Price Uncertainty and Optimal Hedging in the Agricultural Market

Nicolae ISTUDOR, Dan ARMEANU, Florinel Marian SGARDEA, Mihai-Cristian DINICĂ


The increased volatility of the agricultural prices has detrimental effects on the economic welfare and raises concerns regarding poverty and malnutrition at a global level. Financial risk management can be an efficient solution for limiting the effects of international agricultural price volatility. The paper analyzes the behavior of the U.S. wheat and corn prices, emphasizing their highly volatile and unpredictable nature. Given the existence of the basis risk, the estimation of the optimal hedge ratio is needed in order to provide an efficient hedging strategy against price risks. The role of public authorities in this context can consist in promoting education in the fields of hedging and understanding the agricultural price volatility risk. We estimate static and time varying optimal hedge ratios for wheat and corn through several methods. Based on the out of sample hedging effectiveness given by the variance reduction, the methods are compared and the results show that the time varying hedge ratios estimated through rolling window OLS and GARCH methods outperform the static counterparts.


price uncertainty; hedging; agricultural commodity prices; futures price; volatility.

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