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Markov models for commodity futures: theory and practice


  • Leif Andersen


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Leif Andersen, 2010. "Markov models for commodity futures: theory and practice," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(8), pages 831-854.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:quantf:v:10:y:2010:i:8:p:831-854 DOI: 10.1080/14697680903493599

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    17. Les Clewlow & Chris Strickland, 1999. "A Multi-Factor Model for Energy Derivatives," Research Paper Series 28, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chiarella, Carl & Kang, Boda & Nikitopoulos, Christina Sklibosios & Tô, Thuy-Duong, 2013. "Humps in the volatility structure of the crude oil futures market: New evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 989-1000.
    2. Liu, Yifeng & Yang, Jian, 2015. "Joint pricing-procurement control under fluctuating raw material costs," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 91-104.
    3. Kim, Jungmu & Park, Yuen Jung & Ryu, Doojin, 2017. "Stochastic volatility of the futures prices of emission allowances: A Bayesian approach," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 465(C), pages 714-724.
    4. repec:gam:jrisks:v:5:y:2017:i:3:p:48-:d:111674 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Carl Chiarella & Boda Kang & Christina Nikitopoulos-Sklibosios & Thuy-Duong To, 2012. "Humps in the Volatility Structure of the Crude Oil Futures Market," Research Paper Series 308, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.


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