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The New Price Makers: An investigation into the impact of portfolio investment on coffee price behaviour Susan Newman Challenges and Prospects for Commodity.

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Presentation on theme: "The New Price Makers: An investigation into the impact of portfolio investment on coffee price behaviour Susan Newman Challenges and Prospects for Commodity."— Presentation transcript:

1 The New Price Makers: An investigation into the impact of portfolio investment on coffee price behaviour Susan Newman Challenges and Prospects for Commodity Markets in the Global Economy A Workshop in Memory of Alfred Maizels 20th September 2008 SOAS, University of London

2 Aims Assess the effectiveness of hedging on futures markets for income stabilisation Re-examine the relationship between futures and physical markets for coffee Challenge the notion that all futures trading activities are stabilising Show that price outcomes depend upon the composition of traders on futures markets differentiated by the motives behind their trading activities

3 Outline Stabilising vs. destabilising speculation Who are the traders and why do they trade in coffee futures? Implications of different types of trading activities on price behaviour Quantitative studies on trading and price behaviour on the coffee exchange of the NYBOT Supply and Demand vs. Trader Composition Financial investment and short-term price movements

4 Stabilising vs. destabilising speculation Classical theory of speculation –Speculators as market makers –Constructive speculation (Marshall, 1932) –Speculation is always stabilising and beneficent. Neoclassical theory of speculation –Knightian definition of risk –Rational and informed speculators provide liquidity and enhance the efficiency of the pricing mechanism Destabilising speculation –Movement trading (Irwin, 1937) –Post Keynesian theory of speculation –Performative economics (MacKenzie, 2005)

5 Whos trading on the coffee exchange of the NYBOT? Daily open interest on the coffee C market (Data source: NYBOT 2007)

6 Hedgers Vs. SpeculatorsI Ratio of non-commercial open interest to total open interest in coffee C contracts on the New York Coffee Exchange (Data source: NYBOT 2007)

7 Hedgers Vs. SpeculatorsII Volume equivalent of C contracts traded per month divided by the monthly volume of arabica exports from ICO member countries Data Source: NYBOT 2007; ICO 2007)

8 Investing in commodities [C]ommodity markets have become more like financial markets in terms of the motivations and strategies of participants (Domanski and Heath 2007) Why invest in commodities? Commodities as an important portfolio diversifier –As an inflation hedge –Commodity price movements have traditionally been negatively correlated to price movements of other financial instruments (such as equities and bonds) –While equities are bound by country-specific economic pressures, commodity prices tend to reflect the global economy –Expect an inflow of funds on commodity markets during periods of global economic downturn associated with falling equities prices. Who invests in commodities? Institutional Investors –Hedge funds –Pension funds Private investors Retail investment

9 Breakdown of UK and European Exchange Traded Fund investors from Doyle, Hill and Jack 2007

10 Implications of different types of trading activities on price behaviour Where an inflow of funds onto commodity exchanges occurs as a consequence of changes in the wider economic environment (i.e. not owing to conditions in individual commodity markets) we might expect: 1.A loosening in the relationship between prices and supply and demand conditions. 2.A change in the short-run behaviour of prices that will depend upon the type of fund inflow

11 Supply and Demand Vs. Trader Composition We apply structural Bai-Perron (2003) break tests to series that describe: 1.the evolution of the total annual volume of trade in futures contracts on the New York Coffee exchange 2.the fraction of non-commercial futures open interest to total open interest for each year 3.the relationship between coffee prices and world supply & demand

12 Structural breaks in trading activities on the coffee exchange of the NYBOT SeriesSpecificationBreak date(s) Annual volume of C contracts tradedAR(1)2001 Annual volume of C contracts tradedAR(1) with time trend1999 Annual ratio of non-commercial open interest to total open interest on the coffee C exchange AR(1)2001 Annual ratio of non-commercial open interest to total open interest on the coffee C exchange AR(1) with time trend1990

13 Structural breaks in the relationship between coffee prices and supply and demand Coffee price model (Maizels, Bacon and Mavrotas 1997) Best 3 break dates identified by Bai-Perron method 1994, 2000, 2004 Number if breaks selected by BIC 1 Break Date1994 Intercepts (p-value ) (p-value ) Coefficient on LSTRT (p-value ) * (p-value ) Coefficient on LP t (p-value ) (p-value )

14 Financial investment and short-term price movements We examine the simple correlation between financial investment in coffee futures and a computed instability index, or volatility index for the futures price (Labys and Thomas 1975) We construct monthly measures for volatility and financial investment for the period –Volatility Index (VI) –Variable for financial investment (SPEC) defined as the natural logarithm of the ratio of the volume equivalent of coffee-C contracts traded and total exports of green coffee from ICO member countries

15 Summary of results from Bai-Perron tests of multiple structural breaks in the relationship between financial investment and price volatility ( 1980:01 to 2006:12)BIC Best 5 break dates identified by Bai- Perron method 1981:03, 1981:09, 1987:06, 1994:04, 2000: Best 4 break dates identified by Bai- Perron method 1980:05, 1986:11, 1994:04, 2000: Best 3 break dates identified by Bai- Perron method 1987:06, 1994:04, 2000: Best 2 break dates identified by Bai- Perron method 1994:04, 2000: Best break date identified by Bai-Perron method 2000: Number if breaks selected by BIC1 Break Date2000:10

16 Estimation results for for the 4 sub- periods between 1980:01 to 2006:12 VariableEstimated coefficientp-value 1980:01 to 1994:04, R-squared = , R bar-squared = , ρ = Constant SPEC :04 to 2000:10, R-squared = , R bar-squared = , ρ = Constant SPEC :10 to 2006:12, R-squared = ,R bar-squared = , ρ = Constant SPEC :04 to 2006:12, R-squared= , R bar-squared = , ρ = Constant SPEC

17 Volatility Index vs. measure of financial investment 1980:01 to 1994:041994:04 to 2000: :10 to 2006:12

18 Conclusions and further research The behaviour of coffee prices has been affected by the extent, as well as the type, of financial investment that has taken place on the coffee exchange of the NYBOT. The increase in coffee prices that took place from can in part be attributed to financial investmetn rather than changes in supply and demand. Other studies have found excess comovement in prices of different, un-related commodities that has been attributed to portfolio diversification (Garrett and Taylor, 2001) A next step in this research is to investigate the extent to which coffee prices and the prices of unrelated commodities move together.

19 Thank you for your attention


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