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A simple equilibrium model for a commodity market with spot trades and futures contracts

  • Ekeland, Ivar
  • Lautier, Delphine
  • Villeneuve, Bertrand

We propose a simple equilibrium model, where the physical and the derivative markets of the commodity interact. There are three types of agents: industrial pro- cessors, inventory holders and speculators. Only the two first of them operate in the physical market. All of them, however, may initiate a position in the paper market, for hedging and/or speculation purposes. We give the necessary and sufficient con- ditions on the fundamentals of this economy for a rational expectations equilibrium to exist and we show that it is unique. This is the first contribution of the paper. Our model exhibits a surprising variety of behaviours at equilibrium, and our second contribution is that the paper offers a unique generalized framework for the analysis of price relationships. The model indeed allows for the generalization of hedging pressure theory, and it shows how this theory is connected to the storage theory. Meanwhile, it allows to study simultaneously the two main economic functions of derivative markets: hedging and price discovery. In its third contribution, through the distinction between the utility of speculation and that of hedging, the model illustrates the interest of a derivatives market in terms of the welfare of the agents.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/11383.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/11383
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  1. Deaton, A. & Laroque, G., 1989. "On The Behavior Of Commodity Prices," Papers 145, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  2. Bryan Routledge & Duane Seppi & Chester Spatt, . "Equilibrium Forward Curves for Commodities," GSIA Working Papers 1997-50, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  3. Anderson, Ronald W & Danthine, Jean-Pierre, 1983. "The Time Pattern of Hedging and the Volatility of Futures Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 249-66, April.
  4. Hirshleifer, David, 1989. "Futures Trading, Storage, and the Division of Risk: A Multiperiod Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 700-719, September.
  5. Roy Bailey and Marcus Chambers, . "A Theory of Commodity Price Fluctuations," Economics Discussion Papers 432, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  6. Hendrik Bessembinder & Michael L. Lemmon, 2002. "Equilibrium Pricing and Optimal Hedging in Electricity Forward Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1347-1382, 06.
  7. Acharya, Viral V & Lochstoer, Lars & Ramadorai, Tarun, 2009. "Limits to Arbitrage and Hedging: Evidence from Commodity Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 7327, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1987. "Commodity Futures Prices: Some Evidence on Forecast Power, Premiums,and the Theory of Storage," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 55-73, January.
  9. Hirshleifer, David, 1988. "Risk, Futures Pricing, and the Organization of Production in Commodity Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1206-20, December.
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