Gain direct exposure to the crude oil market using NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil futures, the world’s most liquid oil contract. WTI Crude Oil futures are the most efficient way to trade the light, sweet crude oil blend after a sharp rise in US crude oil production. Hedge to minimize the impact of potentially adverse price moves on the value of oil-related assets, or speculate to express your views on oil price movements.

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Features and benefits

Deep, liquid market

Nearly 1.2 million contracts trade daily, with 2 million+ in open interest.

Global benchmark

WTI is the go-to measure of world’s oil prices due to the rise in US production, Asian usage and liftoff of US export ban.

≥ 80% margin offsets

Trade with other NYMEX oil contracts for significant savings and precise exposure.

Physical settlement

NYMEX WTI is closely connected to the spot market, reducing costs. 

60/40 US tax treatment

Enjoy 60% long term, 40% short term treatment on capital gains.

Futures leverage

Control a large contract value with a small amount of capital. Used properly, futures are a powerful way to increase capital efficiency and exposure.

Explore this product in depth


UCO and UCOME Futures

To support the transition to a greener energy market for transportation fuels, CME Group’s NYMEX is now offering four futures contracts for Used Cooking Oil (UCO) and Used Cooking Oil Methyl Ester (UCOME).­

NYMEX WTI and the oil market ecosystem

Spread NYMEX WTI with other liquid NYMEX energy benchmarks to easily capture inherent price relationships, and get cross-margin savings, operational efficiencies and lower costs. 


Gasoline and diesel prices are impacted by crude oil price changes, and can be traded with this spread.

NYMEX WTI Crude and NYMEX Brent Oil

North Sea Brent is the second traded crude blend after WTI. Trade the spread between these two crudes at NYMEX for increased efficiency.

NYMEX WTI Crude and DME Oman Oil

Trade the relationship between light sweet (WTI) and “sour” crude (DME Oman crude), used primarily in Asia.

Compare NYMEX WTI futures vs. other oil and energy products

  • No management: fee Unlike ETFs, pay no management fee with NYMEX WTI futures
  • Trade around the clock: 24 hour-access means no waiting for the ETF open as market events (U.S. elections, weather events) that impact oil prices unfold
  • Unparalleled liquidity: Enjoy significantly more daily liquidity than founds with other oil instruments
  • Direct exposure: Many of today’s oil and energy index ETFs use NYMEX WTI futures to get their oil market exposure
  • No roll slippage: Avoid the costly loss of correlation to oil market that many oil ETFs exhibit near the futures roll 
  • Direct exposure: Easier to trade on oil price changes in futures vs. stocks
  • No uptick rule: Easily sell short with NYMEX WTI futures, no uptick rule or special requirements to worry about
  • Trade around the clock: Nearly 24-hour access enables you to react to off-hour news and events affecting the oil market
  • Margin efficiency: Basket of oil company stocks requires 50% margin paid upfront vs. 3%-12% margin of NYMEX WTI contract value, translating to greater buying power

Key economic reports and factors that move markets

Released on Wednesdays, EIA reports track US crude inventories levels stored for future use.

Released on Tuesdays, API reports track total US and regional inventories and refinery operations data.

When the 14 top exporting countries gather for OPEC meetings, the oil markets listen.

These reports track use vs. capacity for available oil refineries.

GDP reports track the health of the US economy, and in turn, consumer demand for gasoline.

Cheaper natural gas affects oil demand as a viable energy alternative.

Weather can impact major production sites and pipelines.

Events such as war, financial crises and elections can affect oil policy and costs.

Updates to policy can dramatically impact world oil supply—and in turn, prices.

Check out the "Learn about Key Economic Events" course and economic release calendar at the CME Institute to learn more.

View the latest insights on trends in the Energy market.


Take self-guided courses on Crude Oil futures and options products.

If you're new to futures, the courses below can help you quickly understand the Crude Oil market and start trading.

Contact an Energy expert

Connect with a member of our expert Energy team for more information about our products.


About Crude Oil

Trade NYMEX WTI Crude Oil futures (CL), the world’s most liquid crude oil contract. When traders need the current oil price, they check the WTI Crude Oil price. WTI (West Texas Intermediate, a US light sweet crude oil blend) futures provide direct crude oil exposure and are the most efficient way to trade oil after a sharp rise in US crude oil production.

Use WTI Crude Oil futures to hedge against adverse oil price moves or speculate on whether WTI oil prices will rise or fall. Our diverse WTI futures and options suite provides more flexibility to trade oil with WTI Crude Oil price discovery. View delayed WTI Oil prices and WTI Oil price charts below.

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