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Predicting Agri-Commodity Prices: an Asset Pricing Approach

  • Yu-chin Chen

    (University of Washington)

  • Kenneth Rogoff

    (Harvard University)

  • Barbara Rossi

    (Duke University)

Volatile and rising agricultural prices place significant strain on the global fight against poverty. An accurate reading of future food price movements would thus be an invaluable budgetary planning tool for government agencies and food aid programs aimed at alleviating hunger. Using the asset-pricing approach developed in Chen, Rogoff and Rossi (2010), we show that information from the currency and equity markets of several commodity-exporting economies can offer powerful help in forecasting world agricultural prices. Our formulation builds upon the notion that because these countries' currency and equity valuations depend on the world price of their commodity exports, market participants would incorporate expected future commodity price movements into the current values of these assets. As the exchange rate and equity markets are typically much more fluid than the agri-commodity markets (where prices tend to be more constrained by current supply and demand conditions), these asset prices can signal future agricultural price dynamics beyond information contained in the agri-commodity prices themselves. Our findings complement forecast methods based on structural factors such as supply, demand, and storage considerations.

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Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number UWEC-2010-02.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2010-02
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  1. Rossi, Barbara, 2005. "Optimal Tests For Nested Model Selection With Underlying Parameter Instability," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(05), pages 962-990, October.
  2. Todd E. Clark & Kenneth D. West, 2004. "Using out-of-sample mean squared prediction errors to test the Martingale difference hypothesis," Research Working Paper RWP 04-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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  6. Charles Engel & Kenneth D. West, 2005. "Exchange Rates and Fundamentals," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 485-517, June.
  7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:125:y:2010:i:3:p:1145-1194 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Yu-Chin Chen & Kenneth Rogoff & Barbara Rossi, 2008. "Can Exchange Rates Forecast Commodity Prices?," NBER Working Papers 13901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Craig Sugden, 2009. "Responding to High Commodity Prices," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 23(1), pages 79-105, 05.
  10. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
  11. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. C. Peter Timmer & David Dawe, 2007. "Managing Food Price Instability in Asia: A Macro Food Security Perspective ," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 1-18, 03.
  13. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2000. "Tests of Equal Forecast Accuracy and Encompassing for Nested Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0319, Econometric Society.
  14. Chen, Yu-chin & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2003. "Commodity currencies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 133-160, May.
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