Organised markets in primary commodities are an important part of the facilities available in the United Kingdom for the conduct of international trade. Markets in primary commodities are to be found in many countries abroad. some transacting a far greater volume of business than the corresponding markets in the United Kingdom; but these foreign markets are mainly concerned with domestic demand or domestic supply. The distinguishing feature of the U.K. markets is their international character; and in the sphere of international merchanting. that is. buying from one country and selling to another. and in the variety of commodities in which they deal. they are collectively the most important in the world. They have their origins in the history of British exploration and investment overseas and industrialisation at home. and in the consequent growth of the United Kingdom's world-wide trading links.