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Do financial investors affect the price of wheat?

  • Girardi, Daniele
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    It is widely debated whether financial speculation was a significant force behind recent food price fluctuations. As a matter of fact, during the 2000s agricultural commodity derivatives markets were flooded by a ‘wall of money’ coming from financial investors. In agricultural exchanges, the greatest part of this huge financial inflow came from index traders, i.e. financial actors that follow a passive strategy of tracking a commodity index. In this article I present new empirical evidence that supports the hypothesis that financial investments have affected wheat price dynamics in recent years. In particular, I focus on Hard Red Winter (HRW) wheat. Since 2007 HRW wheat price fluctuations have been positively related to US stock market returns and oil price movements. These correlations appear to be determined by commodity index traders, since both these relationships proved to be spurious, with the most tracked commodity index as the confounding variable.

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/40285/1/MPRA_paper_40285.pdf
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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 40285.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40285
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    1. Büyükşahin, Bahattin & Robe, Michel A., 2014. "Speculators, commodities and cross-market linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 38-70.
    2. Ke Tang & Wei Xiong, 2010. "Index Investment and Financialization of Commodities," NBER Working Papers 16385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. De Hoyos, Rafael E. & Medvedev, Denis, 2009. "Poverty effects of higher food prices : a global perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4887, The World Bank.
    4. Taehoon Kang & B. Wade Brorsen, 1995. "Conditional heteroskedasticity, asymmetry, and option pricing," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(8), pages 901-928, December.
    5. Parantap Basu & William T. Gavin, 2011. "What explains the growth in commodity derivatives?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 37-48.
    6. Hernandez, Manuel & Torero, Maximo, 2010. "Examining the dynamic relationship between spot and future prices of agricultural commodities," IFPRI discussion papers 988, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Seung‐Ryong Yang & B. Wade Brorsen, 1993. "Nonlinear dynamics of daily futures prices: Conditional heteroskedasticity or chaos?," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 175-191, 04.
    8. Donald W. K. Andrews, 2003. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point: A Corrigendum," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 395-397, January.
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