Debit Spreads - Precision Investing

Introduction to Corn Futures Options

Corn Futures are a cornerstone of agricultural commodities traded on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), reflecting the economic heartbeat of the agricultural sector. Each contract represents 5,000 bushels of corn, with pricing in USD-cents per bushel, underscoring the scale and impact of these futures in global markets.

Contract Specifications:

  • Point Value: 1/4 of one cent per bushel, equating to $12.50 per point.
  • Margins: The initial margin for trading Corn Futures is currently $1,300 per contract, as determined by the CME Group, reflecting the volatility and risks associated with commodity trading.

Options on Corn Futures add layers of strategic depth and financial leverage, with debit spreads serving as a cost-effective method to engage in the market.

Margin for Debit Spreads:

  • Reflecting the net premium paid for the long position minus any received from the short position, debit spreads require significantly lower margins compared to outright futures contracts, illustrating their efficiency and accessibility.

Understanding Debit Spreads

Debit spreads, a nuanced options strategy, are crafted by purchasing one option and simultaneously selling another of the same type but different strike price, reducing the net cost and aligning financial exposure with specific market forecasts.

Mechanics of Debit Spreads:

  • Long Position: Buy an option to capitalize on expected market gains.
  • Short Position: Sell an option with a differing strike to offset the cost of the long position, ideally expiring worthless to maximize financial gains.

Advantages of Debit Spreads:

  1. Defined Risk: Maximum loss is limited to the net premium paid, simplifying risk management.
  2. Potential for Profit: Profit is capped at the difference between strike prices minus the net debit, offering substantial returns relative to risk.
  3. Lower Cost of Entry: Requires less capital upfront, making it accessible to a broader range of traders.

Application in Corn Futures

Debit spreads are particularly potent in the volatile agricultural sector. Given the sustained trading range between 424 to 448 cents per bushel for Corn Futures, there is a strategic opening for targeting an upward breakout towards 471 cents, where significant resistance lies due to Sell UnFilled Orders (UFOs).

Strategy Implementation with Debit Spreads:

  • Long Call Option: Opt for a call at 450 cents to leverage potential upward trends.
  • Short Call Option: Sell a call at 475 cents to cap gains but reduce entry costs, aligning closely with anticipated resistance levels.

The net cost of this spread provides a calculated risk while maintaining the potential for substantial returns.

Setting up the Trade

This structured approach requires meticulous planning and execution:

  • Long Call Option: Positioned to capture potential market upswings.
  • Short Call Option: Strategically placed to limit maximum earnings but enhance overall trade affordability.

Financial Analysis:

  • Net Premium Paid: $363, balancing risk and reward.
  • Break-even Point: Calculated at 457.26 cents, where the trade neither gains nor loses.
  • Maximum Profit: Capped at $887, reflecting the spread minus the net debit.
  • Maximum Loss: Confined to the net premium paid, illustrating controlled financial exposure.

Risk Management

Effective risk management is crucial in maximizing the efficacy of debit spreads:

  • Position Sizing: Aligns investments with risk tolerance and portfolio strategy.
  • Stop-Loss Orders: Mitigates losses if market trends oppose initial predictions.
  • Rolling the Spread: Adapts the strategy to evolving market conditions without escalating risk.


Debit spreads in Corn Futures offer a balanced mechanism to leverage market movements with a clear focus on risk management and cost efficiency. This strategy underscores the importance of detailed market analysis, precise entry and exit strategies, and vigilant risk management to optimize trading outcomes in the dynamic commodities landscape.

Want to read an expanded article with multiple TradingView charts that illustrate the application ? Check it out here: tradingview.com/u/traddictiv
- Follow us and Boost the TradingView Published Idea if you like it 👌

Want to know more about AutoUFOs® and AutoClimate™ ? Check it out here: tradewithufos.com/apps

TRADDICTIV · Research Team

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram