If you are interested in trading Crude Oil futures it is helpful to become familiar with the history of the Crude Oil
market. Crude oil is the world's most actively traded commodity, and the NYMEX Division light, sweet crude oil futures
contract is the world's most liquid forum for crude oil trading, as well as the world's largest-volume futures contract trading
on a physical commodity. Because of its excellent liquidity and price transparency, the contract is used as a principal international
pricing benchmark. Additional risk management and trading opportunities are offered through options on the futures
contract; calendar spread options; crack spread options on the pricing differential of heating oil futures and crude oil futures
and gasoline futures and crude oil futures; and average price options.
The contract trades in units of 1,000 barrels,
and the delivery point is Cushing, Oklahoma, which is also accessible to the international spot markets via pipelines. The
contract provides for delivery of several grades of domestic and internationally traded foreign crudes, and serves the diverse
needs of the physical market.
A penultimate, financially settled crude oil (WS) contract is available for trading
on the CME Globex® platform. The contract is listed for 72 months.
Light, sweet crudes are preferred by refiners
because of their low sulfur content and relatively high yields of high-value products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, heating
oil, and jet fuel.
The NYMEX miNY™ crude oil futures contract, designed for investment portfolios, is the
equivalent of 500 barrels of crude, 50% of the size of a standard futures contract. The contract is available for trading
on the CME Globex® electronic trading platform and clears through the New York Mercantile Exchange clearinghouse.
The Exchange also lists for trading electronically a financially settled futures contract for Dubai crude oil; a futures
contract on the differential between the light, sweet crude oil futures contract and Canadian Bow River crude at Hardisty,
Alberta; and futures contracts on the differentials of the light, sweet crude oil futures contract and four domestic grades
of crude oil: Light Louisiana Sweet, West Texas Intermediate-Midland, West Texas Sour, and Mars Blend.
blend futures contract is based on a light, sweet North Sea crude oil that serves as a benchmark grade and widely trades as
a differential to the NYMEX Division's bellwether light, sweet crude oil futures contract. Most of the crude oil is refined
in Northwest Europe, but significant volumes move to the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts. Complementing the Brent crude oil futures
contract are an options contract, calendar spread options contracts, and an options contract on the Brent/West Texas Intermediate
crude oil spread.