Open menu Close menu Open Search Close search Open sharebox Close sharebox
uscensus banner

Custom Search

1. Population
2. Vital Statistics
3. Health and Nutrition
4. Education
5. Law Enforcement, Courts
and Prisons
6. Geography and Environment
7. Parks, Recreation, Travel
8. Elections
9. State and Local Government
Finances and Employment
10. Federal Government
Finances and Employment
11. National Defense and
Veterans Affairs
12. Social Insurance and Human
13. Labor Force, Employment,
and Earnings
14. Income, Expenditures, and
15. Prices
16. Banking, Finance, and
17. Business Enterprise
18. Communications and
Information Technology
19. Energy
20. Science and Technology
21. Transportation - Land
22. Transportation - Air
and Water
23. Agriculture
24. Natural Resources
25. Construction and Housing
26. Manufactures
27. Domestic Trade and
28. Foreign Commerce and Aid
29. Outlying Areas
30. Comparative International
31. Industrial Outlook
32. 1997 Economic Census

778. Commodity Research Bureau Futures Price Index

[1967=100. Index computed daily. Represents unweighted geometric average of commodity futures prices (through6 months forward) of 17 major commodity futures markets. Represents end of year index]

Commodity 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
    All commodities 200.3 227.6 281.5 308.5 254.9 234.0 277.6 244.2 229.2 209.1 232.5 251.8 229.9 222.6 208.0 205.9 212.4 229.7 237.1 247.9 229.1 191.2 205.1
Softs 1 334.8 345.0 425.3 426.0 357.0 269.0 326.0 291.7 398.2 321.2 356.1 365.2 271.7 276.0 264.4 232.4 246.9 352.3 354.4 322.2 408.7 344.8 280.9
Industrials 175.0 222.1 354.8 324.6 249.2 249.9 249.0 217.0 211.7 210.4 252.5 248.2 249.6 245.5 217.2 224.7 235.0 263.6 272.5 266.3 210.9 185.3 192.9
Grains and Oilseeds 2 179.0 187.8 251.9 312.1 251.3 215.1 249.6 224.9 198.5 164.6 186.1 261.9 205.7 171.2 196.1 196.9 193.8 191.2 218.6 284.7 210.7 172.8 156.6
Energy (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA) 96.5 172.2 159.1 156.5 210.0 246.0 182.2 192.6 151.8 173.8 180.0 224.0 180.4 135.0 221.0
Oilseeds 3 208.6 240.6 258.1 314.6 271.0 236.9 316.6 273.5 245.4 189.8 223.6 309.6 254.2 223.6 195.4 218.8 239.8 259.9 277.5 307.9 (3) (3) (3)
Livestock and Meats 166.9 196.4 195.0 217.4 195.3 219.9 229.7 240.8 206.9 200.2 189.9 199.1 206.5 226.2 174.0 179.8 201.4 192.3 192.4 241.7 238.1 186.7 239.6
Metals (precious) 4 163.8 230.4 658.0 531.4 319.7 366.0 328.5 243.3 256.6 296.6 346.4 318.7 296.9 257.8 226.0 228.5 242.2 273.9 276.0 271.3 249.3 234.3 253.4

NA Not available.
1 Prior to 1997, reported as Imported.
2 Prior to 1997, reported as Grains.
3 Incorporated into Grains and Oilseeds beginning 1997.
4 Prior to 1979, index for metals only.

Source: Bridge Commodity Research Bureau (CRB), Chicago, IL,CRB Commodity Index Report, weekly (copyright).

Background and History

The Bridge/CRB Futures Index was first calculated by Commodity Research Bureau, Inc. in 1957 and made its inaugural appearance inthe 1958 CRB Commodity Year Book.

The Index was originally comprised of 28 commodities, 26 of which were traded on exchanges in the U.S. and Canada, and two cashmarkets. It included barley and flaxseed from the Winnipeg exchange; cocoa, coffee "B", copper, cotton, cottonseed oil, grease wool,hides, lead, potatoes, rubber, sugar #4, sugar #6, wool tops and zinc from New York exchanges; and corn, eggs, lard, oats, onions, rye,soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil and wheat from Chicago exchanges. In addition to those 26 markets, the Index also included thespot New Orleans cotton and Minneapolis wheat markets which were added to balance some commodities repeated in the Index asby-products of other commodities.

The original base period was 1947-49, the same as the Bureau of Labor Statistics Spot Market Index.�This was purposely done to facilitateeasy comparison of both spot and futures indices.

Like the Bureau of Labor Statistics spot index, the Bridge/CRB Futures Index is calculated to produce an unweighted geometric mean ofthe individual commodity price relatives. In other words, a ratio of the current price to the base year average price.

The Bridge/CRB Futures Index was originally designed to provide dynamic representation of broad trends in overall commodity prices. Inorder to ensure that it continued to fulfill that role, its components and formula have been periodically adjusted to reflect changes in marketstructure and activity.

