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Commodity Price Volatility: The Impact of Commodity Index Traders


  • Getu, Hailu
  • Weersink, Alfons


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

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amani Elobeid & Simla Tokgoz, 2006. "Removal of U.S. Ethanol Domestic and Trade Distortions: Impact on U.S. and Brazilian Ethanol Markets," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 06-wp427, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
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    1. Miffre, Joƫlle & Brooks, Chris, 2013. "Do long-short speculators destabilize commodity futures markets?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 230-240.

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    commodity; index futures; trading; volatility; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Demand and Price Analysis; Marketing;

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