from expected price movements. You’re looking for bigger price swings over a medium timeframe.

What is Scalp Trading?

Scalp trading is a short-term strategy where you make multiple trades within the same day to capture small price movements. The goal is to make a small profit from each trade, which can add up over many trades.

Combining Both: Scalp Swing Trading

Scalp Swing Trading merges these two strategies. Here’s how it works:

Identify a Swing Trade: Find a stock or commodity that you expect will move significantly over the next few days or weeks.

Set Your Targets: Instead of holding the position for the entire swing, set smaller profit targets within that expected movement.

Multiple Trades: Execute multiple smaller trades within the larger swing. Each trade aims to capture small price changes, just like in scalp trading.

Repeat: As the price moves within the larger trend, you keep making these small, quick trades to accumulate profits.

Why do it?

Flexibility: It allows you to adapt quickly to market changes.

Risk Management: By taking smaller profits more frequently, you reduce the risk of losing a larger amount if the market goes against you.

Consistency: It can lead to more consistent returns, as you’re not waiting for one big move to happen.

Fundamental News Trading

Given the substantial impact of news on commodity prices, swing traders can also benefit from news-based trading. This involves making trading decisions based on news events or data releases associated with a specific commodity. Beware, as this strategy requires a deep understanding of how various news events impact commodities and the ability to act swiftly on new information.

Maintain a Diversified Portfolio

No matter which strategies you employ, don’t forget the essential rule of maintaining a diversified portfolio. Limit your exposure to any one commodity to reduce the risk of a single commodity’s adverse price movement significantly affecting your overall portfolio.


Regardless of the strategy you employ, remember that the cornerstone of swing trading is timing. The very essence of swing trading is entering and exiting at the right moments. Comprehensive research and intelligent use of technical and fundamental analysis can significantly optimize your swing trading experience in commodities.

Swing trading in the commodity market is a lucrative and exciting venture but is by no means easy. It requires patience, an understanding of market dynamics, and the emotional strength to stay the course when the market turns against you. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced trader, these strategies will help you navigate the exciting world of commodity swing trading and help you improve your trading game.