Market Price

The current and prevailing price at which a particular product, service, or asset is bought or sold in a given market, reflecting the balance of supply and demand at that moment

Austin Anderson

Reviewed by

Austin Anderson

Expertise: Consulting | Data Analysis


October 18, 2023

What Is Market Price?

The market price is the current price at which you can buy or sell a product or service. It's determined by the balance of supply and demand, meaning it's the price where the amount people want to buy matches the amount that's available for sale.

It is also employed to determine consumer and economic surplus. Customer surplus, also known as the market value surplus, is the difference between the maximum price a consumer is willing to pay and the actual amount they pay for the commodity.

Changes in supply and demand can cause market prices to shift. When something unexpected greatly affects the supply of a product or service, like a sudden decrease due to a natural disaster, it's called a supply shock. These may include interest rate reductions, tax cuts, calamities of the natural world, and stock market collapses.

On the other hand, a demand shock occurs when there's a sudden change in how much people want a product, like a surge in demand because of new technology. These may include political unrest, natural disasters, sharp increases in the price of commodities, and technological advancements in the production process.

It's important to note that market price is different from the current bids and offers in the market. For a trade to happen, a buyer and a seller need to agree on the same price. Buyers make bids (the price they're willing to pay), and sellers make offers (the price they're willing to sell for). The market price is what both parties agree upon for a trade to take place.

Key Takeaways

  • Market price is the current cost at which a good or service can be bought or sold, influenced by supply and demand dynamics.

  • It determines consumer surplus, which is the difference between what consumers are willing to pay and what they actually pay for a product.

  • Supply and demand shocks, such as supply disruptions or changes in consumer preferences, can lead to market price fluctuations.

  • Market value is different from current bids and offers; a trade occurs when a buyer and seller agree on a price.

  • Market prices are influenced by factors like substitutes' prices, income levels, complementary products, supply, input costs, production technology, and taxes.

Example of Market Price

Consider J.P. Morgan & Chase, which has a $50 bid and a $50.05 offer. Currently, the demand for J.P. Morgan stock is represented by the ten traders who wish to purchase its shares. 

Five traders offer $50 apiece for 100 shares, while other traders offer $49.95. The bid includes a list of these orders.

Now the supply of J.P. Morgan shares is represented by ten other traders who desire to sell the stock. Five traders each sell 100 shares for $50.05, while another five dealers each sell 100 shares for $50. These orders are available for purchase.

A new trader joins and wishes to purchase 1000 shares at the going rate. All prices and shares necessary to fulfill the order are at the market value for the shares in this instance. 

This trader is required to purchase the 500 shares at $50.00 and the 500 shares at $50.01. Now that all of the shares offered at $50.00 and $50.01 have been purchased, the spread widens, and the price is $50 by $50.02.

This price represents the market since $50.01 was the latest transacted amount.

The spread could also be closed by other dealers. 

The spread is closed by the bid moving upward since there are more buyers. The outcome, for instance, is a new price of $50.01 by $50.02. The price is constantly adjusted due to this ongoing interaction in both directions.

Connection Between demand and Market Prices

Its fundamental components are the consumer's willingness to pay, capacity to pay or affordability, and desire; the demand for a commodity decreases as its price rises, while demand increases when its price declines.

1. Costs of Equivalent Commodities (Substitutes)

Suppose the customer receives a comparable utility from substitute items that can be utilized in lieu of one another. In that case, the price of the product being substituted has a direct impact on the demand for the original good. iPhone and Samsung are two examples of alternative product brands.

2. Earning Levels

As consumers’ income levels grow, so does their desire for luxury goods. The income effect is therefore viewed as being favorable. When the target market's income levels rise, demand for inferior goods, which are low-quality products, decreases. 

As a result, it is claimed that the income effect is adverse.

3. Cost of Related Items

Products that are combined to fulfill a need are referred to as complementary products. In such a scenario, the price of one product's complementary goods and its demand are inversely connected. A phone and charger, for instance, are complementary items.

Connection Between Supply and Market Prices

The number of units of a commodity that a producer provides for sale at a specific price at a specific time is referred to as the supply. The supply of a product directly affects its price.

When a commodity's price grows, so does its supply, and vice versa when its price decreases.

1. Costs of Equivalent Commodities

A commodity's availability and its substitutes' cost are negatively correlated. The supply of a replacement good decreases as its worth increases. It is because the manufacturers are tempted to spend their resources to make that replacement.

2. Costs of Input Elements

The price of the inputs needed to produce a commodity has an inverse relationship with the supply of that item. The marginal cost rises as the price of inputs does as well. It lowers the manufacturers' profit margin, which results in a reduction in supply.

3. Production Technology

The industry's manufacturing technology directly impacts the supply of a commodity. The marginal cost decreases as industrial technology advances. It boosts producer profitability or profit margins, which causes supply to expand.

4. Production Taxes

Taxes imposed on a commodity's production have an adverse impact on the supply of that commodity. Tax hikes raise the marginal cost, which raises with them. Because of this, producers' profit margins decline, which lowers supply.

Price Appreciation and Depreciation

An asset's value or price increases due to various market variables or appreciation. The most prevalent assets that increase in value over time are those that can be converted into cash, including bonds, property, and stocks. 

Additionally, intangible assets can rise in value, such as the trademark value of a corporation rising as a result of increased brand awareness.

When an asset is recorded in a company's account book, its initial value is adjusted as part of the appreciation process. Therefore, a large return on an asset is possible since when an item increases, it earns more than you paid for it.

Several things can lead to appreciation, including:

  1. A rise in demand for the asset
  2. A decline in the availability of the asset (supply)
  3. Inflation
  4. Changes to the interest rate.

On the other hand, when the value or price of an asset declines, depreciation occurs. Its primary foundation is the decline in value of a tangible item over the course of its useful life (or how long you can use it).

Depreciation may also be considered the percentage of an asset's worth that has been used.

You can stretch the expense of an item across its useful life by understanding depreciation and knowing how to calculate it. 

This enables businesses to accurately estimate the revenue potential of an asset and calculate its cost. You can also adjust the operating earnings and cash flow in your accounting records.

The monetary transmission channel known as the asset price channel is in charge of distributing the effects brought about by the central bank of a nation's monetary policy choices that impact asset values.

This impact on asset values will have an impact on the economy as well.


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Researched and authored by Chadi Kattoua | LinkedIn

Reviewed and Edited by Justin Prager-Shulga | LinkedIn

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