Weather Shocks And Agricultural Commodity Prices In India
We analyze the impact of weather shocks on price formation in spot and futures market for food in India where until the recent introduction of commodity futures markets in 2005, the transmission of these shocks to short-term (spot) price movements was unclear. Hitherto, the price discovery mechanism was weak and end price was expected to be different (mostly higher unless some product prices were administered) from the market-clearing price. In addition, this weak mechanism was expected to result in higher price volatility. The introduction of a futures market is expected to reduce risk, a major component in agricultural production as well as in price formation. Though the commodity futures market in India is nascent, we model transmission of weather shocks to futures and spot prices using monthly data. Based on cointegration analysis, our results suggest strong long-run co-movement between futures prices and spot prices for commodities traded in futures markets. Changes in rainfall affect both futures and spot prices with different lags. However, rainfall shocks generate larger responses from futures prices than from spot prices. Although there could be other factors that affect futures prices, after controlling for fuel prices, our results clearly show the transmission mechanism of weather shocks from futures to spot prices. We also explore the changes in responsiveness of prices of major agricultural commodities to rainfall with introduction of futures contracts to facilitate the pass-through of various types of shocks to agricultural commodity prices. Using smooth transition regression, we find that the bivariate relationships between rainfall and prices of rice, wheat and pulses show some nonlinearity with the structural change happening after the introduction of futures market. These relations are found to be much stronger in the post-structural change period that broadly coincides with the introduction of futures market.
Volume (Year): 04 (2013)
Issue (Month): 03 ()
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