CME Aluminum is a global, physically deliverable futures contract that allows for the making or taking of delivery of the underlying metal for which it’s priced. Details of the contract, warehousing network and delivery process can sometimes be overwhelming. Knowing some of the key attributes to aluminum delivery can make the process easier to understand.

CME Aluminum Futures Contract

  • Contact Size: 25 metric tons
  • Price Quotation: U.S. dollars and cents per metric ton
  • Minimum Price Fluctuation: $0.25 per metric ton = $6.25
  • Termination of Trading: Third last business day of the contract month    

Eligible metal

  • Metal eligible for delivery must be Primary aluminum meeting all the requirements of P1020A in the North American and International Registration Record entitled “International Designation and Chemical Composition Limits for Unalloyed Aluminum” (revised March 2007), or its latest revision
  • One (1) contract of aluminum (25 mts) offered for physical delivery against the futures contract must consist of a single brand of an Exchange approved refiner and shall consist of one shape (T-bars, Sows, Ingots as specified by brand)
  • Aluminum may only be delivered from an Exchange approved facility

Approved aluminum brands and service providers

CME Group approved aluminum brands, warehouses, weighmasters, assayers and maximum allowable fees, which can be found on the Service Providers spreadsheet.

Warehousing network

  • Exchange approved warehouses must offer designated indoor, outdoor, or both indoor and outdoor fully secured storage facilities for the storage of aluminum
  • The warehouse regular for delivery of aluminum must have direct unobstructed access for loading to truck and/or rail
  • Aluminum futures is a duty unpaid contract; eligible aluminum shall be either duty paid or duty unpaid
  • Aluminum warehouses can be located in the Continental United States, the European Union and/or Asia
  • CME Group does not generate any revenue from the storage fees paid to the approved warehouses

As of January 2024, CME Group approved warehouses for the storage of aluminum located in 11 locations and consist of 27 approved warehouses.

U.S. (4)

  • New Orleans, LA
  • Toledo, OH
  • Owensboro, KY

EMEA (6)

  • Antwerp, Belgium
  • Bilbao, Spain
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands

APAC (17)

  • Johor, Malaysia
  • Port Klang, Malaysia
  • Gwangyang, Republic of Korea
  • Busan, Republic of Korea
  • Singapore, Republic of Singapore

Minimum load out requirements

Approved warehouses are required to ship out aluminum at a minimum guaranteed daily load out rate of 2% of total inventory, with a minimum daily load out rate of 1,000 metric tons, for each business day (via primary conveyance) for aluminum.

Storage costs

  • Storage costs for aluminum determined to be eligible is paid to the warehouse directly by the owner of the metal
  • Storage costs for aluminum determined to be eligible or warranted mid-month is paid to the warehouse directly by the owner of the metal; only at month end is storage for warranted aluminum paid via DPlus for the following month
  • Storage costs for aluminum on warrant (registered) storage is paid through the Exchange’s Deliveries Plus (DPlus) system;  CME Clearing, through DPlus, debits the account of the clearing member on behalf of the customer for the storage charge for the following month and pays directly to the warehouse
  • If the warrant is transferred, the previous owner’s account is reimbursed for prepaid storage fees and the new owner’s account is debited
  • If the warrant is cancelled for load out, prepaid storage is not reimbursed

Aluminum delivery process

Delivery of aluminum against the CME Aluminum contract is dictated by the short position holder and can occur on any business day within the contract month.

The CME Aluminum delivery process is a three-day process consisting of an Intent Day, Notice Day and Delivery Day.

  • Intent Day
    • Intent Day can occur on any Exchange business day between and including the first Intent Day and the last Intent Day
      • First Intent Day is two Exchange business days prior to the first business day of the contract month.
      • Last Intent Day is one Exchange business day prior to the last Exchange business day of the contract month
    • Seller of the futures contract provides formal notice of intention to deliver to the clearinghouse
    • Settlement price at the close of business on Intent Day shall be the basis for delivery
    • Note that on the last Intent Day, the delivery cycle becomes a two-day cycle whereby intent and invoice are on the same day and delivery and payment are on the next day
  • Notice Day/Invoice Day
    • Clearinghouse assigns the obligation to take delivery to a holder of a long futures contract
    • Invoice shall specify the brand, warrant number, weight, facility in which the metal is stored, name of the short clearing member, name of the long clearing member and the price of the metal for each corresponding warrant
  • Delivery Day
    • Can be any Exchange business day during the contract month
    • Long clearing member takes possession of the metal
    • Delivery payment is debited or credited to the clearing firm’s settlement account
    • Any storage prepaid by the short clearing member (not to exceed 30 days) shall be refunded by the long clearing member to the short clearing member


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