The commodities business involves the trading of physical assets. Examples include precious metals (such as gold and silver), energy (oil, gas and power) and agricultural produce (such as wheat or fruit). Many commodities are traded on a futures market, which simply means they are traded with the view that delivery will take place on a future date.
However it is worth noting that the volume of commodities trading taking place in banks has started to diminish in light of regulations that have increased the costs of engaging in this form of trading. This is partly in recognition of the fact that the influence and input of banks in the commodities trading business has steadily increased the price of assets in general since 1990, creating artificially high prices that have consequently affected the profit margins of many other actors along the distribution chain.