New York Mercantile Exchange NYMEX Commodity Futures

By the late 19th century there were about 1,600 marketplaces at ports and railroad stations. In 1872, a group of Manhattan dairy merchants got together and created the Butter and Cheese Exchange of New York. They were trying to bring order and standardization to the chaotic conditions that existed in their industry. Soon, egg trade became part of the business conducted on the exchange and the name was modified to the Butter, Cheese, and Egg Exchange.

  1. Under this type of setup, traders would meet on an open floor—or pit—and make exchanges with a system of shouting and elaborate gestures.
  2. Volume flexibility can be an advantage to end-users that do not have a predictable load or usage profile in advance.
  3. During the economic crisis of 2008, the NYMEX was acquired by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group as it became difficult for the exchange to survive commercially.
  4. The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is a commodity futures exchange located in Manhattan, New York City.
  5. For the broader financial market, the merger has provided market participants with a single platform for trading a wide range of derivatives, promoting market liquidity and efficiency.

Futures, options, energy and precious metals are popular means for hedging against risk. OPEC+ in November agreed to cut production by about 2.2 million barrels a day in the first quarter. The move has helped to support prices during an uncertain global economic outlook. Delivery has to be made and accepted at any pipeline or storage facility in Cushing with access to designated storage facilities.

Risks & Benefits

The Gulf Coast was the easiest, but the exchange also looked at California markets, but decided they wouldn’t work. Treat then started looking simultaneously at launching crude and later products options contracts. Under Treat’s leadership, NYMEX also began to research the potential for trading natural gas and electricity, but focused first on natural gas. Product quality of natural gas was not an issue in that market, but the delivery point was a more difficult choice. Non-commercial participants (managed money), include investors of different types, such as asset managers, hedge funds, and algorithmic traders.

Basis is inclusive of delivery charges, delivery taxes, fuel and supplier margin and continually fluctuates with supply and demand dynamics in the area. Similarly, the prices of agricultural futures contracts can signal future food prices, affecting consumer spending and inflation expectations. First, the prices discovered on NYMEX are used as global benchmarks for various commodities, influencing prices in other commodity markets worldwide. These contracts enable producers, consumers, and speculators to manage price risks, gain exposure to commodities markets, and profit from price changes. By September 2007, the electronic volume on the CME Globex trading platform totaled 770,000 daily contracts, a 178% increase over the September 2006 CME Globex volume. In December 2016, the NYMEX shut down its open outcry trading floor in lower Manhattan, completely embracing electronic trading.

Finally, the economic data generated by NYMEX trading activities is used by market participants and policymakers globally to assess economic trends and inform financial decisions. These prices serve as a global benchmark for commodities trading and are used by businesses, governments, and investors worldwide. Companies that trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange need to employ their own independent brokers, who are sent to the trading floor. The exchange’s employees record only the transactions, and they do not facilitate the actual trades. In September 2006, the NYMEX teamed up with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and started using the CME’s Globex electronic trading platform. As a result, many floor traders’ jobs were eliminated, as banks, hedge funds, and oil companies started trading electronically.

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NYMEX provides a marketplace for various financial instruments, primarily futures and options contracts on a wide range of commodities. J.R. Simplot, the Idaho potato magnate, shorted potato futures in large numbers, leaving a large number of contracts pending at the expiration date and resulting in many defaulted delivery contracts. After a public outcry and public hearings by the newly created Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the NYMEX was barred from trading in potatoes or any new commodities not previously traded on the exchange. The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is a commodity futures exchange located in Manhattan, New York City. The NYMEX maintains offices in other U.S. cities, such as Boston, Washington DC, and San Francisco. The New York Mercantile Exchange is one of four exchanges owned and managed by the CME Group.

These standards include contract specifications such as the quantity, quality, and delivery terms of the underlying commodity or financial instrument. Additionally, the data generated by NYMEX is used by governments, economists, and investors to track global economic trends and inform policy decisions. The exchange’s influence on global commodity prices and economic indicators highlights its central role in financial markets. Bids and offers are made in the open market, giving participants a chance to compete for the best prices.

