CBOT Wheat


Established member
This is a brief summary of the reading I have been doing around the CBOT Wheat contracts. I’m not looking to trade them as yet and if I eventually do, it will be via D4F. I’d be interested in others comments, particularly in relation to anything vital that I may have missed :)

Background Information

There are six different classes of wheat: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, hard white, soft white and durum. The end products are determined by the wheat's characteristics, especially protein and gluten content. The harder the wheat, the higher the amount of protein in the flour. Soft, low protein wheats are used in cakes, pastries, biscuits, crackers and Oriental noodles. Hard, high protein wheats are used in breads and quick breads. Durum is used in pasta and egg noodles. Some types of wheat are also sold as animal feed. The wheat kernel, sometimes called the wheat berry, is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. More foods are made with wheat than any other cereal grain. New uses of wheat include cat litter, wheat concrete, biodegradable spoons and forks, dog treats, hand cleaners, soap, shampoo, and biodegradable plastic wrap. Wheat is the only grain with sufficient gluten content to make a raised or leavened loaf of bread. A family of four could live 10 years off the bread produced by one acre of wheat.

Ground grain ie flour was one of man's first processed foods. Ancient methods of grinding can be traced to the Far East, Egypt and Rome. As early as 6,700 B.C., man ground grains with rocks. The workers who built the pyramids in Egypt were paid in bread. Water mills did not appear until 85 B.C. in Asia Minor. Windmills appeared between 1180 and 1190 A.D. in Syria, France and England.
Wheat was first planted in the United States in 1777 as a hobby crop but is now grown in 42 states. Between 60 and 63 million acres of wheat are harvested each year in the US. If all the acres were side by side, the wheat fields would cover more than 100,000 square miles, an area 10 times the size of the state of Vermont, twice as big as all the New England States, or one-third the size of the state of Texas.

In 1917, the price of wheat in Reno County, Kansas, was $3.17 per bushel. The average price for wheat received by Kansas farmers in May 2002 was $2.61 per bushel. That’s what you call deflation :)

A chart of long term prices


Current Wheat Daily Price Chart


Details of the Futures Contract

Contract Size – 5000 bushels
Minimum tick - 0.25 cents per bushel
Tick value - $0.25 per bushel / $12.5 per contract

Margins - $725 per contract (day)
Trading hours – Chicago time, open outcry 9-30am 1-15pm. Traded on ACE 8-30pm – 6-00am Chicago time Sun-Friday. Contracts expire at noon on last trading day.
Contracts, March, May, July, September, December
Typical spread (near month)– $0.2

Typical price movement.

Varies a lot but seems to average around 5-6 points a day so not quite as placid as sugar but not as wild as oil.


Offered between 15-30 and 19-15 Monday to Friday.
Spread 3.0
£1 per 0.1 price movement.
Price charts on D4F are fairly reasonable.


Has good trends but can move very fast at times, you’d need to be near your PC.

Further Reading:


Adopt a Wheat Field! (And watch it grow in realtime!)


I have just subscribed to this board, so i have read your post long time after you published it.

I trade CBOT grains futures, mostly short term, even daytrades.

I wouldn't advise tradign Wheat, if you are a newcomer: better stay with Corn, as it has much higher liquidity and is far less volatile.

Otherwise trade Soybeans: higher liquidity, high volatility as well.

Also, I would not recommend spreadbetting: with futures you have a wider range of possible strategies, such as trading spreads, options, seasonal plays...

How wide is typically the bid/ask? With C, given the low volatility you can consider it close to nothing: otherwise 1/4. It is slightly higher in Soybeans, maybe up to 1/2.


Thanks for the response. I don't have the capital to put money into a futures account for commodities (I trade ESTX futures) so my only option is to SB them. D4F do offer both corn and soya and on your suggestion I'll check them them out thanks :)
The spread is 0.4 on the Sept corn contract and 1.8 on the Sept soya .