What does Hardening mean?
A market situation when prices of a commodity or futures contracts is gradually moving up and stabilizing. The speculators withdraw from the market and price cease to fluctuate and becomes firm. Prices are considered to be hardening.
Futures Knowledge Explains Hardening
The term ‘hardening’ is often used in Insurance industry to indicate a situation when insurance underwriters ask for higher premium. This situation arises after some natural disasters that changes the insurance industry market from soft to hard. For example, the insurance market had harden in 2011 and 2012 after the losses due to natural catastrophes worldwide such as hurricanes and flooding on the U.S. East coast and massive earthquake in Japan.