Risks Associated With Investing Directly or Indirectly in Sugar
Investing in Sugar Interests subjects the Fund to the risks of the world sugar market, and this could result in substantial fluctuations in the price of the Fund’s Shares.
The Fund is subject to the risks and hazards of the world sugar market because it invests in Sugar Interests. The two primary sources for the production of sugar are sugarcane and sugar beets, both of which are grown in various countries around the world. The risks and hazards that are inherent in the world sugar market may cause the price of sugar to fluctuate widely. If the changes in percentage terms of the Fund’s Shares accurately track the percentage changes in the Benchmark or the spot price of sugar, then the price of its Shares will fluctuate accordingly.
• The global price and availability of sugar is influenced by economic and industry conditions, including but not limited to supply and demand factors such as: crop disease; weed control; water availability; various planting, growing, or harvesting problems; severe weather conditions such as drought, floods, or frost that are difficult to anticipate and which cannot be controlled; uncontrolled fires, including arson; challenges in doing business with foreign companies; legal and regulatory restrictions; fluctuation of shipping rates; currency exchange rate fluctuations; and political and economic instability. Global demand for sugar to produce ethanol has also been a significant factor affecting the price of sugar. Additionally, demand for sugar is affected by changes in consumer tastes, national, regional and local economic conditions, and demographic trends. The spread of consumerism and the rising affluence of emerging nations such as China and India have created demand for sugar. An influx of people in developing countries moving from rural to urban areas may create more disposable income to be spent on sugar products, and might also reduce sugar production in rural areas on account of worker shortages, all of which would result in upward pressure on sugar prices. On the other hand, public health concerns regarding obesity, heart disease and diabetes, particularly in developed countries, may reduce demand for sugar. In light of the time it takes to grow sugarcane and sugar beets and the cost of new facilities for processing these crops, it may not be possible to increase supply quickly or in a cost-effective manner in response to an increase in demand for sugar.
• Sugar production is subject to United States and foreign policies and regulations that materially affect operations. Governmental policies affecting the agricultural industry, such as taxes, tariffs, duties, subsidies, incentives, acreage control, and import and export restrictions on agricultural commodities and commodity products, can influence the planting of certain crops, the location and size of crop production, the volume and types of imports and exports, and industry profitability. Many foreign countries subsidize sugar production, resulting in lower prices, but this has led other countries, including the United States, to impose tariffs and import restrictions on sugar imports. Sugar producers also may need to comply with various environmental laws and regulations, such as those regulating the use of certain pesticides.
• Seasonal fluctuations in the price of sugar may cause risk to an investor because of the possibility that Share prices will be depressed because of the sugar harvest cycle. In the futures market, contracts expiring during the harvest season are typically priced lower than contracts expiring in the winter and spring. While the sugar harvest seasons varies from country to country, prices of Sugar Futures Contracts tend to be lowest in the late spring and early summer, reflecting the harvest season in Brazil, the world’s leading producer of sugarcane. Thus, seasonal fluctuations could result in an investor incurring losses upon the sale of Fund Shares, particularly if the investor needs to sell Shares when the Benchmark Component Futures Contracts are, in whole or part, Sugar Futures Contracts expiring in the late spring or early summer.
The Benchmark is not designed to correlate exactly with the spot price of sugar and this could cause the changes in the price of the Shares to substantially vary from the changes in the spot price of sugar. Therefore, you may not be able to effectively use the Fund to hedge against sugar-related losses or to indirectly invest in sugar.
The Benchmark Component Futures Contracts reflect the price of sugar for future delivery, not the current spot price of sugar, so at best the correlation between changes in such Sugar Futures Contracts and the spot price of sugar will be only approximate. Weak correlation between the Benchmark and the spot price of sugar may result from the typical seasonal fluctuations in sugar prices discussed above. Imperfect correlation may also result from speculation in Sugar Interests, technical factors in the trading of Sugar Futures Contracts, and expected inflation in the economy as a whole. If there is a weak correlation between the Benchmark and the spot price of sugar, then the price of Shares may not accurately track the spot price of sugar and you may not be able to effectively use the Fund as a way to hedge the risk of losses in your sugar-related transactions or as a way to indirectly invest in sugar.
