The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Commodities are back following a stellar run of price performance, attracting financial investor attention. What are the fundamental reasons to hold commodities? One reason is the exposure offered to underlying risk factors. In this paper, I assess the macro risk exposure offered by commodity futures and test whether these risks are priced, using Merton's (1973) intertemporal capital asset pricing model for a sample of commodity prices covering the period January 1973 - February 2008. I find that commodity futures offer a hedge against lower interest rates and that investors are willing to accept lower expected returns for this position. Although some commodities are also a hedge against U.S. dollar depreciation, this risk is not priced.