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Role of delivery options in basis convergence

Jana Hranaiova and William G. Tomek

Journal of Futures Markets, 2002, vol. 22, issue 8, 783-809

Abstract: The corn futures contract, traded on the Chicago Board of Trade, provides sellers with delivery options about the timing of delivery, the location of delivery, and the grade to be delivered. These options presumably have values that can vary from one delivery month to the next. The joint values of the timing and location options are estimated for each delivery month for the years 1989 through 1997. These estimates are then used in regression models to determine the degree to which they influence basis variability on the first day of the maturity month. Econometric models are also developed to see if the estimated implicit options values are useful in improving the forecasts of basis convergence over the 2‐month period prior to maturity. The results suggested that variation in the delivery options values in the corn futures contract does indeed help explain basis variability on the first day of maturity. An option‐value variable, based on estimated values two months prior to maturity, resulted in occasional, small improvements (from a statistical point of view) in the precision of forecasts. The existence of delivery options increases basis variability at maturity, but it is difficult to use this information to improve forecasts of basis convergence. One limitation of the analysis is that the Chicago cash market had few transactions per day during the sample period, and hence the reported spot prices may be inadequate for making high‐quality estimates of the options values. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 22:783–809, 2002

Date: 2002
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