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Online media in dairy markets: a US dairy futures market study

Mario Ortez (Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Nicole Olynk Widmar (Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Mindy Lyn Mallory (Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Christopher Allen Wolf (Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)
Courtney Bir (Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

Agricultural Finance Review

ISSN: 0002-1466

Article publication date: 25 July 2022

Issue publication date: 19 January 2023




This article quantifies public sentiment for dairy products using online media and investigates potential relationships between online media, both volume and sentiment, and future prices of Class III milk.


Netbase, an online media listening platform, was used to quantify US generated online media sentiment and number of mentions regarding dairy products. Granger-causality tests and Impulse Response Functions (IRFs) were used to study relationships between online media derived data and dairy futures prices.


Milk and cheese have more mentions in online media than yogurt and ice cream. Online media net sentiment around milk was the lowest of the dairy products studied. Granger-causality tests showed that Class III milk price Granger-causes net sentiment of dairy as a whole and of fluid milk. Price additionally Granger-causes mentions of milk, ice cream and yogurt. Notably, milk and ice cream mentions Granger-cause the Class III milk price. IRF's reveals that increases in mentions have a positive, albeit small, effect on the Class III milk price that is statistically significant for ice cream, but not for milk. IRF's directionality of the relationship from price to online media derived data was mixed.


This is the first time that relationships between online media -volume and sentiment- and futures prices of an agricultural commodity are researched. Exploration of futures markets alongside online media advances the use of online media to glean insights in financial, along with food and agricultural markets.



Funding: This work was supported partially by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project IND00044133 “Changing Preferencesfor Meat Proteins by US Residents.”


Ortez, M., Widmar, N.O., Mallory, M.L., Wolf, C.A. and Bir, C. (2023), "Online media in dairy markets: a US dairy futures market study", Agricultural Finance Review, Vol. 83 No. 1, pp. 168-185.



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