WTI Crude Oil Contract Specs: Understanding the Basics
If you are an investor or trader, it`s crucial to know the ins and outs of the WTI crude oil contract specs. WTI stands for West Texas Intermediate and refers to the benchmark for oil prices in North America. Understanding the basic details of the WTI crude oil contract can help you make informed decisions when investing in crude oil futures.
The WTI crude oil contract is traded on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) and the contract size is 1,000 barrels of crude oil. This means that each contract represents 1,000 barrels of crude oil.
WTI crude oil futures contracts trade for 24 months. The contract months are the months in which the futures contract will expire. Trading in the current month and the next 11 consecutive months is available.
WTI crude oil futures trade on the NYMEX from Sunday to Friday, from 6:00 pm ET to 5:00 pm ET the following day, with a one-hour break from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.
WTI crude oil futures are priced in U.S. dollars and cents per barrel. The minimum price fluctuation, referred to as a tick, is $0.01 per barrel, equal to $10 per contract.
To trade WTI crude oil futures, you need to meet the margin requirements set by the NYMEX. Margin is the amount of money required to open and maintain a futures trading position. The initial margin requirement for WTI crude oil futures is $5,940 per contract, and the maintenance margin requirement is $4,400 per contract.
WTI crude oil futures contracts can be settled by delivery of crude oil or cash. Most futures contracts are settled for cash, which means no physical delivery of crude oil takes place. If you do choose to take delivery of crude oil, you will need to have a facility to store the oil, pay for shipping, and have the appropriate permits and licenses to receive and transport crude oil.
Understanding the basic WTI crude oil contract specs is crucial when trading and investing in crude oil futures. By knowing the contract size, contract months, trading hours, price quotation, margin requirements, and delivery options, you can make informed decisions and effectively manage your risk in the volatile world of oil prices.