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The forward premium anomaly in the energy futures markets: A time-varying approach

Lanouar Charfeddine (), Karim Ben Khediri and Zouhair Mrabet

Research in International Business and Finance, 2019, vol. 47, issue C, 600-615

Abstract: This paper contributes to the empirical literature on the forward premium anomaly by investigating possible statistical explanations for this puzzling phenomenon in the energy market. To this end, time series of spot and different forward maturities for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil and Reformulated Gasoline Blendstock for Oxygen Blending (RBOB) traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) over the period 1986–2018 are used. The statistical properties of the spot and forward premium time series are examined by using unit root tests with structural breaks and a long memory process. The time-varying slope coefficient of regressing spot returns on the lagged forward premium is then estimated via the rolling sample technique and the state space model using the Kalman filter. The empirical results provide strong support for the presence of multiple structural breaks and long memory in the forward premium of the crude oil and RBOB energy time series in contrast to the spot returns series, which are stationary. The results also show evidence for time-varying beta coefficients for all the energy maturities considered. Overall, there is strong evidence for the forward premium anomaly with a larger negative slope parameter for the crude oil compared to the regular RBOB gasoline. The rejection of the forward rate unbiasedness hypothesis suggests that the futures price cannot play a significant role in price discovery.

Keywords: Forward premium; Forward discount; Energy markets; Rolling approach; State space model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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