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Agricultural markets: « We will never tackle volatility »

According to Michel Portier, CEO of Agritel, market information is often widely known but the weather market is the main factor of influence on agricultural markets...

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« Fundamental measures have been decided to support developing countries. It is hence crucial to help countries who suffer by setting market rules such as excluding food aid from export restrictions. Agricultural production should also be promoted, but it is not easy to find an agreement on the ways of doing so», said Michel Portier, director of the Agritel Company, a market analyst and specialist in price risk management. Several issues are still to be solved concerning research on wheat. Does research include biotechnologies? In this case, will France be ready to use such technologies?

Michel Portier welcomes the initiative taken by the President of the G20 since it is a hard task to tackle volatility. He added that the agreement found on this issue is quite in line with expectations. « This whole process is far from over since we will never be able to put an end to volatility, which is linked to weather-sensitive elements». Market information is often widely known but the weather market is the main factor of influence on agricultural markets, and ultimately on export bans, as observed over the last months.

It is indeed the point of view defended by Michel Portier for several years: «Market regulation requires the use of management tools, but volatility will never disappear». After the decisions made by the agriculture ministers of the G20, the expert goes even further by saying: «Actually, increasing information flows on global stocks, supply and demand might even enhance the volatility on agricultural markets. Hence, as soon as the market receives new information, it reacts to it. The more the market reacts, the more volatility increases!»

Next Finance , June 2011

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

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