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Limits to Arbitrage and Hedging: Evidence from Commodity Markets

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  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Lars A. Lochstoer
  • Tarun Ramadorai

Abstract

Motivated by the literature on limits-to-arbitrage, we build an equilibrium model of commodity markets in which speculators are capital constrained, and commodity producers have hedging demands for commodity futures. Increases (decreases) in producers' hedging demand (speculators' risk-capacity) increase hedging costs via price-pressure on futures, reduce producers' inventory holdings, and thus spot prices. Consistent with our model, producers' default risk forecasts futures returns, spot prices, and inventories in oil and gas market data from 1980-2006, and the component of the commodity futures risk premium associated with producer hedging demand rises when speculative activity reduces. We conclude that limits to financial arbitrage generate limits to hedging by producers, and affect both asset and goods prices.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16875.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Publication status: published as “Limits to Arbitrage and Hedging: Evidence from Commodity Markets” with Lars Lochstoer and Tarun Ramadorai, forthcoming, Journal of Financial Economics.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16875

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  1. repec:ipg:wpaper:19 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Yannick Le Pen & Benoît Sévi, 2013. "Futures Trading and the Excess Comovement of Commodity Prices," AMSE Working Papers 1301, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Jan 2013.
  3. Ekeland, Ivar & Lautier, Delphine & Villeneuve, Bertrand, 2013. "A simple equilibrium model for a commodity market with spot trades and futures contracts," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11383, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Hamilton, James D. & Wu, Jing Cynthia, 2014. "Risk premia in crude oil futures prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 9-37.
  5. Yannick Le Pen & Benoît Sévi, 2011. "Macro factors in oil futures returns," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 126-127, pages 13-38.
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  7. Gospodinov, Nikolay & Jamali, Ibrahim, 2013. "Monetary policy surprises, positions of traders, and changes in commodity futures prices," Working Paper 2013-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Aytek Malkhozov & Philippe Mueller & Andrea Vedolin & Gyuri Venter, 2013. "Mortgage Hedging in Fixed Income Markets," FMG Discussion Papers dp722, Financial Markets Group.
  9. Derek Bunn & Julien Chevallier & Yannick Le Pen & Benoît Sévi, 2014. "Fundamental and Financial Influences on the Co-movement of Oil and Gas Prices," Working Papers 2014-414, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  10. Ke Tang & Wei Xiong, 2010. "Index Investment and Financialization of Commodities," NBER Working Papers 16385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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