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Commodity Futures Prices As Forecasts

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  • Tomek, William G.
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    Abstract

    Futures markets provide contemporaneous price quotations for a constellation of contracts, with maturities 30 or more months in the future, and a large literature exists about interpreting these prices as forecasts. It is often preferable to think of futures markets as determining a price level and price differences appropriate to the temporal definitions of the contracts. Futures prices can be efficient in reflecting a complex set of factors, but still be "poor" forecasters. Forecasts from quantitative models cannot improve upon efficient futures prices as forecasting agents; the models provide equally poor forecasts. Analogous ideas are discussed for basis forecasts.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management in its series Working Papers with number 127901.

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    Date of creation: Aug 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:127901

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    Keywords: Marketing;

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    1. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    2. Rausser, Gordon C. & Carter, Colin, 1981. "Futures market efficiency in the soybean complex," CUDARE Working Paper Series 139R, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
    3. Bessler, David A. & Brandt, Jon A., 1992. "An analysis of forecasts of livestock prices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 249-263, July.
    4. Kahl, Kandice H. & Tomek, William G., 1986. "Forward-Pricing Models for Futures Markets: Some Statistical and Interpretative Issues," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 01.
    5. Lester G. Telser, 1958. "Futures Trading and the Storage of Cotton and Wheat," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 233.
    6. Blank, Steven C., 1989. "Research On Futures Markets: Issues, Approaches, And Empirical Findings," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 14(01), July.
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