La Niña: Calm Before the Storm in Ag Markets?

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Corn, soybean and wheat markets are witnessing an odd juxtaposition – the onset of a La Niña and exceptionally low options’ implied volatility (Figures 1 & 2).  Why this is unusual is that corn, soybeans and wheat often experienced exceptionally high volatility (about 1.3-1.5x normal) during many of the past eight La Niña episodes (Figures 3, 4, 5).  As such, one could wonder: are markets being complacent in the face of approaching danger?

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