Bravely standing in the middle of the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) floor on a busy trading day is perhaps the only way to experience the exciting realm of futures trading. The tension in the air of the trading pits is palpable. To some, it is an intoxicating scent. For others, a constant promise of finding a new or old commodity – that will set global markets atwitter, another avenue to wealth. One of the most recent miracle commodities proclamations is a plant fiber known as Hemp. Like many plants growing long before the advent of man, Hemp contains the magic of being able to provide for hundreds of thousands of uses in our daily lives.
Worn by ancient civilizations since 8000 BCE Hemp is a socially responsible fiber that grows quickly. Hemp needs little or no herbicides or pesticides, is soft to the touch and wears like the finest cotton. It meets all the “I wants”. Yet few follow the fundamentals that drive its vigorous market prices. Hardly any understand its effect on global businesses to small businesses from Detroit to Silicon Valley. The leading producer of commerce grade Hemp is China.
Commercial rights (issued in the UK) are sanctioned for few countries. Being part of the cannabis family of plants, it was denounced in vague and unsubstantiated terms for potential drug abuse. Hemp’s global economic influence on building and construction industries greatly influences employment outlooks. As common to all farming commodities, its level and quality of production is influenced by nature and Wall Street manipulations. When you add to the mix sovereign politics and global monetary regulators, wealth-producing Hemp can hold sway over futures trading across many industries and markets. It has become a coveted commodity. However, this plant is arguably the ultimate ecological product as well.
Hemp has the qualities of the strongest of filaments, and more ecologically and economically smart to grow. Hemp cloth is making a comeback in today’s fashions, lending itself beautifully as a durable and resilient garment textile. Moreover, the marvel of it is the absence of processing chemicals so common in modern fabrics. Customary thread colors that occur naturally in Hemp are neutral creams, grays, black and green. No artificial dyes and chemicals are required in processing. In the formulation of plastics, it comprises a healthy 32-38% of hemp hurds and 53-74% of hemp barks. As a food product, Hemp is considered a protein and is common in many fitness beverages. For personal hygiene and beauty products, Hemp oil’s high EFA content makes it a suitable ingredient for cosmetics. There is high profitability in this fast growing plant.
In spite of its low impact to soil health and the considerable boon to economies in harvesting, its applications are used in a host of industries. Yet because it is cultivated from the plant cannabis genus this miracle fiber has been relegated primarily to commercial use. The industrial revolution and the politics of economics during the Theodore Roosevelt administration caused a sharp plunge in the production of Hemp textiles.
It is clear that the influences of market fluctuations of this commodity can affect the growth of global industries and the economics of production.