Case Study of December 2014 ICE Cotton Futures and Options

The blue line shows the settlement price of Dec’14 cotton futures on the ICE. The scale of the futures price is on the left side of the chart, in cents per pound. The red line shows the premium associated with a $0.80 strike put option on Dec’14 futures. The scale of the options premium is on the right side of the chart, also in cents per pound.  The put option premium generally increases when Dec’14 futures are declining, and it gets cheaper when the futures price rises. During early 2014 the Dec’14 futures contract rose during the pre-plant period, which attracted more planted acreage, in addition to theoretically reducing the quantity of cotton demanded.  The result was a predictable slide in prices during the latter part of 2014.  The 80 cent put option, if purchased early for four to six cents, had premium values that more than doubled.

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