CME Group will launch the product for trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort on December 7, 2020 pending all regulatory approvals.
NQH2O futures are financially settled contracts based on the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index.
California is the largest water market in the US. The value and volume of water traded in California is four times that of any other state. To date, market participants haven’t had a viable product to manage the price risk associated with the scarcity of this vital resource. CME hopes that by introducing a futures contract that settles to an index tracking the price of water in California, participants in this important market will be able to efficiently hedge their exposure.
Nasdaq and Veles Water have partnered with WestWater Research, LLC, the leading economic and financial consulting firm in water trading, to develop the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index.
This index was launched by Nasdaq in October 2018 and tracks the price of water rights transactions (leases and sales) across the five largest and most actively traded regions in the state of California, including surface water and four adjudicated groundwater basins. NQH2O utilizes WestWater’s WaterlitixTM database as the source for the underlying data.
NQH2O is priced in US dollars per acre foot. An acre foot is the volume of water required to cover one acre of land (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot, which is equivalent to 325,851 gallons.
The value of the index reflects the volume-weighted average price of water, at the source, excluding conveyance costs and losses in the underlying markets after adjusting for idiosyncratic pricing factors specific to each of the eligible markets and transaction types.
The index is calculated and disseminated once per week and published every Wednesday morning at approximately 8:30am Central Time (CT). It represents the water leases and sales transactions, in the covered regions, that occurred Monday through Friday of the prior week.
To learn more about the index, please go to https://indexes.nasdaqomx.com/Index/Overview/NQH2O.
To view and download historical data for the index, please go to https://www.nasdaq.com/market-activity/index/nqh2o/historical.
NQH2O futures will be listed on the CME DCM.
|Contract unit||10 acre feet x NQH2O Index|
|Price Quotation||US dollars per acre foot|
|Minimum price fluctuation||Outrights: $1.00 per acre foot equal to $10.00 per contract
Calendar spreads: $0.25 per acre foot equal to $2.50 per contract
||Eight consecutive quarterly contracts (Mar, Jun, Sept, Dec) plus nearest two serial months|
|Settlement method||Financially settled|
|Block trade minimum threshold||25 contracts|
|Last trading day||Business day prior to final settlement day|
|Final settlement day||Third Wednesday of the contract month if a CME business day, otherwise the next business day|
Subject to regulatory approval.
CME Group staff determines the daily settlements for NQH2O futures based on trading activity on CME Globex between 2:55:00 p.m. and 3:00:00 p.m. Central Time (CT), the settlement period, as follows:
The final settlement price is the value of the NQH2O Index, rounded to the nearest $0.01 per acre foot, on the third Wednesday of the contract month (final settlement day).
In the event that the NQH2O Index is not publishable or published on the final settlement day, and therefore, CME cannot determine the NQH2O final settlement price, then final settlement of the CME NQH2O futures contract is at the discretion of the Exchange and may be deferred or postponed for up to 14 consecutive calendar days.
CME will list eight consecutive quarterly contracts in the March Quarterly Cycle (Mar, Jun, Sep, Dec) along with the two nearest serial months.
Globex: Sunday - Friday 5:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. CT with a 60-minute break each day beginning at 4:00 p.m.
ClearPort: Sunday 5:00 p.m. - Friday 5:45 p.m. CT with a 15-minute maintenance window Monday - Thursday from 5:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT
Yes, the contract is block trade eligible subject to Rule 526. The minimum block threshold level is 25 contracts.
Yes, EFP/EFRP transactions are allowed subject to Rule 538.
The contracts are not eligible for BTIC or TAS transactions.
Early estimates for the indicative margin of the Nasdaq Water futures contract is around 10% of the notional price of the contract. This is subject to change prior to launch.
Margin credits are based on current market conditions and, thus, are subject to change.
Learn More about margins:
CME Group plans to introduce a market maker program to assure continuous two-sided markets are quoted on-screen throughout the trading day to provide CME Globex liquidity.
Delayed quotes will be available online on the CME Group website. You can also access quotes through major quote vendors.
Initially, only NQH2O futures will be available for tradingand clearing.
In order to trade NQH2O futures you need to have an active account with a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM). Visit https://www.cmegroup.com/tools-information/find-a-broker.html for a list of registered futures brokers.
To access CME Globex, you must have a relationship with a CME Clearing Member Firm.
Visit cmegroup.com/water for the latest information. You can fill out the form on this page to stay informed of NQH2O product updates.
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