Home > Economia e Política no Mundo > Mais Sobre Derivativos e a Especulação Mundial com Alimentos

Mais Sobre Derivativos e a Especulação Mundial com Alimentos

6 September, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Confira aqui um vídeo bem instrutivo que mostra de forma simples como os mercados de derivativos sobre commodities podem aumentar a volatilidade dos preços internacionais dos alimentos, contribuindo em muito para o aumento da pobreza e da fome ao redor do mundo:



(*) Agradeço ao colega Rodrigo Teixeira por ter enviado o link.



  1. Eugênia
    8 September, 2011 at 12:36

    Artigo interessante publicado no Opera Mundi sobre ensino de economia no Brasil


  2. 18 September, 2011 at 12:28

    Copio abaixo um interessante comentário enviado por uma colega. Sua mensagem contém indicações de leituras para quem quer entender melhor a conexão entre preços à vista e preços no mercado futuro de alimentos:

    Here are some recent research on the link between futures and spot prices. I haven’t read all of them, but they seem to argue that prices are determined in the futures market. One of the papers also mentions that some central banks and IMF use NYMEX futures prices as a forecast for spot prices instead of using other forecasting techniques.

    – Hernandez, Manuel and Maximo Torero (2010); “Examining the Dynamic Relationship between Spot and Future Prices of Agricultural Commodities,” IFPRI Discussion Paper 988, June 2010.
    deals with wheat, soybeans, and corn traded at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), all three are included in both the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) and Dow Jones Commodity index. GSCI alone accounts for over 60% of total index fund flows in the commodities market.

    – UNCTAD, “Price Formation in Financialized Commodity Markets: the Role of Information” June 2011
    This is the report Lynda (and Armagan) mentioned. It provides a general overview on the whole debate and also cites the above IFPRI paper for evidence on price discovery in the futures market. They also conduct interviews with various commodity market participants ( physical traders, financial investors, brokers etc) and basically conclude that financial investors can distort prices in the short run.

    – Chinn, Menzie D. and Olivier Coibion, “The Predictive Content of Commodity Futures” NBER Working Paper No. 15830.

    – Wu, Tao and Andre McCallum, 2005, “Do Oil Futures Prices Help Predict Future Oil Prices?” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letter 2005-38.

    I don’t know why this part of the explanation is not highlighted in the current debates. But there is a history of similar research going back to the 80s and 90s that establish the price-discovery role of the futures market for agricultural commodities. Most of the research since mid-2008 has focused on point 1, i.e establishing a link between the inflow of index funds into the commodities market and rise in prices and volatility. When I started reading on this issue, I was also really frustrated to not see any references to the spot market and I remember this was my first question to James.

    That being said I am not sure if this explanation disqualifies Krugman’s no-stock-no-speculation argument. After all, according to the theory of storage, arbitrage in the spot and futures market is supposed to bring the two prices close to each other (or lead to convergence). I should also mention that since the mid-2008, agriculture markets have had problems with convergence, this has especially been important for CBOT traded wheat, soybeans, and corn. This suggests the relationship between futures and spot markets might have changed in recent years. Again inflow of index funds has been cited as possible explanation, but I haven’t seen anyone explain the mechanism.

    On Andy’s point about why we should we care that oil prices are high, I agree with you that oil prices should reflect its environmental costs and the fact that only so much is left underground; but I also think speculation is not the way to achieve this. I think this is especially important because energy prices are passed on to food (through transportation and fertilizer costs). Not to mention food commodities are included in the GSCI and DJCI, so speculation can affect food prices directly. It does not make sense to me that Wall Street firms are making billions off this while poor in developing countries are starving.


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