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What explains the growth in commodity derivatives?

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  • Parantap Basu
  • William T. Gavin

Abstract

This article documents the massive increase in trading in commodity derivatives over the past decade—growth which far outstrips the growth in commodity production and the need for derivatives to hedge risk by commercial producers and users of commodities. During the past decade, many institutional portfolio managers added commodity derivatives as an asset class to their portfolios. This addition was part of a larger shift in portfolio strategy away from traditional equity investment and toward derivatives based on assets such as real estate and commodities. Institu­tional investors’ use of commodity futures to hedge against stock market risk is a relatively recent phenomenon. Trading in commodity derivatives also increased along with the rapid expansion of trading in all derivative markets. This trading was directly related to the search for higher yields in a low interest rate environment. The growth was both in organized exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, but the gross market value of OTC trading was an order of magnitude greater. This growth is important to note because a critical factor in the recent crisis was counterparty failure in OTC trading of mortgage derivatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Parantap Basu & William T. Gavin, 2011. "What explains the growth in commodity derivatives?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 37-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2011:i:jan:p:37-48:n:v.93no.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-1069, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Girardi, Daniele, 2012. "Do financial investors affect the price of wheat?," MPRA Paper 40285, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Argenton, Cédric & Willems, Bert, 2015. "Exclusion through speculation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-9.
    3. Carfí, David & Musolino, Francesco, 2014. "Speculative and hedging interaction model in oil and U.S. dollar markets with financial transaction taxes," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 306-319.
    4. Nijman, Luuk, 2012. "The impact of the new wave of financial regulation for European energy markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 468-477.
    5. Halova Wolfe, Marketa & Rosenman, Robert, 2014. "Bidirectional causality in oil and gas markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 325-331.
    6. Mayordomo, Sergio & Rodriguez-Moreno, Maria & Peña, Juan Ignacio, 2014. "Derivatives holdings and systemic risk in the U.S. banking sector," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 84-104.
    7. Gatfaoui, Hayette, 2016. "Linking the gas and oil markets with the stock market: Investigating the U.S. relationship," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 5-16.
    8. Girardi, Daniele, 2012. "A brief essay on the financialization of agricultural commodity markets," MPRA Paper 44771, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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