Practice of settling net: forward contract to purchase a commodity

[From Guidance on implementing IFRS 9 Financial Instruments]

Entity XYZ enters into a fixed price forward contract to purchase 1 million kilograms of copper in accordance with its expected usage requirements. The contract permits XYZ to take physical delivery of the copper at the end of twelve months or to pay or receive a net settlement in cash, based on the change in fair value of copper. Is the contract accounted for as a derivative?

While such a contract meets the definition of a derivative, it is not necessarily accounted for as a derivative. The contract is a derivative instrument because there is no initial net investment, the contract is based on the price of copper, and it is to be settled at a future date. However, if XYZ intends to settle the contract by taking delivery and has no history for similar contracts of settling net in cash or of taking delivery of the copper and selling it within a short period after delivery for the purpose of generating a profit from short-term fluctuations in price or dealer’s margin, the contract is not accounted for as a derivative under IFRS 9. Instead, it is accounted for as an executory contract (unless the entity irrevocably designates it as measured at fair value through profit or loss in accordance with paragraph 2.5 of IFRS 9).