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The Adequacy of Speculation in Agricultural Futures Markets: Too Much of a Good Thing?

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  • Dwight R. Sanders
  • Scott H. Irwin
  • Robert P. Merrin

Abstract

This paper revisits the "adequacy of speculation" debate in agricultural futures markets using the positions held by index funds in the Commitment of Traders reports. Index fund positions were a relatively stable percentage of total open interest from 2006--2010. Traditional speculative measures do not show any material shifts over the sample period. Even after adjusting speculative indices for commodity index fund positions, values are within the historical ranges reported in prior research. One implication is that long-only index funds may be beneficial in markets traditionally dominated by short hedging. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 77-94

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Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:32:y:2010:i:1:p:77-94

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References

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  1. Trostle, Ronald, 2008. "Factors Contributing to Recent Increases in Food Commodity Prices (PowerPoint)," Seminars 43902, USDA Economists Group.
  2. Gary Gorton & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2004. "Facts and Fantasies about Commodity Futures," NBER Working Papers 10595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gary B. Gorton & Fumio Hayashi & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2007. "The Fundamentals of Commodity Futures Returns," NBER Working Papers 13249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-38, August.
  5. Sanders, Dwight R. & Irwin, Scott H. & Merrin, Robert P., 2007. "Smart Money? The Forecasting Ability of CFTC Large Traders," 2007 Conference, April 16-17, 2007, Chicago, Illinois 37556, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  6. Richard N. Cooper & Robert Z. Lawrence, 1975. "The 1972-75 Commodity Boom," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(3), pages 671-724.
  7. Wang, Changyun, 2001. "The behavior and performance of major types of futures traders," MPRA Paper 36426, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2002.
  8. Hardouvelis, Gikas A & Kim, Dongcheol, 1995. "Price Volatility and Futures Margins," CEPR Discussion Papers 1263, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Du, Xiaodong & Yu, Cindy L. & Hayes, Dermot J., 2011. "Speculation and volatility spillover in the crude oil and agricultural commodity markets: A Bayesian analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 497-503, May.
  2. Brian D. Wright, 2012. "International Grain Reserves And Other Instruments to Address Volatility in Grain Markets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 27(2), pages 222-260, August.
  3. Vijay Kumar Varadi, 2012. "An evidence of speculation in Indian commodity markets," EconStor Preprints 57430, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  4. Julieta Frank & Philip Garcia, 2010. "Bid-Ask Spreads, Volume, and Volatility: Evidence from Livestock Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(1), pages 209-225.
  5. Etienne, Xiaoli L. & Irwin, Scott H. & Garcia, Philip, 2013. "Dissecting Corn Price Movements with Directed Acyclic Graphs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151279, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Irwin, Scott H. & Sanders, Dwight R., 2012. "Testing the Masters Hypothesis in commodity futures markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 256-269.
  7. Ron Alquist & Olivier Gervais, 2011. "The Role of Financial Speculation in Driving the Price of Crude Oil," Discussion Papers 11-6, Bank of Canada.
  8. Miffre, Joëlle & Brooks, Chris, 2013. "Do long-short speculators destabilize commodity futures markets?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 230-240.
  9. Algieri, Bernardina, 2012. "Price Volatility, Speculation and Excessive Speculation in Commodity Markets: sheep or shepherd behaviour?," Discussion Papers 124390, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  10. Niels C. Thygesen & Robert N. McCauley & Guonan Ma & William R. White & Jakob de Haan & Willem van den End & Jon Frost & Christiaan Pattipeilohy & Mostafa Tabbae & Ernest Gnan & Morten Balling & Paul , 2013. "50 Years of Money and Finance: Lessons and Challenges," SUERF 50th Anniversary Volume - 50 Years of Money and Finance: Lessons and Challenges, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 1 edited by Morten Balling & Ernest Gnan.
  11. Cooke, Bryce & Robles, Miguel, 2009. "Recent food prices movements: A time series analysis," IFPRI discussion papers 942, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Emiliano Magrini & Ayca Donmez, 2013. "Agricultural Commodity Price Volatility and Its Macroeconomic Determinants: A GARCH-MIDAS Approach," JRC-IPTS Working Papers JRC84138, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.
  13. Büyükşahin, Bahattin & Robe, Michel A., 2014. "Speculators, commodities and cross-market linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 38-70.
  14. Minot, Nicholas, 2011. "Transmission of world food price changes to markets in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1059, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  15. Tokic, Damir, 2011. "Rational destabilizing speculation, positive feedback trading, and the oil bubble of 2008," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 2051-2061, April.
  16. Vincent Chatellier, 2011. "Price volatility, market regulation and risk management: challenges for the future of the CAP," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 11-04, INRA UMR SMART.
  17. Prehn, Sören & Glauben, Thomas & Loy, Jens-Peter & Pies, Ingo & Will, Matthias Georg, 2013. "Der Einfluss von Long-only-Indexfonds auf die Preisfindung und das Marktergebnis an landwirtschaftlichen Warenterminmärkten," IAMO Discussion Papers 142, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO).

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