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Sample Search: Give the price of corn on a daily basis for February, 1992.

Finding the Code:
  • Searching commodities in Datastream is not as straight-forward as are other categories of data. The format of the data you recover is very much dependent of the specific type of commodity you are researching. For example, the value of metal is expressed by its relation to a chosen index, by its cost per ton or by its cost per coin, while other items are measured by cost per barrel or bushel. To find Datastream codes for commodities you may enter HELP CO? in the "Program Number" area in the main program window. The new program window will prompt you to choose a category of commodities to search, from a given list. Choose Grains and press enter. You will then find the correct code number for corn in the resulting list of series. The code for Corn No. 2 yellow in Datastream is CORNUS2. The only datatype available is price. This series, however, does not represent all types of corn. Rather, a particular type of coffee was chosen as the measure for corn prices in Datastream: Corn No.2 yellow, given in cents per bushel. Finding an exact method of expression for a particular commodity is not always possible. Commodities searches, then, will likely begin with your first determining what commodity Datastream records will satisfy your search.
Finding the program:

Step 1
  • To find the price of a commodity over a short period of time, select Time Series as your type of request. Next, choose commodities as your type of data and select the first of the available programs under these headings: Up to 104 vaules for any series in calendar format and press Enter. This program will produce the single list of data required.
Step 2
  • In the new program window, enter the series code CORNUS2 and press Tab to skip to the next line. Enter the frequency, D, to obtain daily data, press Tab, and enter the time period 1/2/92 to 28/2/92. After you press enter, the desired data should appear on the screen in calendar format. If you entered any parameters incorrectly, the program will stop, describe the error, and allow you to enter each item again.


Things to Remember

The International Monetary Fund's data on commodities is not included in the Commodities category. It can be found under Economics. Use program 150Z 97 12(IMF:COMMODITY PRICES) for help in finding these codes.