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Market Inversion in Commodity Futures Prices


  • Yoon, Byung-Sam
  • Brorsen, B. Wade


As opposed to a normal market, an inverted market has a negative price of storage or spread. Market inversions in nearby spreads rarely occur during early months of the crop year since stocks are usually abundant after harvest. However, market inversions frequently occur when the spreads are observed across crop years near the end of the crop year. The regressions of spreads on the logarithm of U.S. quarterly stocks show that there exists a positive relationship between the spread and the level of stocks, and further implies that when stocks are scarce, markets will be inverted. Simulations are conducted to determine whether a market inversion is a signal to sell the stocks. The results of the paired-difference tests reveal that as the crop cycle advances towards the end of the crop year, market inversions clearly reflect the market's signal to release stocks in anticipation of new crop supplies. The regressions of actual returns to storage on predicted returns to storage clearly show that a market inversion is a signal to sell. The results support the behavioral finance hypothesis that producers are choosing to hold excess stocks because of some type of biased expectations.
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  • Yoon, Byung-Sam & Brorsen, B. Wade, 2002. "Market Inversion in Commodity Futures Prices," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(03), pages 459-476, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jagaec:v:34:y:2002:i:03:p:459-476_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Darren L. Frechette & Paul L. Fackler, 1999. "What Causes Commodity Price Backwardation?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 761-771.
    2. Brennan, Donna & Williams, Jeffrey & Wright, Brian D, 1997. "Convenience Yield without the Convenience: A Spatial-Temporal Interpretation of Storage under Backwardation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1009-1022, July.
    3. Kastens, Terry L. & Dhuyvetter, Kevin C., 1999. "Post-Harvest Grain Storing And Hedging With Efficient Futures," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(2), pages 1-24, December.
    4. Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B., 2001. "Implications of Behavioral Finance for Farmer Marketing Strategy Recommendation," 2001 Conference, April 23-24, 2001, St. Louis, Missouri 18952, NCR-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
    5. Jackson, Thomas E. & Irwin, Scott H. & Good, Darrel L., 1998. "1996 Pricing Performance Of Market Advisory Services For Corn And Soybeans," AgMAS Project Research Reports 14787, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
    6. Sarahelen Thompson, 1986. "Returns to storage in coffee and cocoa futures markets," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 541-564, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joni M. Klumpp & B. Wade Brorsen & Kim B. Anderson, 2008. "Market Advisory Service Recommendations and Wheat Producers' Selling Decisions," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 56(1), pages 117-128, March.
    2. Julio César Alonso & Andrés Mauricio Arcila, 2013. "Empleo del comportamiento estacional para mejorar el pronóstico de un commodity: el caso del mercado internacional del azúcar," Estudios Gerenciales, Universidad Icesi, December.
    3. Bielen, David A. & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2018. "Who did the ethanol tax credit benefit? An event analysis of subsidy incidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 1-14.
    4. Klumpp, Joni M. & Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B., 2005. "The Impact of Marketing Strategy Information on the Producer's Selling Decision," 2005 Conference, April 18-19, 2005, St. Louis, Missouri 19036, NCR-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
    5. Siaplay, Mounir & Anderson, Kim B. & Brorsen, B. Wade, 2007. "Using Basis and Futures Prices as a Barometer in Deciding Whether to Store Grain or Not," 2007 Conference, April 16-17, 2007, Chicago, Illinois 37575, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.

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    JEL classification:

    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness


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