The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper undertakes an econometric investigation into the presence of risk premium in commodity futures markets. The statistical tests are derived from a formal model of asset pricing and are applied to futures prices in a variety of commodity markets. The results suggest that for several commodities there is evidence of a time varying risk premium, particularly in futures contracts maturing six months ahead. The implications of the study for the efficiency of the futures markets and the costs of using these markets for hedging are also noted.