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Optimal Length of Moving Average to Forecast Futures Basis

  • Hatchett, Robert B.
  • Brorsen, B. Wade
  • Anderson, Kim B.

Futures prices when combined with a basis forecast provide a reliable way to forecast cash prices. The most popular method of forecasting basis is historical moving averages. Given the recent failure of longer moving averages proposed by previous studies, this research reassesses past recommendations about the best length of moving average to use in forecasting basis. This research compares practical preharvest and storage period basis forecasts for hard wheat, soft wheat, corn and soybeans to identify the optimal amount of historical information to include in moving average forecasts. Only with preharvest hard wheat forecasts are the best moving averages longer than 3 years. The differences in forecast accuracy among the different moving averages are small and in most cases the differences are not statistically significant. The recommendation is to use longer moving averages during time periods (or at locations) when there have been no structural changes and use last year’s basis after it appears that a structural change has occurred.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/53048
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Paper provided by NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management in its series 2009 Conference, April 20-21, 2009, St. Louis, Missouri with number 53048.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:nccc09:53048
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  1. Chernov, Mikhail & Ronald Gallant, A. & Ghysels, Eric & Tauchen, George, 2003. "Alternative models for stock price dynamics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1-2), pages 225-257.
  2. Diaz, Edgar F. Pebe & Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B. & Richter, Francisca G.-C. & Kenkel, Philip L., 2002. "The Effect Of Rounding On The Probability Distribution Of Regrading In The U.S. Peanut Industry," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 20(1).
  3. Dabin Wang & William G. Tomek, 2007. "Commodity Prices and Unit Root Tests," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 873-889.
  4. Townsend, John P. & Brorsen, B. Wade, 1997. "Cost of Forward Contracting Hard Red Winter Wheat," 1997 Annual Meeting, July 13-16, 1997, Reno\Sparks, Nevada 35749, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
  5. Taylor, Mykel R. & Dhuyvetter, Kevin C. & Kastens, Terry L., 2004. "Incorporating Current Information Into Historical-Average-Based Forecasts To Improve Crop Price Basis Forecasts," 2004 Conference, April 19-20, 2004, St. Louis, Missouri 19022, NCR-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  6. Kim, Hyun Seok & Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B., 2007. "Profit Margin Hedging," 2007 Conference, April 16-17, 2007, Chicago, Illinois 37570, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  7. Klumpp, Joni M. & Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B., 2007. "Determining Returns to Storage: Does Data Aggregation Matter," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(03), December.
  8. Shi‐Miin Liu & B. Wade Brorsen & Charles M. Oellermann & Apul L. Farris, 1994. "Forecasting the nearby basis of live cattle," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 259-273, 05.
  9. B. Wade Brorsen & John Coombs & Kim Anderson, 1995. "The cost of forward contracting wheat," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 349-354.
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