NYMEX WTI Light Sweet Crude Oil futures (ticker symbol CL), the world’s most liquid and actively traded crude oil contract, is the most efficient way to trade today’s global oil markets.
NYMEX WTI trades nearly 1.2 million contracts a day, with each contract equal to 1,000 barrels and valued at roughly $44,740.* The contract trades in increments of one cent per barrel.
Priced out of Cushing, Oklahoma, NYMEX WTI also has deep ties to energy markets worldwide.
*Data as of June 28, 2017
WTI (West Texas Intermediate) is a light, sweet crude oil blend. ‘Light’ refers to its low density and sulfur content, ideal for conversion to gasoline and diesel fuel. The contract’s ticker symbol, CL, refers to “Crude Light.”
|Contract Size||1,000 barrels|
|Minimum Tick||$0.01 per barrel|
|Dollar Value of One Tick||$10 U.S. Dollars|
|Trading Hours||Sunday - Friday 5:00pm - 4:00pm CT with a 60-minute break each day at 4:00pm CT|
|Trading Venue||CME offers electronic trading almost 24 hours /6 days a week|
|Options Available||Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly|
Crude oil markets offer opportunities in nearly all market conditions but can be highly volatile. Several factors impact prices, directly (pipeline changes) or on a macroeconomic level (i.e., economic health, weather), making price risk management is critical.
NYMEX WTI futures offer direct exposure to the oil market, a key advantage over other ways to trade, whether you’re looking to hedge risk or speculate on where oil prices are headed.
Hedgers use NYMEX WTI futures to minimize the impact of potentially adverse price moves on the value of their oil-related assets. This includes a broad cross-section of energy companies, such as oil exploration and production companies, refiners, distributors, and import/export firms.
Speculators use NYMEX WTI futures to express and seek to profit on their views of direction of oil prices, and include many firms and individuals.
Deep, liquid market
Nearly 1.2 million contracts trade daily, with 2 million+ in open interest
WTI is the go-to measure of world’s oil prices due to the rise in U.S. production, Asian usage and liftoff of U.S. export ban
Control a large contract value with a small amount of capital. Used properly, it’s a powerful way to increase capital efficiency and exposure.
Safety and security
Central clearing helps mitigate counterparty credit risk
60/40 U.S. tax treatment
Enjoy 60% long term, 40% short term treatment on capital gains
Nearly 24-hour electronic access
Manage positions around the clock and react as global events occur
Trade using the CLOB, blocks, cleared-only transactions and EFRPs
≥ 80% margin offsets
Trade with other NYMEX oil contracts for significant savings and precise exposure
NYMEX WTI is closely connected to the spot market, reducing costs
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.
Crude oil costs represent +account for +56%* of the +average +price of a gallon of heating oil – trade -it -+this relationship +with this spread.
North Sea Brent is the second traded crude blend after WTI. Trade the spread between these two crudes at NYMEX for increased efficiency.
EIA weekly reports (Wednesdays) - track U.S. crude inventories levels stored for future use
API weekly reports (Tuesdays) - track total U.S. and regional inventories and refinery operations data
OPEC meetings of 14 top exporting countries - when OPEC talks, the oil markets listen
Refinery capacity reports - track use vs. capacity for available oil refineries
GDP reports - track health of the U.S. economy and in turn, consumer demand for gasoline
Natural gas inventory reports – cheaper nat gas affects oil demand as a viable energy alternative
Weather events – can impact major production sites and pipelines
World events –war, financial crises elections and more can affect oil policy and cost of oil
Import/export policy changes – can dramatically impact world oil supply and, in turn, prices
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