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Abstract

This study tests whether information provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor impacted futures prices for commodities between 2000 and 2012. Results based on the November futures prices for soybeans indicate that there is a statistically significant difference in mean and variance of absolute percentage price changes between days when the Drought Monitor is released and other days. Further analysis suggests that the effect of the Drought Monitor information varies during the year. In particular, absolute percentage price changes are generally smaller on report days than on non-report days during the winter and spring, but are larger on report days than on non-report days during the summer. Finally, focusing on the impact on prices of the magnitude of drought conditions, there is evidence that larger areas under extreme drought conditions lead to larger absolute price changes.

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