When traders talk about “softs,” what they really refer to is “soft commodities” – the term for all commodities that are grown. This is in contrast to “hard commodities,” which are generally mined out of the earth.
Soft commodities include things like coffee, sugar, cotton, rice, and so on. These are traded on public futures exchanges, with the most active market being located in Chicago in the US. However, soft commodities are also popular among retail trades, but then usually in form of CFD contracts that track the price of futures contracts on the exchanges. This makes it much easier for most people to trade this asset class, even with just a small amount of capital. CDFs also make is just as easy to make money from lower prices by shorting the instrument, as it is to make money from higher prices by buying the instrument.