Jun

15

Solar flaresA NASA scientist wrote in April, "The sunspot cycle is behaving a little like the stock market. Just when you think it has hit bottom, it goes even lower." See: Deep Solar Minimum

Over the past two years, sunspot activity has dropped to its lowest point for more than a century (see vanishing sunspots prelude to global cooling?). While there has previously been discussion on this site (see http://dailyspeculations.com/wordpress/index.php?s=sunspots) the correlations were mostly directed towards stock prices. Little or no mention was made of the influence of solar activity on grain and other commodity prices as a determinant of other market behaviors — nor on the accepted 11-year cycle of solar activity.

In 1801 the German-born British astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots and that less solar activity correlated with higher grain prices. Although Herschel was ridiculed, a Google on this subject revealed an intriguing contemporary study by Pustilnik and Yom Din (2003). These authors find: "direct evidence of the causal connection between wheat price bursts and solar activity."

Grain traders routinely check weather.com for short and intermediate term moisture forecasts. As the grain markets are currently correcting after a multi-week rally, I suggest that traders might also consult spaceweather.com for the latest solar winds, flares and sunspots forecast.


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3 Comments so far

  1. diego joachin on June 15, 2009 2:32 pm

    All commodities, in fact. And that pricing behavior flows to the rest of asset classes.

  2. Craig Bowles on June 15, 2009 4:37 pm

    NASA says the sun's conveyor belt has slowed to around one-third the pace of normal. Normal is a walking pace. They say that it predicts the next solar cycle, so this one may still pick up even if for a short time but the next one will be a real dud. The case continues to build that we're in some sort of solar minimum. It doesn't really matter it's short-term or long-term since either case is a pretty rough sixty years. Throw in 70+ volcanoes and we have cold, wet growing conditions for crops. Not sure if this is linked to the Atlantic/Pacific shift. We're in the 25-30 years of warming Atlantic. There's some sort of century cycle that gives 25-30 years of warm/wet, warm/dry, cold/wet, cold/dry. The last two are pretty rough. Similarly, the 170-year civil war cycle points to pressures peaking at 2030. Iben Browning showed how all this is linked up and has a pattern similar to the Kondratieff Wave.

  3. Anatoly Zhirkov on July 18, 2009 2:04 am

    I fully agree with Mr. Humbert. We studied interaction Sun circle parameters (ZSN) with American stock market dynamic for years and found some correlations. We are very interested also in research the possible role of human factor in this process. Don't forget — this year is Astronomy Year with motto "Astronomy for us" and looking for cooperation.

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