FX Futures and Options Block and EFRP Quick Reference Guide

  • 19 Feb 2021
  • By CME Group

Table of Contents

Block trades

What is block trading?

Block trading is a way of executing larger-sized futures and options transactions in an efficient and compliant manner.

Block trades are privately negotiated transactions executed away from the competitive venues with specific participation, pricing and reporting requirements as described in Rule 526 and the associated Market Regulation Advisory Notice on block trades. Participation in block trades is restricted to Eligible Contract Participants as defined in the Commodity Exchange Act. 

Block trades are permitted in specified products and are subject to minimum transaction size requirements which vary according to the product, the type of transaction and the time of execution. Block trades may be executed at any time at a fair and reasonable price.

Watch a video on block trades

Features of block trades

  • Block trades offer the convenience of privately negotiating a trade with a selected eligible counterparty.
  • Block trades offer the ability to execute a large transaction at a fair and reasonable single price.
  • Blocks are designed to meet institutional trading needs.
  • Block trades offer market participants the convenience of discussing a transaction before execution.
  • Block trades offer the security of a trade cleared by CME Clearing.

FX block minimum price increments

Price granularity for block trades in certain FX futures contracts has been reduced. The minimum price increments for FX blocks can be found here.

FX block thresholds

Block trades are subject to a minimum transaction size requirement. You can view block minimum thresholds by product here.

You can view also view block minimum thresholds by product by downloading an Excel file.

Download file

FX block reporting requirements

Block trades must be submitted to the exchange via CME Direct or CME ClearPort. 

Block trades have specific requirements with respect to how quicky they need to be reported to the exchange following the trade being executed. The complete list of block trade reporting time requirements can be found here. For all FX products, block trades must be reported to the exchange within 15 minutes of execution.

Block reporting through CME Direct

CME Direct provides direct entry into CME ClearPort.

Use CME Direct to instantly process voice-negotiated blocks. Brokers using CME Direct can efficiently open a CME Direct trade ticket, populate the details of a block trade, and submit the deal directly for clearing. Get started here.

CME Direct block trade features:

  • Fast booking - immediately submit block trades or EFRPs within the required reporting window
  • Pre-confirmation window for trading entry - including CME ClearPort validation checks
  • Real-time block ticker - view customizable block data feeds displaying all block trades in real-time

Learn more about registering for access to CME Direct or CME ClearPort.

Block market makers

Fees for block trades

View full fee schedule

For those who use give-ups, the surcharge for FX option blocks has been waived for 2021.

Trade FX options at CME Group with 50% fee reduction on all large trades, defined by being at the block size or above. View details.

Activity in blocks

View block trades on:

  • CME Direct, which offers a live block trade window
  • CME Group App, available through iTunes
  • CME Group website, at cmegroup.com/blocktrading

Get historical block trade data here.

Subscribe to QuikStrike Block Trade alert emails here.

For more information on FX blocks

For more information on FX block trades, see the overview.

Regulatory guidance on CME Group block trade rules can be found here.

Exchange for Related Positions (EFRPs)

What are EFRP Trades?

An EFRP transaction is a mechanism that enables a futures or options contract to be traded in combination with a related financial instrument. An EFRP transaction involves the off-exchange execution of an Exchange futures or options on futures contract and, on the opposite side of the market, the simultaneous execution of an equivalent quantity of the cash product, by-product, related product or OTC derivative instrument corresponding to the asset underlying the Exchange contract. More details can be found in the Market Regulation Advisory Notice on EFRPs.

Watch a video on EFRP trades

Features of EFRPs

  • An EFRP is convenient mechanism to transaction futures and options in combination with related products in a compliant manner.
  • Transactions are arranged off-exchange so that the same counterparties are involved in each of the trade.
  • An EFRP enables the parties to the futures transaction to choose their respective counterparties to reduce the risk of counterparty nonperformance and manage their risk with CME Clearing.
  • EFRPs can reduce or eliminate basis exposure or uncertainty with respect to contract delivery date, deliverable grades and qualities, or delivery locations.

FX EFRP minimum price increments

Price granularity for EFRP transactions in certain FX futures contracts has been reduced. The minimum price increments for FX EFRPs can be found here.

FX EFRP submission requirements

EFRP transactions must be submitted to the Exchange as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the business day on which the EFRP was executed.

EFRPs must be submitted via CME Direct or CME ClearPort. Information on the various methods of registration for access to CME Direct or CME ClearPort may be via the following links:

Fees for EFRP trades

Activity in EFRPs

EFRP volumes are reported daily, by instrument, on the CME Group website.

For more information on FX EFRPs, see the overview.

About CME Group

As the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, CME Group is where the world comes to manage risk. Comprised of four exchanges - CME, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX - we offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes, helping businesses everywhere mitigate the myriad of risks they face in today's uncertain global economy.

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