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Economics of Futures Trading

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn about commodity futures markets from a legendary expert

Have you ever wondered …

  • What is a commodity futures market?
  • What are the basics of how to trade commodities?
  • How can I sell something I don’t own?
  • Is it possible to succeed in commodity trading?

No need to stress trying to learn the market on your own. Economics of Futures Trading reveals how commodities are traded and how the markets operate.

Zero experience in with futures markets? No worries! This book will help you be equipped to understand and analyze commodity markets.

Set yourself up for success by starting with this easy-to-digest classic. 

Purchase your copy of Economics of Futures Trading the must-have comprehensive book that will teach you how commodity futures are traded, how to buy and sell commodity futures, and what you need to know to avoid the most common failures in commodity trading.

Economics of Futures Trading can be purchased at the following sites:

Amazon: paperback, hardcover, and ebook

ebook only: Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, and Vivlio


Winner of the Award for Publication of Enduring Quality from the American Agricultural Economics Association

The classic and must-have book on the commodity futures market

For decades, Economics of Futures Trading has been known as “the bible” of the commodity futures market. This updated edition provides the foundation for everything you need to know in commodity basics and the economics of futures trading.

In this comprehensive and essential guide, Professor Hieronymus reveals secrets and wisdom attained from decades of hands-on experience and research in the field. His timeless insight provides the fundamentals necessary for trading in pursuit of profits–whether you are new to the world of commodity trading or experienced.

Dr. Hieronymus’ witty and engaging writing ushers you into the world of trading so you can attain success in these ever-growing markets. The underlying principles presented in this classic remain unchanged, and your understanding of all the complex concepts in futures trading will be enhanced, such as:

  • Operation and performance of the commodity market
  • Hedging and speculation
  • Historical developments
  • And much more

This remains the ultimate guide and go-to resource for anyone interested in the operation of commodity markets. Set yourself up for success as you navigate the complexity of the market by first gleaning from a gold mine of insight offered in this easy-to-digest classic.


“This book tells the story of the futures market and futures trading with the richness of an author steeped in the history of the futures market, its operation, and its performance. … While the trading platform and futures market contract specifications have both changed over time, this book is still a “go to” resource for those who want to understand and participate in futures markets.”

-Darrel Good, University of Illinois

“This is certainly one of the best books ever written about commodity futures markets and commodity marketing. This book was originally published in the 1970s and, of course, the world has changed since then. Still, the overall discussion on commodity futures markets and commodity marketing remains current. Many other books have been published in the last 40 years or so, but none of them cover these topics as clearly and extensively as Hieronymus does.”

-Fabio Mattos, University of Nebraska

“Things have changed a bit since Hieronymus originally published this book in the late-1970s. Trading pits are no more. Exchanges are electronic. Many more types of derivatives are listed. But the rules of the game, its zero-sum outcome, the objectives of traders–those are unchanged. The author of this book puts you in the heart of the action, with an exciting style that makes it all feel quite real. This is an indispensable book for anyone interested in the operation of commodity markets. Highly recommended.”

-Michael Adjemian, University of Georgia

“This is NOT your typical text book on futures markets. … This book is a gold mine of insights that he gleaned after decades of working with traders, grain merchandisers, commodity exchanges, and academics. … In each area, Dr. Hieronymus provides insights through a witty and accessible writing style. This is a ‘must have’ book for anyone involved in the futures markets.

-Dwight Sanders, Southern Illinois University 


I am completely inexperienced and confused about how commodity futures markets operate. By reading this book, will I learn how the futures markets work?

Yes. Understanding the futures market doesn’t need to be complicated. This comprehensive book simplifies the process so that anyone can learn, no matter their previous experience.

You will be taken through the basics of how to trade commodities–such as what futures markets are, how to buy and sell commodity futures, how a commodity futures market operates, and the important players in the markets.

I recommend reading this book as a foundation for all students of commodity futures markets.

I do have previous experience and education in futures trading. Will this be a waste of my time?

Absolutely not. This is a classic book that every serious commodity trader and investor should treasure and have on his or her bookshelf. Anyone can learn from the priceless wealth of insight that Dr. Hieronymus freely shared in this book.

What are some of the topics addressed in this book on commodity futures market?

Dr. Hieronymus pulls back the curtain on the mysterious world of commodity futures trading based on his extensive personal trading experience and research in future markets. Some of the topics covered in the book include operations, hedging and speculation, risk management problems, the history of the futures market, and more.


Professor Thomas A. Hieronymus was born and raised on a farm near Atlanta, Illinois. He graduated from Atlanta High School in 1937 and attended Illinois State University from 1937 to 1940. He earned a bachelor’s degree in vocational agriculture from the University of Illinois in 1941 and then taught at Malta High School for two years. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946 as a first lieutenant, participating in numerous major battles in Europe, and earning several citations and decorations. He returned to the University of Illinois to earn an M.S. degree in 1947 and a Ph.D. in 1949 in agricultural economics. Dr. Hieronymus then immediately joined the faculty and advanced through the professorial ranks in the Department of Agricultural Economics. He served with distinction until he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1981.

Dr. Hieronymus’ interest in futures markets began with his Ph.D. dissertation entitled The Economics of Risk in the Marketing of Soybeans and Soybean Products. His influence on the field of futures markets was immense and he directly shaped its evolution. He wrote Economics of Futures Trading originally as a textbook for college students. Over the years, however, this book on futures markets became the industry go-to for both students and traders alike. It essentially became a handbook for nearly everyone with an interest in the commodity futures markets. Economics of Futures Trading was first published in 1971 and, after gaining continued popularity, was reprinted in 1977. The timeless and reliable wealth of knowledge shared in this classic continues to equip students and traders for success in the field of commodity futures markets. 

Not to be overlooked, Professor Hieronymus educated, advised and influenced generations of students at the University of Illinois. He taught, among other courses, Grain Marketing, Agricultural Price Analysis, and Commodity Futures Markets and Trading. He also held an Extension appointment for several years and instructed nondegree students and futures market users throughout the State of Illinois. Many of these students, graduates, associates and collaborators went on to hold important and prominent positions in the futures industry.

His career accomplishments were celebrated in 1993 with the creation of the Office for Futures and Options Research and the associated Thomas A. Hieronymus Distinguished Chair in Futures Markets.