Within the last three decades commodity markets, including soft commodities markets, have become more and more like financial markets. As a result, prices of commodities may exhibit similar patterns or anomalies as those observed in the behaviour of different financial assets. Their existence may cast doubts on the competitiveness and efficiency of commodity markets. It motivates us to conduct the research presented in this paper, aimed at examining the Halloween effect in the markets of basic soft commodities (cocoa, coffee, cotton, frozen concentrated orange juice, rubber and sugar) from 1999 to 2020. This long-time span ensures the credibility of results. Apart from performing the two-sample t-test and the rank-sum Wilcoxon test, we additionally investigate the autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH) effect. Its presence in our data allows us to estimate generalised autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity [GARCH (1, 1)] models with dummies representing the Halloween effect. We also investigate the impact of the January effect on the Halloween effect. Results reveal the significant Halloween effect for cotton (driven by the January effect) and the significant reverse Halloween effect for sugar. It brings implications useful to the main actors in the market. They may apply trading strategies generating satisfactory profits or providing hedging against unfavourable changes in soft commodities prices.
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