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Forecasting Energy Commodity Prices: A Large Global Dataset Sparse Approach


  • Davide Ferrari
  • Francesco Ravazzolo
  • Joaquin Vespignani


This paper focuses on forecasting quarterly energy prices of commodities, such as oil, gas and coal, using the Global VAR dataset proposed by Mohaddes and Raissi (2018). This dataset includes a number of potentially informative quarterly macroeconomic variables for the 33 largest economies, overall accounting for more than 80% of the global GDP. To deal with the information on this large database, we apply a dynamic factor model based on a penalized maximum likelihood approach that allows to shrink parameters to zero and to estimate sparse factor loadings. The estimated latent factors show considerable sparsity and heterogeneity in the selected loadings across variables. When the model is extended to predict energy commodity prices up to four periods ahead, results indicate larger predictability relative to the benchmark random walk model for 1-quarter ahead for all energy commodities. In our application, the largest improvement in terms of prediction accuracy is observed when predicting gas prices from 1 to 4 quarters ahead.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Ferrari & Francesco Ravazzolo & Joaquin Vespignani, 2019. "Forecasting Energy Commodity Prices: A Large Global Dataset Sparse Approach," Working Papers No 11/2019, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:bny:wpaper:0083

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    Cited by:

    1. Christiane Baumeister & Dimitris Korobilis & Thomas K. Lee, 2022. "Energy Markets and Global Economic Conditions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 828-844, October.
    2. Xing, Li-Min & Zhang, Yue-Jun, 2022. "Forecasting crude oil prices with shrinkage methods: Can nonconvex penalty and Huber loss help?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    3. Khan, Faridoon & Muhammadullah, Sara & Sharif, Arshian & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2024. "The role of green energy stock market in forecasting China's crude oil market: An application of IIS approach and sparse regression models," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    4. Wang, Tiantian & Wu, Fei & Dickinson, David & Zhao, Wanli, 2024. "Energy price bubbles and extreme price movements: Evidence from China's coal market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    5. Wang, Tiantian & Wu, Fei & Zhang, Dayong & Ji, Qiang, 2023. "Energy market reforms in China and the time-varying connectedness of domestic and international markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    6. Jonathan Berrisch & Florian Ziel, 2022. "Distributional modeling and forecasting of natural gas prices," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(6), pages 1065-1086, September.
    7. Nguyen, BH & Zhang, Bo, 2022. "Forecasting oil Prices: can large BVARs help?," Working Papers 2022-04, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.
    8. Silva, Rodolfo Rodrigues Barrionuevo & Martins, André Christóvão Pio & Soler, Edilaine Martins & Baptista, Edméa Cássia & Balbo, Antonio Roberto & Nepomuceno, Leonardo, 2022. "Two-stage stochastic energy procurement model for a large consumer in hydrothermal systems," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    9. Qin Lu & Jingwen Liao & Kechi Chen & Yanhui Liang & Yu Lin, 2024. "Predicting Natural Gas Prices Based on a Novel Hybrid Model with Variational Mode Decomposition," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 63(2), pages 639-678, February.

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    More about this item


    Energy Prices; Forecasting; Dynamic Factor model; Sparse Estimation; Penalized Maximum Likelihood;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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