May 24, 2016

Basis

The difference between the current cash price and the futures price of the same commodity. The basis is determined by the costs of actually holding the commodity versus contracting to buy it for a later delivery (i.e. a futures contract). The basis is affected by other influences as well, such as unusual situations in supply or demand. Unless otherwise specified, the price of the nearby futures contract month is generally used to calculate the basis. (See Carrying Charge.)

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