Changes in the Fund’s NAV may not correlate well with changes in the price of the Benchmark. If this were to occur, you may not be able to effectively use the Fund as a way to hedge against sugar-related losses or as a way to indirectly invest in sugar.
The Sponsor endeavors to invest the Fund’s assets as fully as possible in Sugar Interests so that the changes in percentage terms in the NAV closely correlate with the changes in percentage terms in the Benchmark. However, changes in the Fund’s NAV may not correlate with the changes in the Benchmark for various reasons, including those set forth below:
• The Fund does not intend to invest only in the Benchmark Component Futures Contracts. While its investments in Sugar Futures Contracts other than the Benchmark Component Futures Contracts, Cleared Sugar Swaps and Other Sugar Interests would be for the purpose of causing the Fund’s performance to track that of the Benchmark most effectively and efficiently, the performance of these Sugar Interests may not correlate well with the performance of the Benchmark Component Futures Contracts, resulting in a greater potential for error in tracking price changes in those futures contracts. Additionally, if the trading market for Sugar Futures Contracts is suspended or closed, the Fund may not be able to purchase these investments at the last reported price for such investments.
• The Fund will incur certain expenses in connection with its operations, and will hold most of its assets in income-producing, short-term securities for margin and other liquidity purposes and to meet redemptions that may be necessary on an ongoing basis. These expenses and income will cause imperfect correlation between changes in the Fund’s NAV and changes in the Benchmark.
• The Sponsor may not be able to invest the Fund’s assets in Sugar Interests having an aggregate notional amount exactly equal to the Fund’s NAV. As a standardized contract, a single Sugar Futures Contracts or Cleared Sugar Swap is for a specified amount of sugar, and the Fund’s NAV and the proceeds from the sale of a Creation Basket is unlikely to be an exact multiple of that amount. In such case, the Fund could not invest the entire proceeds from the purchase of the Creation Basket in such futures contracts. (For example, assuming the Fund receives $1,250,000 for the sale of a Creation Basket and that the value (i.e., the notional amount) of a Sugar Futures Contract is $29,019.20, the Fund could only enter into 43 Sugar Futures Contracts with an aggregate value of $1,247,826). While the Fund may be better able to achieve the exact amount of exposure to the sugar market through the use of over-the-counter Other Sugar Interests, there is no assurance that the Sponsor will be able to continually adjust the Fund’s exposure to such Other Sugar Interests to maintain such exact exposure. Furthermore, as noted above, the use of Other Sugar Interests may itself result in imperfect correlation with the Benchmark. Any amounts not invested in Sugar Interests will be held in short-term Treasury Securities, cash and/or cash equivalents.
• As Fund assets increase, there may be more or less correlation. On the one hand, as the Fund grows it should be able to invest in Sugar Futures Contracts with a notional amount that is closer on a percentage basis to the Fund’s NAV. For example, if the Fund’s NAV is equal to 4.9 times the value of a single futures contract, it can purchase only four futures contracts, which would cause only 81.6% of the Fund’s assets to be exposed to the sugar market. On the other hand, if the Fund’s NAV is equal to 100.9 times the value of a single Sugar Futures Contract, it can purchase 100 such contracts, resulting in 99.1% exposure. However, at certain asset levels the Fund may be limited in its ability to purchase Sugar Futures Contracts due to position limits or accountability levels imposed by the CFTC or the relevant exchanges. In these instances, the Fund would likely invest to a greater extent in Sugar Interests not subject to these position limits or accountability levels. To the extent that the Fund invests in Cleared Sugar Swaps and Other Sugar Interests, the correlation between the Fund’s NAV and the Benchmark may be lower. In certain circumstances, position limits or accountability levels could limit the number of Creation Baskets that will be sold.
If changes in the Fund’s NAV do not correlate with changes in the Benchmark, then investing in the Fund may not be an effective way to hedge against sugar-related losses or indirectly invest in sugar.
Changes in the price of the Fund’s Shares on the NYSE Arca may not correlate perfectly with changes in the NAV of the Fund’s Shares. If this variation occurs, then you may not be able to effectively use the Fund to hedge against sugar-related losses or to indirectly invest in sugar.