In the original calculation, all future deliveries up to a year ahead were averaged to calculate the current price. In 1987, the calculation waschanged to only include deliveries nine months forward. In 1989, all non-cycle months were excluded from the calculation.

The 1995 revision lowers the number of forward deliveries included to those within six months of the current date, up to a maximum of fivedelivery months per commodity. However, a minimum of two delivery months must be used to calculate the current price, even if thesecond contract is outside of the six month window.

There has also been a continuous adjustment of the individual components used in calculating the Index since the original 28 were chosenin 1957. All of these changes have been part of the continuing effort of Commodity Research Bureau to keep the Bridge/CRB Futures Index"current," and to ensure that its value provides accurate representation of broad commodity price trends.

Since 1957, there have been nine revisions to Index components. The first was on April 3, 1961, and the latest on December 6, 1995.

*Current Construction and Calculation

The Bridge/CRB Futures Index can be viewed as a three-dimensional index.� In addition to averaging prices across 17 commodities (twodimensions), the Index also incorporates an average of prices across time, within each commodity.

The Bridge/CRB Futures Index is computed using a three-step process:

1) Each of the Indexs 17 component commodities is arithmetically averaged using the prices for all of the designatedcontract months which expire on or before the end of the sixth calendar month from the current date, except that: contract shall be included in the calculation while in delivery; b.there shall be a minimum of two contract months for each component commodity (adding contractsbeyond the six month window, if necessary); c.there shall be a maximum of five contract months for each commodity (dropping the most deferredcontracts to remain at five, if necessary).� The sult is that the Index extends six to seven months intothe future depending on where one is in the current month. For example, live cattles average price onOctober 30, 1997 would be computed as follows:

Cattle Average = (Dec. 97 + Feb. 97 + Apr. 98) / 3

Soybeans average price on October 30, 1997 is:

Soybean Average = (Nov. 97 + Jan. 98 + Mar. 98) / 3

2) These 17 component averages are then geometrically averaged by multiplying all of the numbers together and taking the17th root.

Geometric Average = 17 �Crude Avg. * Heating Avg. * ...Sugar Avg.

3) The resulting average is divided by 30.7766, the 1967 base-year average for these 17 commodities. That result is thenmultiplied by an adjustment factor of .8486. This adjustment factor is necessitated by the nine revisions to the Index since itsinception in 1957. Finally, that result is multiplied by 100 in order to convert the Index into percentage terms:

Bridge/CRB Futures Index = ((Current Geometric Average / 1967 Geometric Avg. (30.7766) )* .8486) * 100

Arithmetic vs. Geometric Averaging

The Bridge/CRB Futures Index involves both geometric and arithmetic averaging techniques. Geometric averaging has the statisticallyattractive property that successive percentage changes in a components price do not alter that components relative weight in the Index.Arithmetic averaging, on the other hand, causes the relative weight of a component to increase (or decrease) as that componentappreciates (or depreciates) in value. The implications of these differences in index computation techniques may be seen in Figure 3,which reflects four different price scenarios. For convenience, assume that the index is comprised of only three components - X, Y, and Z -and that these components are equally weighted. The base period for each scenario is assumed to be 100.17 Commodity Components

The Bridge/CRB Futures Index is widely viewed as a broad measure of overall commodity price trends because of the diverse nature of the17 commodities of which it is comprised. As a broad measure of commodity price trends it serves as an excellent price measure formacro-economic analysis. This reflects the fact that a more diverse price index contains more information and, thus, can be used to betteranalyze economy-wide market forces.

Equal Weighting

Equal weighting is used for both arithmetic averaging of individual commodity months and for geometric averaging of these 17 commodityaverages. From a pricing point of view, equal weighting is attractive because no single month or commodity has undue impact on the Index.This makes it harder to manipulate the Index and means that the Index is less subject to the discontinuities associated with temporarysupply and demand imbalances in any one month or commodity.

Intra-Day Reporting of the Bridge/CRB Futures Index

Values of the underlying Bridge/CRB Futures Index are computed by Bridge Information Systems, Inc., and disseminated by the New YorkFutures Exchange every 15 seconds during the trading day.

Only settlement and last-sale prices are used in the Indexs calculation, bids and offers are not recognized - including limit-bid andlimit-offer price quotes. Where no last-sale price exists, typically in the more deferred contract months, the previous days settlement priceis used. This means that the underlying Bridge/CRB Futures Index may lag its theoretical value. This tendency to lag is evident at the endof the day when the Index value is based on the settlement prices of the component commodities, and explains why the underlyingBridge/CRB Futures Index often closes at or near the high or low for the day.*

These tables are based on figures supplied by the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject to revision by the Census Bureau.

Copyright 2019 Photius Coutsoukis and Information Technology Associates, all rights reserved.