A contract to deal with a non-financial asset is not a financial instrument. Commodity contracts normally result in either taking delivery or giving delivery of a non-financial item. Such contracts are not regarded as a financial instrument as per financial instruments accounting standard viz., Ind AS 109.  However, if the contract is capable of being settled net in cash or any other financial asset, then such contract would be treated as though it is a financial instrument.

Exception to this principle

Contracts entered into with the sole purpose of either taking delivery or giving delivery of a non-financial item is not regarded as a financial instrument and is covered under the own-use exemption. However, there could be some derivative contracts dealing with non-financial items that may result in either delivery or providing delivery. If delivery or receipt of a non-financial item happens on account of a third party exercising an option (say put option), then the entity cannot claim exemption provided in ‘own-use exemption’. This happens especially when an entity enters into a written option contract to deal with a non-financial instrument. For example, if an entity writes a put option (sells a put option), then if the price of such non-financial asset drops below the put option strike price, then the buyer of such put option will exercise the option resulting in delivery of the non-financial item for the entity. In this case, even though the entity receives the non-financial item, it is not because of the entity’s choice to buy such a non-financial item but due to the third party exercising the put option resulting in delivery to the entity. Such contracts will be regarded as financial instruments and the entity should value such contracts on a mark to market basis.

If the entity avails ‘own-use exemption’ in respect of contracts that deal with non-financial items, such contracts need not be fair valued, as ultimately such contracts would result in either receipt or delivery of the non-financial item thereby directly impacting the cost of goods sold or consumed, as the case may be.

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