Briefing paper: Back to fundamentals
21.06.2012: Why position limits are needed to protect consumers, producers and businesses is explained in this paper by World Development Movement, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam and WEED.
Position limits are a key issue in the reform of the commodity derivative markets as part of the review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).There is now broad consensus that the levels of financial speculation in the commodity derivative markets seen in recent years can have a distorting impact on prices in the physical markets. Improved transparency and regulation, including position limits, are needed to prevent market manipulation and excessive financial speculation from contributing to volatility and price spikes. Food price volatility causes problems and costs for consumers, producers and businesses in Europe. In developing countries, where households typically spend 50 to 90 per cent of their income on food, food price spikes can have devastating impacts.Position limits are the norm for regulating commodity markets around the world, and must be a central feature of EU regulation. An approach which relies solely on position management, without limits, has failed in the past and must not be taken.