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The Forecasting Value of New Crop Futures: A Decision-Making Framework

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  • Dwight R. Sanders

    (Darden Restaurants)

  • Philip Garcia

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Raymond M. Leuthold

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

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    Abstract

    The statistical forecasting efficiency of new crop corn and soybean futures is the topic of frequent academic inquiry. However, few studies address the usefulness of these forecasts to economic agents' decision making. Each year Central Illinois producers are faced with the decision to plant either corn or soybeans on marginal acreage. Agronomic concerns aside, these decisions hinge on the expected relative return of corn versus soybeans, which is largely a function of expected new crop prices. Do new crop futures prices reliably guide producers into the correct production decision? The results suggest that over the entire period of the analysis, futures markets provide only marginal decision- making information to the producer; however, more recent signals do appear to be useful. Further analysis explores several possible factors that could explain why the signals have improved so significantly since 1985.

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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/fin/papers/9805/9805003.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Finance with number 9805003.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: 06 May 1998
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:9805003

    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on PC; to print on HP Laserjet; pages: 21; figures: included. Office for Futures and Options Research (OFOR) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Working Paper 98-05. For a complete list of OFOR working papers see
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    Keywords: forecasting efficiency; futures prices; decision making;

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    1. Breen, William & Glosten, Lawrence R & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1989. " Economic Significance of Predictable Variations in Stock Index Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1177-89, December.
    2. Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. I. An Equilibrium Theory of Value for Market Forecasts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 363-406, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Cumby, Robert E. & Modest, David M., 1987. "Testing for market timing ability : A framework for forecast evaluation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 169-189, September.
    5. Stein, Jerome L, 1981. "Speculative Price: Economic Welfare and the Idiot of Chance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(2), pages 223-32, May.
    6. Henriksson, Roy D & Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. II. Statistical Procedures for Evaluating Forecasting Skills," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 513-33, October.
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