Option valuation is not as
straightforward as futures valuation. Option premium is comprised of intrinsic value and extrinsic value.
An option has intrinsic value if the market is trading above the strike price
of a call option, or below the strike price of a put option. If a option contract has intrinsic value it is called “in
the money.” If a option contact does not have intrinsic value it is called “out of the money.”
corn is trading at $4.50 a $4.20 call option is $.30 in the money so the intrinsic value of the option is $1,500.
The extrinsic value of the option is its “time value.” Extrinsic
value takes into account the possibility that an option may go in the money by expiration. The more time that a option has
the more extrinsic value it has. As a option approaches it expiration date is looses value. This is called time decay. At
expiration a option has no extrinsic value so if the option is out of the money it expires worthless.
Corn option prices do not move in tandem with futures prices. A $.01 move in your favor in the corn
futures markets does not necessarily equal to a $.01 increase in the corn option value. The amount that a option value will
increase based upon a increase in its futures price is called its delta. Call option deltas are measures from 0 to 1. As a
option goes from “out of the money” to “in the money” its delta increases.
If a corn
call option has a delta of .5 and the price of the corn futures market increases by $.01 the value of the option will increase
by $.005 or $25.