Commodities Speculation Should Be Restricted, EU’s Barnier Says

By Ben Moshinsky
Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) — Michel Barnier, the European Union’s financial services commissioner, said he would seek to limit “risk exposures” derived from “agricultural products.”

Commodity speculation “can only lead to further disasters,” Barnier said in a speech in Brussels today.

The European Commission, the 27-nation EU’s executive, has targeted excessive market speculation in commodities which it blames for making prices more volatile. Wheat traded in Chicago, a global benchmark, almost doubled in price between July and September as a drought in Russia, flooding in Canada and parched fields in Kazakhstan and the European Union, ruined crops. Dacian Ciolos, the EU’s agriculture commissioner, has said that price spike was “disproportionate.”

Barnier met earlier this month with U.S. officials including Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Craig Donohue, chief executive officer of CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures market.