As one of the world’s leading commodities exchanges, NYMEX plays a pivotal role in global commodities trading. Its futures and options contracts provide a standardized, transparent, and liquid icebreakers for virtual meetings market for trading a wide range of commodities. NYMEX is a key player in global financial markets due to its role in facilitating the trading of commodities futures and options contracts.

When you speak to one of our experts, you may be qualified to sample our industry-leading products on a no-cost basis. When storage approaches operational capacity, onshore storage fills first because it is cheaper. Floating storage is the last to fill as it’s more expensive and would hypothetically be the last available option to store Brent crude. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. To achieve economies of scale, and the opportunity to leverage synergies between the two exchanges’ complementary product offerings.

NYMEX vs. Index Natural Gas Contracts and Why It Matters

Treat collaborated with Michael Marks, the new NYMEX chairman, and economist Arnold Safer to strategize on how to acquire the heating oil futures contracts that had just been deregulated by the government. The NYMEX became the first commodity exchange to offer heating oil futures trading in 1978, targeting small-scale suppliers from the northern US. The NYMEX has been using Henry Hub, owned by Sabine Pipeline Company, as the delivery point on its contracts since 1990. Through the use of a pricing differential, NYMEX traders use Henry Hub to arrive at a settlement price for natural gas each month.


On contract expiry, a participant who has an open long position must accept delivery of physical WTI crude. Similarly, a participant who has an open short position must make delivery of physical WTI crude. While there is more risk entering into an Index deal, an end-user could have benefited greatly while supply was captive and the market was depressed. However, In the Northeast U.S., where pipeline constraints are prevalent and there is not enough supply to meet regional demand in the winter, pricing could increase by 100 percent or more.

As a result, the Dominion monthly Index and forward Basis both decreased substantially. The market adjusted to alleviate the supply glut with the approval of a new pipeline, Rover, which would move gas out of the region to higher demand areas. Regulations also require NYMEX to maintain adequate financial resources, implement risk management practices, and provide fair and transparent markets.

But by 1978, the NYMEX had successfully ventured into trading heating oil, crude oil, gasoline and natural gas. In a “contango” market (front-month discount vs. forward month premium), the roll yield is negative, because the participant has to sell at a lower price and buy at a higher price — losing money every time that happens. In a “backwardated” market (front-month premium vs. forward month discount), the roll yield is positive, because the participant has to sell at a higher price and buy at a lower price — making money every time that happens. When the market is oversupplied relative to demand (as it is currently), the forward curve is usually in contango; when the market is undersupplied relative to demand, the forward curve is usually in backwardation.

How the NYMEX WTI futures contract works

Treat, with Board Chairman Marks and the support of the rest of the NYMEX board, eventually chose West Texas Intermediate (WTI) as the traded product and Cushing, Oklahoma, as the delivery point. Robin Woodhead, who later became the first chairman of the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) in London started an active dialogue with Treat about whether they could start a Brent Crude oil contracts. Shortly thereafter, after substantial conversations, The IPE was formally launched and started trading Brent. Treat and his research staff then began looking for other oil products to trade. Gasoline was clearly next on the product list but there was a lot of debate about where the delivery point should be.

However, this was little known until the 1970s, when the big potato scandal happened. Commodity exchange markets started in the 19th century when farmers and businessmen formed forums to make it easier to buy and sell commodities. The NYMEX started when a group of butter and cheese farmers formed the Butter and Cheese Exchange of New York in 1872. CME is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and trades similarly to the NYMEX, that is to say, that it trades in commodities and futures and includes energy, metals, etc. CBOT is the Chicago Board of Trade and while it is now under the CME umbrella, before the merger in 2006 the CBOT used vastly different rules, regulations, trading engines, and traded with different offerings. As the largest exchange specialising in physical commodities in the world, you’ll often hear it mentioned in discussions about hedging, a process investors use to manage risk.