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Smart Money: The Forecasting Ability of CFTC Large Traders in Agricultural Futures Markets

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

Abstract

The forecasting content of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitments of Traders (COT) report is investigated. Bivariate Granger causality tests show very little evidence that traders’ positions are useful in forecasting (leading) returns in 10 agricultural futures markets. However, there is substantial evidence that traders respond to price changes. In particular, noncommercial traders display a tendency for trend following. The other trader classifications display mixed styles, perhaps indicating those trader categories capture a variety of traders. The results generally do not support use of the COT data in predicting price movements in agricultural futures markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanders, Dwight R. & Irwin, Scott H. & Merrin, Robert P., 2009. "Smart Money: The Forecasting Ability of CFTC Large Traders in Agricultural Futures Markets," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(2), August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:54547
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary B. Gorton & Fumio Hayashi & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2013. "The Fundamentals of Commodity Futures Returns," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 35-105.
    2. Andreas Röthig & Carl Chiarella, 2007. "Investigating nonlinear speculation in cattle, corn, and hog futures markets using logistic smooth transition regression models," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(8), pages 719-737, August.
    3. Dale, Charles & Zyren, John, 1996. "Noncommercial Trading in the Energy Futures Market," MPRA Paper 47463, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Changyun Wang, 2001. "Investor Sentiment and Return Predictability in Agricultural Futures Markets," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(10), pages 929-952, October.
    5. Jian Yang & David Bessler & Hung-Gay Fung, 2004. "The informational role of open interest in futures markets," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(9), pages 569-573.
    6. Frans A. de Roon & Theo E. Nijman & Chris Veld, 2000. "Hedging Pressure Effects in Futures Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1437-1456, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hossfeld, Oliver & Röthig, Andreas, 2016. "Do speculative traders anticipate or follow USD/EUR exchange rate movements? New evidence on the efficiency of the EUR currency futures market," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 218-225.
    2. Bernardina Algieri, 2014. "A roller coaster ride: an empirical investigation of the main drivers of the international wheat price," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 459-475, July.
    3. 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).
    4. Haase, Marco & Seiler Zimmermann, Yvonne & Zimmermann, Heinz, 2016. "The impact of speculation on commodity futures markets – A review of the findings of 100 empirical studies," Journal of Commodity Markets, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-15.
    5. Stephanie-Carolin Grosche, 2014. "What Does Granger Causality Prove? A Critical Examination of the Interpretation of Granger Causality Results on Price Effects of Index Trading in Agricultural Commodity Markets," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 279-302, June.
    6. Chen, Haojun & Maher, Daniela, 2013. "On the predictive role of large futures trades for S&P500 index returns: An analysis of COT data as an informative trading signal," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 177-201.
    7. Dwight R. Sanders & Scott H. Irwin, 2010. "A speculative bubble in commodity futures prices? Cross-sectional evidence," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(1), pages 25-32, January.
    8. Grosche, Stephanie, 2012. "Limitations of Granger Causality Analysis to assess the price effects from the financialization of agricultural commodity markets under bounded rationality," Discussion Papers 121868, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics.
    9. Georg Lehecka, 2015. "Do hedging and speculative pressures drive commodity prices, or the other way round?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 575-603, September.
    10. Scott H. Irwin & Dwight R. Sanders, 2011. "Index Funds, Financialization, and Commodity Futures Markets," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-31.
    11. Mutafoglu, Takvor H. & Tokat, Ekin & Tokat, Hakki A., 2012. "Forecasting precious metal price movements using trader positions," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 273-280.

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