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SIMULATIONS

The price of wheat

The price of wheat

Understanding the determinants of wheat prices

Simulation The price of wheat   SC_BDF2_US_V5

Scenario of the simulation

Simulation The price of wheat is the follow up to the simulation Bl de France GM.

At the start of the simulation, you own an account worth  100,000 in cash and 1,000 Bl de France shares.

As a SimTrader, your goal in this simulation is to maximize your trading gains.

In this simulation, you can send all types of orders to the market: market orders (MAR), limit orders (LIM), best limit orders (BL), stop orders (STOP) and stop limit orders (SL).

The duration of the simulation is initially set to ten minute, which corresponds to a 24-hour trading day. Using the TimeLine, you can increase or decrease the simulation speed at any time.

Grading

Your grade for this simulation (100 points) takes into account the following elements:

  • Your trading performance (60 points): your relative performance, that is to say the difference between your gain/loss on your position with your intervention during the simulation and the gain/loss without your intervention (as if you haven't send any order)

  • Your trading activity (25 points): the launching of the simulation (5 points), your determination to go to the end of the simulation (10 points) and the sending of at least one order to the market (10 points)

  • Your grade in the MCQ test at the end of simulaton (15 points): 3 questions about the simulation (5 points by question).

Bl de France firm

Bl de France is a French wheat producer. Its fields are mailny located in the center of France. Bl de France clients are mainly French food-processing firms (in particular firms producing buns for fast foods). It also exports part of its grain crop on the international wheat market.

The firm was created in 1780 by the Turgot de la Beauce brothers, nephews of the famous financial controller of the King of France Louis XVI. The firm is still managed by a descendant of the founders, Charles-Louis Turgot de la Beauce, who is an emblem of the cereal industry in France.

Evolution of the stock price

The ticker symbol for Bl de France shares traded on the market is BDF.

Bl de France was introduced in the French stock market in the 1970s. During the past few years, its stock price soared. This strong price increase can be partly explained by the strong the increase of the wheat prices at the world level.

Over the recent period, following the announcement of financial results better than expected: earnings per share of € 12), the stock price of BDF stocks has jumped to € 120. It then fluctuated around that level depending on the news flow about the company and the price of wheat, which is an important factor.

What will happen today...

Traders will closely watch the price of wheat, which has a significant impact on the stock price of the BDF shares. Indeed, if Bl de France has signed multiannual contracts with major agri-food companies (commitment to deliver a certain quantity of wheat at a price already negotiated and constant in the medium term), it also sells a significant part of its harvest on the international wheat market at market prices which varies over time.

A dozen financial analysts follow the BDF share and participate in the market consensus. The target price is € 120 (average of analysts' forecasts).

According to market rumors, the company Bl de France could be of some interest for large agri-food groups that would like to take more position in the sector. The rumors are going well and we could see more clearly what'on going on in the short term.

How is the price of wheat going to fluctuate? Up or down? How the market will react to the news? And especially how will you react? That are the questions...

Impact of the price of wheat on BDF stock price

The World Cereals (WC) investment fund has developed a model that links the stock price of BDF shares to the price of wheat. This model takes into account the structure of the company's turnover, that is to say the sales from multi-year contracts at fixed prices and the sale of the rest of the harvest on the international wheat market at market price which varies in the time. The stock price estimate takes into account the current year's profit, which depends on the price of the current wheat, and the profits of the following years, which include a long-term value for the price of wheat.

The table and graph below show the WC estimate results (with an estimated total production of 8 million tonnes).

Price of wheat € 270 € 280 € 290 € 300 € 310 € 320 € 330 € 340
BDF stock price € 119 € 122 € 124 € 129 € 136 € 146 € 152 € 172



What you will learn...

The simulation The price of wheat is interested in the information about the company and its interpretation by the market. What is the relevant information about the comapny? How is this information interpreted by the market? What is information incorporated in the stock price? This simulation looks at a key concept in financial markets: information.

Teaching goals: the simulation The price of wheat will be the opportunity to understand deeper how information is incorporated by the market.

Learning objectives: this simulation will help you to learn the following elements of finance:

  • Recognize relevant information in the information flow

  • Evaluate the impact of information on market price

  • Send orders to the market based on you own analysis of information
  • Understanding the business model of the company

Before or after launching this simulation, you can learn more on information in financial markets by taking related courses to the simulation.

Download the case note to help you during the simulation.

About the authors of the simulation

Gabriel Eschbach
ACE Finance & Conseil

« The key is knowing how to process information. The market is anticipating what will happen, but things never happen as expected. The market reacts to the rumor and adjusts to the new. And you! What do you expect? How will you react? What are you going to do? »

Professor Franois Longin
ESSEC Business School

« Before starting the simulation, remember that the market is always right; and that the market is always right even when it is wrong... »