Leveraging Diagonals


In the world of agricultural commodities trading, Corn Futures hold a prominent place, offering traders a pathway to capitalize on price movements within one of the market's most vital grains. This article delves into the strategic application of Diagonal Spreads—a nuanced options strategy—to Corn Futures, providing traders an edge in a market known for its volatility and potential for substantial movements.

Why Corn Futures?

Corn Futures, traded on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), represent a contract for 5,000 bushels of corn, quoted in cents per bushel. These futures are pivotal for traders looking to hedge against or speculate on changes in corn prices, influenced by factors like weather conditions, global supply-demand dynamics, and biofuel policies. With trading hours extending from evening to the following afternoon, opportunities abound for engaging with the market.

Understanding Diagonal Spreads

Diagonal Spreads involve buying and selling options of the same type (calls or puts) with different strike prices and expiration dates. This strategy is distinguished by its use of time decay and volatility to the trader's advantage. The "Long Leg" of the spread involves buying an option with a longer expiration, while the "Short Leg" involves selling an option with a closer expiration date. This setup aims to profit from the price differential between the options over time, ideally suited for markets with expected directional movements like Corn Futures.

Application to Corn Futures

The application of Diagonal Spreads to Corn Futures is strategic, allowing traders to express a bullish or bearish outlook. Considering the cyclical nature of corn prices and external market forces, a well-planned Diagonal Spread can capture profits from minor price adjustments to significant swings.

Bearish Strategy Example

Given current market analysis indicating a potential decline in corn prices due to an upcoming harvest season's supply boost, a bearish Diagonal Spread could be positioned as follows:

  • Long Leg: Buy a put option with a strike price slightly above the current market price, expiring in six months.
  • Short Leg: Sell a put option with a strike price just below the current market price, expiring in one month.

This setup benefits if corn prices fall as anticipated, with the sold put expiring worthless or bought back at a lower price, while the value of the long put increases.

Risk Management

Effective risk management in Diagonal Spreads involves several key strategies:

  • Adjustments: If the market moves unfavorably, adjusting the strike prices or expiration dates of the options can help mitigate losses.
  • Diversification: Applying Diagonal Spreads across different commodities can spread risk.
  • Monitoring: Regularly reviewing open positions and market conditions is essential to respond swiftly to changes.

Leveraging Tools for Enhanced Trading

Advancements in trading technology, such as AutoUFOs® and AutoClimate™, provide traders with analytical insights, helping identify optimal entry and exit points for their Diagonal Spread strategies in Corn Futures. These tools can significantly enhance decision-making, allowing traders to execute strategies based on robust market analysis and indicators.


Diagonal Spreads offer Corn Futures traders a sophisticated means to navigate the market, providing the flexibility to adjust to changing conditions while managing risk effectively. By understanding the nuances of this strategy and applying it within the context of Corn Futures, traders can potentially enhance their trading outcomes, capitalizing on the market's inherent volatility.

Incorporating advanced trading tools into this strategy further refines one’s approach, ensuring decisions are data-driven and aligned with market dynamics. As traders continue to explore and master Diagonal Spreads in Corn Futures, the journey towards trading proficiency becomes a testament to the power of strategic planning, continuous learning, and the right technological support.

Embrace the challenge, and let the sophisticated strategy of Diagonal Spreads guide you through the volatile yet rewarding terrain of Corn Futures trading.

Want to read an expanded article with multiple TradingView charts that illustrate the application ? Check it out here: tradingview.com/u/traddictiv
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Want to know more about AutoUFOs® and AutoClimate™ ? Check it out here: tradewithufos.com/apps

TRADDICTIV · Research Team

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