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Grain Spreads: Rolling

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The Goldman Roll seemed to be in full effect today as many sectors saw some covering and roll particularly in livestock as both Feeder Cattle and Hogs finished limit up. Grain spreads that have been beaten down like KC wheat vs Chicago wheat rallied and potentially may have seen a bottom as Sep KC rallied 6.6 cents vs Sep Chicago. Dec Corn (CZ) continues to tighten vs Chicago wheat. Dec (WZ) traded over 1.10 over Chicago Corn (CZ) on June 28th, today it settled at 74 over. Outright beans finished 6 cents higher while outright corn finished 6 cents lower. In my view there was some roll today out of long corn and short bean positions with beans and then meal being the beneficiaries of the roll. Yet Nov 19 beans fell vs Nov 20 beans losing 1.4 cents on the day. This tells me we may have saw some rolling today in the soy complex. The spreads lost while the complex rallied. Is this a clue or will the spreads play catch up tomorrow and go bid? (Chart below on the Nov 19/Nov20). If beans are going to move higher, look to buy Nov 19 beans vs Nov 20 at a 44 cent carry. Stop loss at 52 under, risking 8 cents. Objective to 22 cents Nov 19 under that is one profit objective.

Kc Sep wheat may have found a near term bottom vs the Chicago contract as winter wheat harvest advances and the crops become a known in the market. Weather int he soft red areas seems to have improved enough to potentially send basis lower. In fact Kc wheat is almost cheaper than corn in our view and at the end of the day if you have no demand for any of it, Im not sure how and why Chicago, wheat, the low protein variety, would continue to carry a 60 to 70 percent premium over KC at this juncture. Again my opinion, but it maybe worth a shot. Look to buy Sep KC wheat (KEU) vs SEP Chicago (ZWU) at 64 cents with a stop at 72 cents. Risk eight cents upon entry with a profit objective to 46 cents KC under.

What worries me with corn is that everyone seems to be thinking the same way and that's higher. Sometimes that's the recipe for disaster. We have our July WASDE report out Thursday at 11 am. Given the major bearish surprise from the quarterly report on June 28th that has been supposedly thrown out due to the bogus acreage number, who knows how they will see ending stocks. The average trade guess for 19/20 corn ending stocks on the report is at 1.692 million bushels with a range of (1.45 to 1.97). The average trade guess is up very slightly from last month at 1.675. If one is looking for a static bullish position in corn, I would consider this type of strategy utilizing December 19 options. Buy the DEC 19 450/500 call spread for 11 cents. Sell the 420/400 put spread for 9 cents. Cost to entry is 2 cents plus commissions and fees. Risk is 20 cents at expiration if Dec corn settles down below 4.00 on (11/22). Max profit is 50 cents if we settle over 5.00. If we have issues with weather later in the growing season or at harvest, I think corn has a better chance of trading near 5.00 rather than retest 4.00. My opinion.

Call or email me with questions. I can be reached at 888 391 7894 or Also please join me this Thursday at 3 pm Central for a grain and livestock webinar. We discuss supply, demand, weather, and the charts along with hedge and speculative ideas. Sign Up Now

Sean Lusk

Director Commercial Hedging Division

Walsh Trading

312 957 8103

888 391 7894 toll free

312 256 0109 fax

Walsh Trading

53 W Jackson Suite 750

Chicago, Il 60604

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About the author

Sean Lusk is a registered commodity broker and Director of the Commercial Hedging Division of Walsh Trading in Chicago. Sean began in the business as a runner on the trading floor during summer breaks from college in 1993. Upon his graduation from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1996, Sean began his career on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Overseeing billions of dollars of transactions working as a clerk in the Eurodollar pit, Sean took the next step and became a floor broker and member of the CME in 2003. He handled customer orders for banks and investment houses from all over the world from inside the Libor pit at the CME.

Now, at Walsh Trading, Sean utilizes his experience in the marketplace and his professional client service skills to aid and assist customers in their trading endeavors.  

He writes daily and weekly commentaries focusing on both the Precious Metals and Agricultural Markets along with related market activity.

Sean has been quoted in various media outlets discussing futures markets. 

These include:


  • Futures Magazine
  • Reuters
  • Forbes
  • Kitco
  • Nikkei Press


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