The impact of financial speculation on commodity prices is currently subject of a controversial and intense debate and has now been analyzed in a research project financed by the Swiss government. The research team consists of Prof. Dr. Yvonne Seiler Zimmermann from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and of Prof. Dr. Heinz Zimmermann and Dr. Marco Haase, both from the University of Basel. They have analyzed a hundred academic papers in a meta-study and have performed a separate proprietary analysis for 28 commodities.
The research team concluded that speculation on the basic food commodities wheat and corn has a stabilizing effect on price volatility while on live cattle and pork bellies a destabilizing effect. However, even where such effects are found, the explained variance is economically small or at best moderate.