Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Commodity Definition:

A fungible, tradeable thing, good, product, interest including money or negotiable instruments.

Related Terms: Fungibles, Negotiable Instrument, Money

In Enron Capital & Trade Resources Canada Corp. v. Blue Range Resource Corporation, Madam Justice Fruman of the Alberta Court of Appeal adopted these words to define commodity:

"... any thing produced for use or sale, article of commerce or object of trade."

"Statutes provide definitions which are considerably narrower than the dictionary definition. For example, the (1980 version of the) Securities Act (of Alberta) defines commodity ... to include: (i) any good, article, service, right or interest of which any unit is, from its nature or by mercantile custom, treated as the equivalent of any other unit; (ii) the currency of any jurisdiction; (iii) any gem, gemstone or other precious stone.

"The Commodity Futures Act (of Ontario) defines commodity (as) any agricultural product, forest product, product of the sea, mineral, metal, hydrocarbon fuel, currency or precious stone or other gem ...

”A common feature in these definitions is that the articles are fungible in nature – each unit is interchangeable for another."

In Canadian Pacific Railway v. Ottawa Fire Insurance Company, the judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal defined the word commodity as follows:

"In its ordinary business and derivative sense it means anything moveable that is a subject of trade or acquisition, a kind of thing produced from a sale, an article of commerce, an object of trade; as used in the plural it means goods, wares and merchandise."

In Underwriters' Survey Bureau Ltd. v. Massie & Renwick Ltd., Justice MacLean of the the Exchequer Court of Canada used these words:

"The dictionaries would appear to define a commodity as something produced for use or sale, all things which have prices and are offered for sale, everything movable which is bought and sold, anything movable that is the subject of trade and commerce, and so on. It is impressed on the subject-matter of commodity that it is something the public have a right to have access to because it is a matter of trade and commerce."

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