The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the possible consequences of ban on futures trading of agriculture commodities in India by examining three critical issues: first, the author explores whether price discovery dominance changes between futures and spot in the pre-ban and post-relaunch phase both in the long run and short run. Second, the author examines the impact of ban and relaunch of futures trading on its underlying spot volatility for five sample cases of agriculture commodities (Wheat, Sugar, Soya Refined Oil, Rubber and Chana) using both parametric and non-parametric tests. Third, the author revisits the destabilization hypothesis in the light of ban on futures trading by examining the impact of unexpected component of liquidity of futures on spot volatility.
The author uses widely adopted methodology of co-integration to examine long-run relationship between spot and futures, while the short-run relationship is investigated using vector error correction model (VECM) and Granger causality to test price discovery in the pre-ban and post-relaunch phases. The second objective is explored using a combination of parametric and non-parametric tests such as Welch one-way ANOVA and Kruskal–Wallis test, respectively, to gauge the impact of ban on futures trading on spot volatility along with post hoc tests to investigate pairwise comparison of spot volatility among three phases (pre-ban, ban and post-relaunch) using Dunn Test. In addition, extensive robustness test is undertaken by adopting augmented E-GARCH model to ascertain the impact of ban and relaunch of futures trading on spot volatility. The third objective is investigated using Granger causality test between spot volatility and unexpected component of liquidity of futures estimated using Hodrick and Prescott (HP) filter to re-visit the destabilization hypothesis.
The author found extensive evidence for the dominance of futures market in the price discovery of agriculture commodities both in the pre-ban and post-relaunch phases in India. The ban on futures trading is found to have a destabilizing impact on spot volatility as evident from the findings of Wheat, Sugar and Rubber. In addition, it is observed that spot volatility was highest during the ban phase as compared to the pre-ban and post-relaunch phases for all four commodities barring Chana. The author found that destabilisation hypothesis holds true during the pre ban phase, while weakening of destabilization hypothesis is observed in the post-relaunch phase as unexpected futures liquidity has no role in driving the spot volatility.
This study is a novel attempt to empirically examine the potential impact of ban and relaunch of futures trading of agriculture commodities on two key market quality dimensions – price discovery and spot volatility. In addition, destabilization hypothesis is revisited to investigate the impact of futures trading on spot volatility during the pre-ban and post-relaunch period.
The author is extremely grateful to the two anonymous referees and the editor in chief of SAJBS for providing constructive feedback and helping the author to substantially improve the work. The author is also grateful to Narain Chandra (FMS, University of Delhi) and seminar participants at International Conference on Strategies in Volatile and Uncertain Environment for Emerging Markets organized by IIT Delhi for their useful comments.
Sobti, N. (2020), "Does Ban on Futures trading (de)stabilise spot volatility? Evidence from Indian Agriculture Commodity Market", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 145-166. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAJBS-07-2018-0084
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