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Commodity and short-term options take the spotlight in Q1 record-breaking volume

Performance across the entire options product suite saw record-breaking volumes in Q1 2024. The new record of 5.9M ADV beat the previous record set in Q2 2023 by 1.5%. Particularly strong options trading came from the Commodities segment with Q1 2024 coming in at 845K ADV, up 12% from the previous record set in Q1 2023. Weekly options also hit a new record at 20K ADV, up from 19K ADV in Q4 2023.

Short-term options on Commodity products gain significant popularity

Traders are finding short-term options to be low cost and versatile tools to insulate their portfolios from specific types of risk inherently embedded in commodity prices. WTI Weekly options have become one of the fastest-growing Energy products at CME Group. Agricultural Short-Dated New Crop options saw ADV of 10,839 and OI of 121,806. Metal Weekly options hit a new record quarter at 20K ADV, compared to the previous record/quarter (Q4 2023) at 19K ADV.

Short-term WTI Crude Oil options see long-term growth

WTI Crude Oil Weekly options volumes continue to set new records with 18K contracts trading daily and participation up 10% compared to 2023.  

WTI Weekly options have Monday, Wednesday and Friday expirations, providing precision when hedging OPEC+ meetings, weekly EIA Petroleum Status Reports, cargo loading windows and weekend risk. This year, time-spread strategies across Monday, Wednesday and Friday Weekly options have been one of the fastest-growing trade types.

Capacity cuts heat up the Copper market bringing new highs

Supply risks in the Copper market drove a rally in prices and Copper options volume in Q1. Over 54K contracts traded in a single day on March 13, beating the previous record of 25K contracts set in 2021. Average daily volume YTD is currently 9.8K contracts, up 18% compared to 2023.

Open interest has steadily been climbing throughout March, peaking at 214K contracts on April 5. COMEX offers best-in-class screen liquidity for Copper options, and remains the venue of choice for investors and funds to gain exposure to Copper. Take a closer look at Copper options today.

Outside of short-dated contracts, Agriculture options are on the rise in 2024

Agricultural options closed Q1 with the best quarter ever, averaging over 337K contracts per day. Continuing growth in volume and open interest can be seen across a number of Agricultural options products such as Soybeans (99,557 ADV, Soybean Meal with OI of 255,803) and Livestock (Live Cattle with ADV of 24,611 and Feeder Cattle with OI of 80,064).

More liquidity, new trading records in Equity Index options

Equity Index options liquidity continued to deepen and achieved several record highs in the run up to the March expiry. YTD ADV reached over 1.7M contracts, up 28% vs. Q1 2023. Traders continued to embrace the around-the-clock liquidity and flexibility of the suite.

  • E-mini S&P options ADV reached record levels of over 1.5M contracts (+26% vs Q1 2023). 
  • E-mini Nasdaq-100 options drove the overall growth Equity options suite with ADV surpassing 82K contracts in Q1 (+60% vs Q1 2023). The contract achieved a single-day volume record of 135,855 on January 19.

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All examples in this report are hypothetical interpretations of situations and are used for explanation purposes only. The views in this report reflect solely those of the author and not necessarily those of CME Group or its affiliated institutions. This report and the information herein should not be considered investment advice or the results of actual market experience.

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