While it is expected that the trading prices of the Shares will fluctuate in accordance with the changes in the Fund’s NAV, the prices of Shares may also be influenced by other factors, including the supply of and demand for the Shares, whether for the short term or the longer term. There is no guarantee that the Shares will not trade at appreciable discounts from, and/or premiums to, the Fund’s NAV. This could cause the changes in the price of the Shares to substantially vary from the changes in the spot price of sugar, even if the Fund’s NAV was closely tracking movements in the spot price of sugar. If this occurs, you may not be able to effectively use the Fund to hedge the risk of losses in your sugar-related transactions or to indirectly invest in sugar.
The Fund may experience a loss if it is required to sell Treasury Securities or cash equivalents at a price lower than the price at which they were acquired.
If the Fund is required to sell Treasury Securities or cash equivalents at a price lower than the price at which they were acquired, the Fund will experience a loss. This loss may adversely impact the price of the Shares and may decrease the correlation between the price of the Shares, the Benchmark, and the spot price of sugar. The value of Treasury Securities and other debt securities generally moves inversely with movements in interest rates. The prices of longer maturity securities are subject to greater market fluctuations as a result of changes in interest rates. While the short-term nature of the Fund’s investments in Treasury Securities and cash equivalents should minimize the interest rate risk to which the Fund is subject, it is possible that the Treasury Securities and cash equivalents held by the Fund will decline in value.
Certain of the Fund’s investments could be illiquid, which could cause large losses to investors at any time or from time to time.
The Fund may not always be able to liquidate its positions in its investments at the desired price. As to futures contracts, it may be difficult to execute a trade at a specific price when there is a relatively small volume of buy and sell orders in a market. Limits imposed by futures exchanges or other regulatory organizations, such as accountability levels, position limits and price fluctuation limits, may contribute to a lack of liquidity with respect to some exchange-traded Sugar Interests. In addition, over-the-counter contracts and cleared swaps may be illiquid because they are contracts between two parties and generally may not be transferred by one party to a third party without the counterparty’s consent. Conversely, a counterparty may give its consent, but the Fund still may not be able to transfer an over-the-counter Sugar Interest to a third party due to concerns regarding the counterparty’s credit risk.
A market disruption, such as a foreign government taking political actions that disrupt the market in its currency, its sugar production or exports, or in another major export, can also make it difficult to liquidate a position. Unexpected market illiquidity may cause major losses to investors at any time or from time to time. In addition, the Fund does not intend at this time to establish a credit facility, which would provide an additional source of liquidity, but instead will rely only on the Treasury Securities, cash and/or cash equivalents that it holds to meet its liquidity needs. The anticipated large value of the positions in Sugar Interests that the Sponsor will acquire or enter into for the Fund increases the risk of illiquidity. Because Sugar Interests may be illiquid, the Fund’s holdings may be more difficult to liquidate at favorable prices in periods of illiquid markets and losses may be incurred during the period in which positions are being liquidated.
If the nature of the participants in the futures market shifts such that sugar purchasers are the predominant hedgers in the market, the Fund might have to reinvest at higher futures prices or choose Other Sugar Interests.
The changing nature of the participants in the sugar market will influence whether futures prices are above or below the expected future spot price. Sugar producers will typically seek to hedge against falling sugar prices by selling Sugar Futures Contracts. Therefore, if sugar producers become the predominant hedgers in the futures market, prices of Sugar Futures Contracts will typically be below expected future spot prices. Conversely, if the predominant hedgers in the futures market are the purchasers of the sugar who purchase Sugar Futures Contracts to hedge against a rise in prices, prices of Sugar Futures Contracts will likely be higher than expected future spot prices. This can have significant implications for the Fund when it is time to sell a Sugar Futures Contract that is no longer a Benchmark Component Futures Contract and purchase a new Sugar Futures Contract or to sell a Sugar Futures Contract to meet redemption requests.
While the Fund does not intend to take physical delivery of sugar under its Sugar Interests, the possibility of physical delivery impacts the value of the contracts.
