Van Eck Global this week launched an exchange-traded fund aimed at reaping profits from the boom in agricultural prices. The Market Vectors-Agribusiness ETF trades under the cheeky ticker symbol MOO on the American Stock Exchange.
The fund tracks the DAXglobal Agribusiness Index (DXAG), a basket of 40 agribusinesses trading on various global exchanges. The roster includes food processors, livestock operations, equipment and transportation companies, and ethanol/biodiesel producers. Among the index's major companies are Monsanto, Deere & Co., Archer Daniels Midland and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan.
MOO's total expense ratio is 0.65%, and its P/E ratio is on the high side at 26.61. But that's not surprising considering the soaring prices for such staples as wheat and corn.
Van Eck bills MOO as the first U.S.-listed ETF focused on the agribusiness market. An existing ETF, the Powershares DB Agricultural Fund (DBA), invests in agricultural futures contracts.
As of September 5, DBA was up 9% for the year (from its inception on January 5) while the DXAG index that underlies MOO was up 36% (most of that period is based on back-tested data prior to July 16).
MOO is the seventh ETF introduced under Van Eck's Market Vectors brand. The other six are: Environmental Services (Amex: EVX), Global Alternative Energy (NYSE: GEX), Gold Miners (Amex: GDX), Nuclear Energy (Amex: NLR), Russia (NYSE: RSX) and Steel (Amex: SLX).