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In the context of energy commodities trading, differentials refer to the price variations or discrepancies between different locations or grades of the same commodity. These variations can occur due to factors such as transportation costs, supply and demand dynamics, quality differences, or market-specific conditions.

For example, when trading crude oil, the differential represents the price difference between different types of oil, such as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent. This difference can arise from variations in quality, transportation costs, geopolitical factors, or even macroeconomic factors.

Understanding differentials is crucial for traders as they can provide valuable insights into market conditions and profit opportunities. Traders often study historical and current differentials to make informed decisions about purchasing, selling, and transporting energy commodities.

1. Energy Trading and Risk Management: A Practical Approach to Hedging, Trading and Portfolio Diversification – A comprehensive book that covers various aspects of energy commodities trading, including differentials. It provides valuable insights into the concepts and strategies used in the industry. You can find more information about differentials within this book. (

2. Energy Information Administration (EIA) – The EIA is an authoritative source for energy-related information. Their website offers a wealth of data, reports, and analyses on energy commodities, including discussions on differentials across different markets and products. You can access valuable information about differentials on the EIA’s website. (

This A.I.-generated glossary is intended to provide a convenient means to understand terminology used on this website in the context of physical commodities trading. Some terms may have alternative and/or expanded definitions that may not be relevant here and thus not included. Sources provided are for reference and not intended to be an endorsement of the broader content on that website. Suggestions, questions, or corrections can be provided in the comment box on definition pages.