Corn Commodity Futures Options Trading CBOT

Free Corn Futures Trading Guide

Corn commodity futures options trading broker online Corn Futures and Options

  • Grain and Oilseed Futures & Options Fact Card (PDF)
  • Metric Conversion Guide (PDF)
  • Extended Hours and Lower Exchange Fees for Mini-Ag Contracts (PDF)

corn commodity futures

Corn Commodity Futures

The primary uses for corn are: animal feed, food, alcohol, ethanol, industrial usage and seed. The grades of corn that are traded on the CBOT are mainly used for animal feed. The U.S. produces about 10-12 billion bushels of corn a year and is the leading exporter of corn.

Corn is planted during April and May in the United States and it is harvested during October and November. Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska are the top corn producing states. Corn is also used to produce ethanol, which has led to a strong increase in demand for corn.

U.S. Corn Consumption

  • Feed/Residual    57%
  • Export    19%
  • Ethanol    11%
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)      5%
  • Starch    2.5%
  • Sweeteners    2.2%
  • Cereal/Others    1.8%
  • Alcohol    1.3%
  • Seed    0.2%

In the United States, 57 percent of the crop is fed to animals, helping livestock producers deliver affordable, high-quality meat products to consumers. The livestock industry is the corn producers' leading customer. In 2003, beef cattle were fed more than 1.4 billion bushels, while hogs consumed 1.1 billion bushels and poultry another 1.3 billion bushels.

Eleven percent of U.S. production goes into ethanol, while another 19 percent or 1.9 billion bushels is exported. The balance of the crop is used for food, seed and industrial uses. Solvents, cleaners, deicers and plastics are just a handful of the hundreds of renewable, corn-based products we use every day.

  • Corn futures are a dollar denominated physical delivery 5,000 bushel (approx. 127 metric tons) contract
  • Contracts are available for trading over 15 hours per day providing customers access regardless of their time zone
  • Corn is traded electronically on CME Globex during the Asian & European daytime market hours as well as during the primary grain trading hours side-by-side with the open auction platform
  • Primary uses of corn include livestock feed, ethanol, edible oil and other foods
  • Corn is also used in the manufacture of plastics, solvents and other industrial and household products

Corn Futures Contract Specifications

Contract Size 5,000 bushels (~ 127 Metric Tons)

Deliverable Grade #2 Yellow at contract Price, #1 Yellow at a 1.5 cent/bushel premium #3 Yellow at a 1.5 cent/bushel discount

Pricing Unit Cents per bushel

Tick Size (minimum fluctuation) 1/4 of one cent per bushel ($12.50 per contract)

Contract Months/Symbols March (H), May (K), July (N), September (U) & December (Z)

Trading Hours CME Globex (Electronic Platform)

Sunday – Friday, 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 a.m. CT and
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. CT
Open Outcry (Trading Floor) Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. CT

Daily Price Limit $0.40 per bushel expandable to $0.60 when the market closes at limit bid or limit offer. There shall be no price limits on the current month contract on or after the second business day preceding the first day of the delivery month.

Settlement Procedure Daily Grains Settlement Procedure (PDF)

Final Corn Settlement Procedure (PDF)

Last Trade Date: The business day prior to the 15th calendar day of the contract month.

Last Delivery Date: Second business day following the last trading day of the delivery month.

Product Ticker Symbols CME Globex (Electronic Platform) ZC
C=Clearing
Open Outcry (Trading Floor) C

Corn Futures Option Contract Specifications

Contract Size One Corn futures contract (of a specified month) of 5,000 bushels

Tick Size (minimum fluctuation) 1/8 of one cent per bushel ($6.25 per contract)

Strike Price Intervals: Trading shall be conducted for put and call options with striking prices in integral multiples of five (5) cents and ten (10) cents per bushel. More details on strike price intervals are outlined in Rule 10A01.E.

Contract Months/Symbols: March (H), May (K), July (N), September (U) & December (Z); a monthly (serial) option contract is listed when the front month is not a standard option contract. The monthly option contract exercises into the nearby futures contract. For example, an August option exercises into a September futures position.

Daily Price Limit $0.40 per bushel expandable to $0.60 when the market closes at limit bid or limit offer. There shall be no price limits on the last trading day.

Last Trade Date The last day of trading in any standard or serial option for expiry in a given month shall be the last Friday which precedes by at least two business days the last business day of the calendar month preceding such option’s named expiry month. If such Friday is not a business day, then the last day of trading in such option shall be the business day prior to such Friday.

Exercise The buyer of a futures option may exercise the option on any business day prior to expiration by giving notice to the Clearing House by 6:00 p.m. Chicago time. Option exercise results in an underlying futures market position. Options in-the-money on the last day of trading is automatically exercised.

Expiration Unexercised Corn futures options shall expire at 7:00 p.m. on the last day of trading.

Trading Hours CME Globex (Electronic Platform)

Sunday – Friday, 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 a.m. CT and
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. CT
Open Outcry (Trading Floor) Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. CT

Product Ticker Symbols CME Globex (Electronic Platform) OZC
C=Clearing
Open Outcry (Trading Floor) C

These contracts are listed with, and subject to, the rules and regulations of CBOT.

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