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Futures and Options Quotes. Introduction

This guide is designed to help those unfamiliar with futures and commodity options in understanding how to interpret futures and commodity options price quotes. Each commodity futures contract has specifications unique to that commodity. Additionally, each commodity futures price quote is expressed differently, and changes in the price quote differ by commodity. Placing Orders and Various commodities are traded at more than one commodity exchange. Contact your commodity futures broker for more detailed information.

Visit the commodity futures Specifications specs page for more detail on each commodity.


Understanding Futures and Options Quotes

Commodity Table of Contents


The 4 Major Grain Markets: Wheat, Corn, Soybeans, and Oats, the price is quoted in cents per bushel for both futures and options. Corn example: a price quote of 3092 or 309 ¼ equals $3 and 9 ¼c per bushel (5000-bushel contract). The minimum move in these markets is ¼c, which is $12.50. 1c = $50.00

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Soy Meal is quoted in dollars per ton. Example: a price quote of 164.50 or 1645 equals $164 and 50c per ton (100-ton contract). Some quote services drop the last zero because the market moves in 10c increments. A change of + .40 or 4 represents 40c although it will commonly be stated as 40 points. In our example the profit for the day would be $40.00. 1 cent/point = $1.00

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Bean Oil is quoted in dollars per 100 pounds. Example: a price quote of 16.57 or 1657 equals $16 and 57c per 100 pounds. Some quote services leave off the decimal point. The soybean oil market moves in 1c increments. A change of + 13 represents 13c although it will commonly be stated as 13 points. In our example the profit/loss for the day would be $78.00. 1 cent/point = $6.00

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Meat Markets are quoted in cents per pound. Although the contract size and point value may very for each of the different products, the same rules for figuring profit-loss apply. Example: in Feeder Cattle, a price quote of 85.20 or 8520 equals 85c and 20 one hundredths of a cent per pound (50,000 pound contract) A change of +33 or .33 represents 33 points. In our example the profit/loss for the day would be $165.00 in feeder cattle 1 point = $5.00. The easiest way to calculate profit/loss or risk in these markets is to drop your decimal and use the point value for that particular product.

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Foods/Softs Markets are quoted in cents per pound for coffee, sugar, cotton, and orange juice. Although the contract size and point value may very for each of the different products, the same rules for figuring profit/loss apply. Example: in Cotton, a price quote of 56.89 or 5689 equals 56c and 89 one hundredths of a cent per pound (50,000 pound contract). A change of +22 or .22 represents 22 points. In our example the profit/loss for the day would be $110.00 in cotton 1 point = $5.00. The easiest way to calculate profit/loss or risk in these markets is to drop your decimal and use the point value for that particular product.

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Cocoa is quoted is dollars per ton. Example: a price quote of 845 equals $845.00 per ton (10 Metric ton contract). In Cocoa, a change of -16 represents $16.00 although you will commonly hear it stated as 16 points. In our example, the profit/loss for the day would be $160.00. 1 dollar/point = $10.00

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Metal Markets are quoted in dollars per ounce for gold, platinum and palladium. Although the contract size and point values will vary for each of the different products, the same rules for figuring profit/loss apply. Example: in Gold, a price quote of 287.90 or 2879 represents $287 and 90c per ounce since the minimum move for gold is 10c you will often see the last zero dropped. A change of +1.10, 110, or 1.1 equals $1.00 and 10c you will also hear it quoted as 110 points. In our example, the profit/loss for the day would be $110.00. The easiest way to figure profit/loss is to drop your decimal and multiply times the point value. 1 cent/point = $1.00 1 dollar = $100.00

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Silver is quoted in cents per ounce. Example: a price quote of 545.50 or 5455 represents 545 cents and 5 tenths of a cent per ounce, since the minimum move for silver is 1/10 of a cent, you will often see the zero dropped. A change of – 6.4 in Silver futures, represents 6 cents and 4 tenths of a cent. In our example, the profit/loss for the day would be $320.00.   1 cent = $50.00

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Copper is quoted in cents per pound. Example: a price quote of 84.65 or 8465 equals 84 cents and 65 one hundredths of a cent per pound. In Copper futures, a change of + .37 or 37 represents 37/100ths of a cent you will normally hear it quoted as 37 points. In our example, the profit/loss for the day would be $92.50. 1 point = $2.50

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Energy Markets are quoted in cents per gallon for heating oil and unleaded gasoline ( gas ). Example: a price quote in unleaded of 74.10 or 7410 equals 74 cents and 10 one hundredths of a cent per gallon. A change of - .75 or 75 represents 75/100ths of a cent, you will usually hear it quoted as 75 points. In our example, the profit/loss for the day would be $315.00. 1 point = $4.20

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Crude Oil is quoted in dollars per barrel. Example: a price quote of 27.16 or 2716 equals 27 dollars and 16 cents per barrel. In Crude oil futures, a change of + .17 or 17 represents 17 cents, you will also hear it quoted as 17 points. In our example, the profit/loss for the day would be $170.00. 1 cent/point = $10.00

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Currency Markets are quoted in US dollars per foreign currency. Example: a price quote in the Japanese yen of 9410, 94.10 or 0.9410 equals 94 cents and 10 one-hundredths of a cent US per Japanese yen. We are trading the exchange rate between the US dollar the foreign currency, in other words how much would it cost me to buy one Japanese yen. A change of - .69, 0.0069 or 69 represents 69 points. In our example, the profit/loss for the day would be $862.50. In the Japanese yen: 1 point = $12.50

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