A growth industry

Agricultural derivatives

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Sharp swings in the prices of some soft commodities in the past year have made hedging more essential than ever for agribusinesses, something Australian bank Macquarie has used to its advantage.

Speculative buying has pushed prices substantially higher for some commodities. For example, the New York Board of Trade's number 11 sugar futures contract hit 19.26 cents a pound on February 3 this year, having started the year at 14.75 cents a pound. That's on top of a 65.7% rise in 2005, as specula

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