Journal of Energy Markets

The forecasting power of medium-term futures contracts

Erik Haugom, Guttorm A. Hoff, Maria Mortensen, Peter Molnár and Sjur Westgaard


This study investigates whether weekly futures prices, covering the time period 1996-2013, are unbiased predictors of future spot price in the Nordic power market. The results give no clear evidence of bias in the futures prices, except for during the winter periods from 2003 to 2009. In these winters the futures prices overshoot the spot price, resulting in a positive risk premium. We find a significant premium during winter and fall, when analyzing the whole sample. There is no evidence of a premium during summer. Dividing the sample into two subperiods, 1996-2005 and 2006-13, we find the highest and most significant risk premium during winter in the first subperiod; in the latter subperiod, there is less evidence of a significant risk premium.

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