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Markov models for commodity futures: theory and practice

  • Leif Andersen
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    The objective of this paper is to develop a generic, yet practical, framework for the construction of Markov models for commodity derivatives. We aim for sufficient richness to permit applications to a broad variety of commodity markets, including those that are characterized by seasonality and by spikes in the spot process. In the first, largely theoretical, part of the paper we derive a series of useful results concerning the low-dimensional Markov representation of the dynamics of an entire term structure of futures prices. Extending previous results in the literature, we cover jump-diffusive models with stochastic volatility as well as several classes of regime-switching models. To demonstrate the process of building models for a specific commodity market, the second part of the paper applies a selection of our theoretical results to the exercise of constructing and calibrating derivatives trading models for USD natural gas. Special attention is paid to the incorporation of empirical seasonality effects in futures prices, in implied volatilities and their 'smile', and in correlations between futures contracts of different maturities. European option pricing in our proposed gas model is closed form and of the same complexity as the Black-Scholes formula.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Quantitative Finance.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 8 ()
    Pages: 831-854

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:quantf:v:10:y:2010:i:8:p:831-854
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