Weather derivatives: The effects of weather catastrophies on economy

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GRIN Verlag, Oct 20, 2006 - Business & Economics - 70 pages
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Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2006 in the subject Business economics - Investment and Finance, grade: 1,7, University of Applied Sciences Essen, course: Case study in the core subject International Management - Risk Management , 78 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The ability to hedge price risks of industrial and consumer goods is well-developed an widely used, but, for many customers and companies, a variance in the unit volume being caused by a unexpected weather situation can be as detrimental to the bottom line as unit price variation. In the past, market participants were exposed defencelessly to this risk, because “weather has been anything but predictable...” There was bundle of incidents in the late 90’s which lead to the development of weather derivatives as a new, flexible instrument to mitigate risk resulting from weather: First, the changing world climate causes more often extreme weather situations such as El Nino. Weather catastrophes like the hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the USA, summer flood of 2002 and the desert summer of 2003 in Germany have been increasing the awareness of weather risks among the population and in the management of the companies. Unforeseen weather conditions may cause a decline in companies’ earnings. It is likely to imagine, that, for example, a cold and rainy summer will lead to a plummeting consumption of ice cream. In times of an upward tending importance of the shareholder value approach, a professional and effective risk management is inalienable. Insurance policies can cover catastrophic damages, but derivatives are an efficient tool to face financial risks resulting from the weather and to stabilize earnings. Secondly, the worldwide markets are changing. Formerly strictly regulated markets show an ongoing trend of deregulation and therefore a development from monopolies to wholesale markets. Facing a new, competitive situation, companies have to realize, that it does not last to hedge the unit price of their goods. In the mid 90’s, during the liberalization of the American energy market, managers recognized the volumetric risk as a critical parameter influencing companies revenues and expenses. Up to the development of the first weather derivatives, there had been no possibility to cover these risks.

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