Optionality and Daily Dynamics of Convenience Yield Behavior: An Empirical Analysis

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Abstract

In this article I empirically examine the daily convenience yield behavior for six commodity markets (crude oil, heating oil, gasoline, wheat, corn, and copper). The results illustrate that convenience yield behavior can be statistically explained within an option pricing framework. However, because one of the assumptions of the standard call option formula is not fully satisfied by the observed convenience yield series, an alternative option—exchange option—may be more appropriate for modeling the daily convenience yield behavior. Furthermore, I empirically test two hypotheses on convenience yield behavior. The results confirm the assertion that the convenience yield is increasing in marginal production costs. In addition, the findings offer limited support for the hypothesis that the convenience yield is decreasing in the serial autocorrelation of spot prices. The observed switch in the sign of regression coefficients as the order of autocorrelation increases is attributed to the probable presence of mean reversion in these markets.

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