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About sugar buying for jobbers by B. W. Dyer

Although there are times when any jobber


In

the exchange market anyone can buy and anyone can sell. The market is subject to many outside influences, and the fluctuations reflect and accentuate the varying shades of market opinions of many individuals. But in the market for the actual commodity, the quotations are made by comparatively few men, which means that there will be less fluctuation.

Therefore, it is obvious that although the exchange market _should_ be on a parity with the actual market, the unequal fluctuations of the two markets will be constantly throwing them out of parity or "out of line."

There are times when the market will be so out of line that the _buying_ of futures should result profitably. At other times, with conditions reversed, _selling_ of futures seems obviously advisable. We do not claim that jobbers can protect sugar purchases with absolute and exact precision. On the basis of long exchange experience, we _do_ believe, however, that by a discreet use of the Exchange, and by using the market when quotations are _favorably_ out of line, jobbers can do so to their decided advantage.

Selling of Futures--Hedging

As the word itself indicates, a "hedge" on the Exchange is a protection.

You hedge by buying or owning actual sugar, and "selling short" in the same amount. You sell sugar futures

although you do not own any. You actually contract to deliver an amount of sugar during a specified future month at a specified price.

Eventually, you must either buy and deliver actual sugar to carry out this contract, or you must buy another contract for futures to cancel your short sale. This is known as a "covering" operation, and the cancelling of one by the other takes place automatically through the channels of the Exchange.

From the jobber's point of view, the operation of hedging has three outstanding purposes. He may hedge:

1. To eliminate the probability of speculative profit or loss, due to market fluctuations.

2. To protect a profit on a favorable purchase of actual sugar.

3. To establish and limit a loss on an unfavorable purchase of actual sugar.

HEDGING _to protect a normal jobbing profit by eliminating the probability of a speculative loss or gain_.

This operation is particularly useful to jobbers with whom conditions are such that they desire to be assured that their cost will be at about the market price at the time they dispose of their sugar, regardless of whether the market be higher or lower.

Although there are times when any jobber, no matter where located, will find this a useful transaction, it is obvious that many buyers will not wish to use the market in this way unless they feel it will decline. But it is particularly of advantage to a jobber located in markets necessitating a delay of from one day to several weeks in transit.

For instance, on a certain day in April, two jobbers bought their usual quantity of sugar. One was located in Syracuse, the other in New York. Two days following the purchase, the market broke half a cent per pound. In view of the fact that his sugars were still in transit when the market declined, the Syracuse buyer was obliged to sustain this entire loss, in order to meet competition. On the other hand, because he received and distributed the sugar before the market broke, the New York jobber was able not only to avoid a loss, but make his regular profit.


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