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I used to work in commodities trading. From what I understood the grains and pork belly traders, etc. (for example) would hedge and buy in order to maintain an even balance in pricing and production so they could put an Armour hotdog on the market for the same price in Jan. 2010 and it would cost in June. 2010. Prices of the commodity fluctuated but the goal was a consistently priced hotdog.
I remember that plywood futures price fluctuations were a good indicator as to new home building trends. When plywood futures prices went up it meant there would be run on plywood used for new homes to be built in the nearing seasons.
With crude oil futures I think it may be the same scenario, though I'm not an expert. The oil futures traders are buying up the futures contracts in anticipation of rising demand in the future. Of course, gasoline will go up in the future but the price is being reflected at the pump now. I imagine gasoline will be even more expensive in a year, say. Of course, prices are regional, depending on delivery and refining costs, but, I think we in AZ got pretty used to seeing gas at the pump in the mid-$3.00. Now we're high $3.00 and into low $4.00... back to what it was about 18 months ago or so. What looked high and unusual then seems to be the norm now.
I remember $.19 a gallon -$.22 cents a gallon. The price of gasoline never goes down from what I can tell. And, Brazil and China are becoming very thirsty. = demand UP.
Just observations on my part.
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