Basis Contract 01/09/04 7:01:16 PM|
Preserving a Basis Level With a Basis Contract
If you want to
preserve what you believe is an attractive basis level while waiting for changes in the
futures price, a Basis Contract may be a valuable marketing option for you.
What is it? A Basis Contract
allows you to identify a basis level before specifying the futures price. You agree to deliver a specific quantity and
quality of a commodity for either spot of future delivery at a predetermined value over or
under a specific futures option price. The
final cash price is determined when you select or lock in the futures price. This contract is called an Unpriced or Basis Fix
are the advantages of a Basis Contract?
You may benefit from
improved futures levels.
You may amend or
roll this contract to capitalize on market inverses and delay final pricing.
You may generate
cash through an advance upon delivery feature that typically provides 70-80% of the
It may be a
lower-cost option than paying storage and interest.
What are the risks and disadvantages of a Basis Contract?
You cannot benefit
from further improvements in the basis level.
You remain subject
to the risk of changes in future price levels.
You may be unable to
capture a narrowing basis at the same time that the futures level is dropping.
If you amend the
contract during a market carry, the spreads will have moved against you, resulting in a
lower-than expected market price.
If the cash value of
the contract falls below the level of any cash advance you have received, you may be
requested to return a portion of the advance.
When is it used? Sellers generally
use the Basis Contract when the basis level is attractive but overall prices are
unattractive because of low futures prices. Since
the basis tends to be most narrow when futures levels are low, most sellers use the Basis
Contract when they are confident the futures price will go higher.
How do I amend or roll a Basis Contract? You may amend or
roll the Basis contract to a new futures hedge month.
These amendments allow you to shift forward the futures reference month on
which the final pricing is based. If the
contract is amended, the final basis level will be adjusted by the difference between the
original and new futures reference month at the time of the amendment. If the new futures month is lower than the
original futures month (an inverse), the basis will narrow. If the new futures reference month is higher (a carry),
the basis will widen. The number of times you
may amend the contract varies by location, consult with your local UFC representative for
the number of amendments they allow.
How does it work? Lets say your
local UFC Service Center quotes a price of $2.00 per bushel for harvest-delivered corn. At that time, December futures are $2.25 per
bushel, resulting in a basis level of 25 cents under December. You believe this is a good basis and are concerned
that it may widen as harvest progresses. You
also are confident that futures may rally. So,
you write a Basis Contract with UFC for October delivery at 25 cents under the December
On November 15,
December corn futures have risen to $2.80 per bushel and the local cash prices to $2.50
per bushel. The basis also has widened to 30
cents under the December futures level on your contract.
In this example, a
Basis Contract would net you 5 cents more that waiting until November 15 to sell on the
cash market and 55 cents more thatn you would received by selling October 1 on the cash
Priced Purchase Contract
$2.80 current December
$2.80 current December futures
($0.25) your contracted basis level
($0.30) current basis
$2.55 your final price
$2.50 current price
Note, however, that if the futures level had dropped below
$2.25 per bushel, or if the basis had narrowed to less than 25 cents under the December
futures, you would receive less for your corn that if you had sold it on October 1.
alternative overview has been prepared to help you identify the marketing alternatives
offered by Ursa Farm Marketing, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. Ursa Farm Marketing has used its best efforts to
provide you with this useful and helpful information.
However, we cannot guarantee that this contract alternative will function in
the same way in each and every situation, and information which may be accurate for one
farmer, may not necessarily prove to be accurate for another. Therefore, we do not make any warranty or
guarantee as to the accuracy of any of the information as it is applied in a particular
marketing strategy. Entering into any of the
transactions outlined in this presentation will not result in your opening a futures
account with UFM or otherwise, nor will you obtain a futures position. The only futures position relative to any
transaction, if one exists, will be held by UFC. This
and other contracts may employ the futures market as a grain pricing mechanism, but the
contract described are not, themselves, futures contracts.