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Harvest time

Harvest time

Understanding the operations of a wheat producer

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Simulation Harvest time   SC_BDF3_US_V5

Scenario of the simulation

Simulation Harvest time is the follow up to the simulation The price of wheat.

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.


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) and the strong increase in the wheat price, the stock price of BDF stocks has jumped to a record level of € 140. 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 now seem to focus on factors internal to the company. Bl de France is expected to announce its new harvest forecast for the current year. There are also investments to be made for compliance reasons.

A dozen financial analysts follow BDF stocks and participate in the market consensus. Some analysts believe that the stock price of BDF shares is overestimated due to the uncertainties affecting the company and the sector. The average price target is € 130.

It is always said that the company could interest large agro-food groups that would like to take position in the sector. The rumors are going well and we should see more clearly at the end of this day.

What is the firm going to anounce? How the market will react to the news? And especially how will you react? That are the questions...

Impact of the quantity of wheat harvested on BDF stock price

The World Cereals (WC) investment fund has developed a model that links the BDF stock price to the quantity of wheat harvested by Bl de France.

This model takes into account the structure of the company's turnover, that is to say the sales from multi-year contracts at a fixed price and the sale of the rest of the harvest on the international wheat market at a market price which varies in the time.

The stock price estimate takes into account the current year's profit, which depends on the current price of wheat, and the profits of the following years, which include a long-term value for the quantity harvested (8 million tonnes per year, which corresponds to the average observed in recent years) and for the price of wheat (€ 300 per tonne, which corresponds to a long-term forecast).

The table below shows the estimate results given by the WC model.

Wheat harvest quantity 7.0 Mt 7.2 Mt 7.4 Mt 7.6 Mt 7.8 Mt 8.0 Mt 8.2 Mt 8.4 Mt 8.6 Mt 8.8 Mt 9.0 Mt
BDF stock price € 128 € 132 € 136 € 140 € 144 € 148 € 152 € 156 € 160 € 164 € 168

The graph below represents the BDF stock price as a function of the quantity of wheat harvested by Bl de France according to the WC model.

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... »