Sunday, 13 February 2011

Football and grain prices

Liverpool's four match winning streak came to an end yesterday when they shared the points with Wigin in a thrilling'ish one all draw.

They new Liverpool manager and all round Kop hero "King" Kenny of Daglish has been fettered with turning the clubs fortunes around since they booted out the previous manager following a run of poor results.

Now consider this.

Statistical analysis shows us that a manger actually has very little influence over the result of a footie game; other factors particularly the size of the wages bill have a greater correlation.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have the highest wages relative to the average spending of all clubs and you have to go back 16 years before you find another team that topped the league.

What the laws of probability show is after a period of losing matches a winning period will inevitably follow regardless of who is in charge.

The previous manager is usually given his marching orders following a run of poor results when the new manager is brought and seemingly achieves a winning streak that was actually going to happen anyway.

So what does this tell us about the grain trade? Arguably nothing but as I ponder record wheat prices and the associated apocalyptic reports of food riots, revolutions and rationing I can't help but feel that it is all a bit of a familiar story.

What usually follows a spell of high prices? Low prices. What usually follows a spell of low prices? Well you get the picture.

We have had reports of poor productivity from around the world last year, droughts, floods, heat and cold compounded with political manipulation of the market through embargo's and export bans.

I think the truth is that one good harvest in Ukraine or Russia or Canada or wherever and we will see prices drop faster than a sexist Sky TV sports commentator.

Will we see similar high prices this time next year?
In my honest opinion I have no idea but one half decent run of results and no, I don't think we will.