Commodity Prices Rise Sharply at Turning Points

Research paper by Bin Li, K. Y. Michael Wong, Amos H. M. Chan, Tsz Yan So, Hermanni Heimonen, David Saad

Indexed on: 14 Aug '15Published on: 14 Aug '15Published in: arXiv - Quantitative Finance - General Finance


Commodity prices depend on supply and demand. With an uneven distribution of resources, prices are high at locations starved of commodity and low where it is abundant. We introduce an agent-based model in which agents set their prices to maximize profit. At steady state, the market self-organizes into three groups: excess producers, consumers, and balanced agents. When resources are scarce, prices rise sharply at a turning point due to the disappearance of excess producers. Market data of commodities provide evidence of turning points for essential commodities, as well as a yield point for non-essential ones.