Long Hedge

What is a 'Long Hedge'

A long hedge is a situation where an investor has to take a long position in futures contracts in order to hedge against future price volatility. A long hedge is beneficial for a company that knows it has to purchase an asset in the future and wants to lock in the purchase price. A long hedge can also be used to hedge against a short position that has already been taken by the investor.


For example, assume it is January and an aluminum manufacturer needs 25,000 pounds of copper to manufacture aluminum and fulfill a contract in May. The current spot price is $1.50 per pound, but the May futures price is $1.40 per pound. In January the aluminum manufacturer would take a long position in 1 May futures contract on copper. This locks in the price the manufacturer will pay.

If in May the spot price of copper is $1.45 per pound the manufacturer has benefited from taking the long position, because the hedger is actually paying $0.05/pound of copper compared to the current market price. However if the price of copper was anywhere below $1.40 per pound the manufacturer would be in a worse position than where they would have been if they did not enter into the futures contract.