Crude oil is the most actively traded commodity in the world – and the NYMEX contract for light sweet crude is the most liquid of all crude oil contracts.
Each crude oil contract represents 1,000 barrels. The e-mini contract represents 500 barrels and trades on the CME Globex electronic platform, but is cleared at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
1 barrel of oil contains 42 gallons and trades in US dollars per barrel. The minimum price increment (tick) is one cent and $0.01 is equal to $10 per contract.
NYMEX offers open outcry floor trading during regular daytime hours (10am to 2:30pm) and electronic web based trading after hours, which takes places on the NYMEX ACCESS internet based trading platform. After hours trading takes place between 3:15 pm – 9:30 am Monday through Thursday. Trading closes at 3:15 on Friday to resume at 7pm Sunday.
The margin requirement for non-members is $4,725 and maintenance margin is set at $3,500.
Contract settlement is physical and takes place at Cushing, Oklahoma.