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Commodity Price Volatility: The Impact of Commodity Index Traders

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  • Getu, Hailu
  • Weersink, Alfons

Abstract

Over the years, critics have argued that futures market prices have been either too low or too high. Speculators have often been the target for the wrath of those feeling the futures price does not properly reflect market fundamentals. Recently, the criticism has been vented toward a new type of speculator that has been blamed for the dramatic changes in agricultural commodity prices experienced over the last several years. Commodity index traders (CITs) and other large institutional traders are commonly accused of exerting a destabilizing influence on commodity prices. The intensity of the debate over the role of CITs appeared to wane with the reduction in commodity prices since 2008 but the recent release of a well-publicized OECD report on the issue by Irwin and Sanders (2010) along with the doubling of wheat prices and the claim by von Braun (2010) and others that the rise was due to speculative activity has renewed the debate.

Suggested Citation

  • Getu, Hailu & Weersink, Alfons, 2010. "Commodity Price Volatility: The Impact of Commodity Index Traders," Commissioned Papers 95803, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:catpcp:95803
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.95803
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. De Long, J Bradford, et al, 1990. "Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 379-395, June.
    2. Chang, Eric C. & Michael Pinegar, J. & Schachter, Barry, 1997. "Interday variations in volume, variance and participation of large speculators," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 797-810, June.
    3. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miffre, Joëlle & Brooks, Chris, 2013. "Do long-short speculators destabilize commodity futures markets?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 230-240.
    2. Getu Hailu, 2023. "Reflections on technological progress in the agri‐food industry: Past, present, and future," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 71(1), pages 119-141, March.

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    Keywords

    Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Demand and Price Analysis; Marketing;
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