While it is not the current intention of the Fund to take physical delivery of sugar under its Sugar Interests, Sugar Futures Contracts are traditionally not cash-settled contracts, and it is possible to take delivery under these and some Other Sugar Interests. Storage costs associated with purchasing sugar could result in costs and other liabilities that could impact the value of Sugar Futures Contracts or certain Other Sugar Interests. Storage costs include the time value of money invested in sugar as a physical commodity plus the actual costs of storing the sugar less any benefits from ownership of sugar that are not obtained by the holder of a futures contract. In general, Sugar Futures Contracts have a one-month delay for contract delivery and back month contracts (the back month is any future delivery month other than the spot month) include storage costs. To the extent that these storage costs change for sugar while the Fund holds Sugar Interests, the value of the Sugar Interests, and therefore the Fund’s NAV, may change as well.
The price relationship between the Benchmark Component Futures Contracts at any point in time and the Sugar Futures Contacts that will become Benchmark Component Futures Contracts on the next roll date will vary and may impact both the Fund’s total return and the degree to which its total return tracks that of sugar price indices.
The design of the Fund’s Benchmark is such that the Benchmark Component Futures Contracts will change four times per year, and the Fund’s investments must be rolled periodically to reflect the changing composition of the Benchmark. For example, when the second-to-expire Sugar Futures Contract becomes the first-to-expire contract, such contract will no longer be a Benchmark Component Futures Contract and the Fund’s position in it will no longer be consistent with tracking the Benchmark. In the event of a sugar futures market where near-to-expire contracts trade at a higher price than longer-to-expire contracts, a situation referred to as “backwardation,” then absent the impact of the overall movement in sugar prices the value of the Benchmark Component Futures Contracts would tend to rise as they approach expiration. As a result the Fund may benefit because it would be selling more expensive contracts and buying less expensive ones on an ongoing basis. Conversely, in the event of a sugar futures market where near-to-expire contracts trade at a lower price than longer-to-expire contracts, a situation referred to as “contango,” then absent the impact of the overall movement in sugar prices the value of the Benchmark Component Futures Contracts would tend to decline as they approach expiration. As a result the Fund’s total return may be lower than might otherwise be the case because it would be selling less expensive contracts and buying more expensive ones. The impact of backwardation and contango may lead the total return of the Fund to vary significantly from the total return of other price references, such as the spot price of sugar. In the event of a prolonged period of contango, and absent the impact of rising or falling sugar prices, this could have a significant negative impact on the Fund’s NAV and total return.
Regulation of the commodity interests and commodity markets is extensive and constantly changing; future regulatory developments are impossible to predict but may significantly and adversely affect the Fund.
The regulation of futures contracts and futures exchanges has historically been comprehensive. The CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the retroactive implementation of speculative position limits or higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading.
The regulation of commodity interest transactions in the United States is a rapidly changing area of the law and is subject to ongoing modification by governmental and judicial action. On July 21, 2010, “The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” was signed into law. It includes provisions altering the regulation of commodity interests. Provisions in the new law include the requirement that position limits on most types of commodity futures contracts be established; new registration, recordkeeping, capital and margin requirements for “swap dealers” and “major swap participants”; and the forced use of clearing house mechanisms for most over-the-counter transactions. Additionally, the new law requires the aggregation, for purposes of position limits, of all positions relating to a particular commodity held by a single entity and its affiliates, whether such positions exist on U.S. futures exchanges, non-U.S. futures exchanges, or in over-the-counter contracts. The CFTC, along with the SEC and other federal regulators, has been tasked with developing the rules and regulations enacting the provisions noted above. The new law and rules to be promulgated may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective through limits or requirements imposed either on it or upon its counterparties. In particular, new position limits imposed on the Fund or its counterparty may impact the Fund’s ability to invest in a manner that most efficiently meets its investment objective, and new requirements, including capital and mandatory clearing, may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and doing business. In addition, considerable regulatory attention has recently been focused on non-traditional publicly distributed investment pools such as the Fund. Furthermore, various national governments have expressed concern regarding the disruptive effects of speculative trading in certain commodity markets and the need to regulate the derivatives markets in general. The effect of any future regulatory change on the Fund is impossible to predict, but could be substantial and adverse.
