April 1st, 2009

Commodity Exchanges Commence Primers Trading

Major commodities exchanges announced that they would commence trading of cartridge primers and primer futures contracts, starting on April 2, 2009. This marks the first time that an ammunition component will be exchange-traded, alongside oil, gas, precious metals, and agricultural products. Federal, CCI, Remington, and Wolf primers will be listed on the NYMEX (N.Y. Mercantile Exchange), CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange), and the USFE (U.S. Futures Exchange).

“Primers may be the pork-bellies of the future.” — V. DeMarco, Commodity Trader

primer Federal pricesThe price of primers has skyrocketed in recent months, with Federal 205M primers rising from the mid-20 dollar mark to $60.00 per box (see chart). Price hikes have been driven by increased demand as Americans salt away large caches of primers in fear of future shortages. The demand for primers (half of American households have guns), combined with the volatility of bulk primer prices, convinced commodity exchange managers that it was time to start trading primers and primer futures. Vince DeMarco, a trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exhange, explained: “Primers may be the pork-bellies of the future. Demand is at an all-time high. With the ability to buy and sell primer futures, now investors can make money on price movements.” Leslie Woods, an analyst for Forbes magazine, noted that “We are seeing significant hoarding. People are buying primers by the hundreds of thousands, yet many purchasers have no intention of ever using all those primers. Many of the buyers are not even active shooters. They are clearly acquiring large stocks of primers for speculative purposes. Now, with primers being traded as commodities, these investors can maintain their stake in the primer market without actually holding physical inventory.”

Marcus Singleton, a V.P. with the N.Y. Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) explained: “We should have done this (trade primers as commodities) years ago. More Americans buy primers than will ever buy gold or silver bullion. Primers are consummable, which means that there will always be a lag between supply and demand, which is what moves markets. And a moving market, whichever way it goes, makes money for the exchanges.” Singleton also noted: “Let’s face it, people don’t really want to have half a million primers stashed under their bed. That’s a potential fire hazard. And due to Haz Mat charges, large quantities of primers are very expensive to ship. For the small investor, concerned about rising primer prices, it’s much better to purchase primer futures contracts. That way he gets price protection in the long run and he doesn’t actually have to store anything.”

primer Federal prices

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