A situation in which there is a large difference in the spot price and the futures price for a commodity. This occurs when investors expect there to be a large shift in supply or demand between the present time and when the commodity is delivered under the futures contract. A wide basis should narrow as a futures contract comes closer to maturity; when this does not occur, arbitrage opportunities arise.
A market condition in which there is a relatively large difference between a spot price and futures prices for the same type of contract. Compare narrow basis.