If you are investing in the Fund for purposes of hedging, you might be subject to several risks, including the possibility of losing the benefit of favorable market movements.
Producers and commercial users of sugar may use the Fund as a vehicle to hedge the risk of losses in their sugar-related transactions. There are several risks in connection with using the Fund as a hedging device. While hedging can provide protection against an adverse movement in market prices, it can also preclude a hedger’s opportunity to benefit from a favorable market movement. For instance, in a hedging transaction the hedger may be a user of a commodity concerned that the hedged commodity will increase in price, but must recognize the risk that the price may instead decline. If this happens, the hedger will have lost the benefit of being able to purchase the commodity at the lower price because the hedging transaction will result in a loss that would offset (at least in part) this benefit. Thus, the hedger forgoes the opportunity to profit from favorable price movements. In addition, if the hedge is not a perfect one, the hedger can lose on the hedging transaction and not realize an offsetting gain in the value of the underlying item being hedged.
When using Sugar Interests as a hedging technique, at best, the correlation between changes in prices of futures contracts and of the items being hedged can be only approximate. The degree of imperfection of correlation depends upon circumstances such as: variations in speculative markets, demand for futures and for sugar products, technical influences in futures trading, and differences between anticipated costs being hedged and the instruments underlying the standard futures contracts available for trading. Even a well-conceived hedge may be unsuccessful to some degree because of unexpected market behavior as well as the expenses associated with creating the hedge.
In addition, using an investment in the Fund as a hedge for changes in food costs generally may not be successful because changes in the price of sugar may vary substantially from changes in the prices of other food products. In addition, the price of sugar and the Fund’s NAV would not reflect the refining, transportation, and other costs that are specific to the hedger.
An investment in the Fund may provide you little or no diversification benefits. Thus, in a declining market, the Fund may have no gains to offset your losses from other investments, and you may suffer losses on your investment in the Fund at the same time you incur losses with respect to other asset classes.
Historically, Sugar Interests have not generally been correlated to the performance of other asset classes such as stocks and bonds. Non-correlation means that there is a low statistical relationship between the performance of Sugar Interests, on the one hand, and stocks or bonds, on the other hand. However, there can be no assurance that such non-correlation will continue during future periods. If, contrary to historic patterns, the Fund’s performance were to move in the same general direction as the financial markets, you will obtain little or no diversification benefits from an investment in the Shares. In such a case, the Fund may have no gains to offset your losses from other investments, and you may suffer losses on your investment in the Fund at the same time you incur losses with respect to other investments.
Variables such as drought, floods, weather, embargoes, tariffs and other political events may have a larger impact on sugar and Sugar Interest prices than on traditional securities. These additional variables may create additional investment risks that subject the Fund’s investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities.
Non-correlation should not be confused with negative correlation, where the performance of two asset classes would be opposite of each other. There is no historic evidence that the spot price of sugar and prices of other financial assets, such as stocks and bonds, are negatively correlated. In the absence of negative correlation, the Fund cannot be expected to be automatically profitable during unfavorable periods for the stock market, or vice versa.
CANE has no operating history, so there is no performance history to serve as a basis for you to evaluate an investment in the Trust. Investing in Sugar Interests subjects CANE to the risks of the sugar market, and this could result in substantial fluctuations in the price of CANE’s shares. Unlike mutual funds, CANE generally will not distribute dividends to Shareholders.
Investors may choose to use CANE as a means of investing indirectly in sugar or as a vehicle to hedge against the risk of loss, and there are risks involved in such investments and activities. The Sponsor has limited experience in operating a commodity pool, which is defined as an enterprise in which several individuals contribute funds in order to trade futures or futures options collectively.
Commodities and futures generally are volatile and are not suitable for all investors.
The Teucrium Sugar Fund is not a mutual fund or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and is not subject to regulation thereunder.
Shares of the Teucrium Sugar Fund are not FDIC insured, may lose value, and have no bank guarantee.
All supporting documentation will be provided upon request.
Foreside Fund Services, LLC is the distributor for the Teucrium Sugar Fund.
© 2012 TEUCRIUM TRADING, LLC. All rights reserved.