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New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)


The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is a commodity futures exchange owned and operated by CME Group of Chicago. It is located in New York City and is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange. NYMEX is best known for the trading of energy carriers, including crude oil, heating oil, natural gas and gasoline, as well as other commodities such as gold, silver, and copper.


The phonetic pronunciation of “New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)” is: New York: Nyoo YɔːrkMercantile: Mər-kan-til Exchange: eks-cheynj NYMEX: en-wai-meks

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is one of the largest commodities futures exchanges in the world, offering platforms for trading and settlement of a broad selection of contracts related to energy, metals, and other commodities.</li><li>Founded in 1882, NYMEX was acquired by CME Group in 2008 and now functions as a part of this larger financial market company, though it continues to operate under the NYMEX name. It provides an important venue for businesses and investors looking to hedge risks associated with price volatility of commodities.</li><li>NYMEX is known for pioneering open outcry trading – a method of communication between professionals on a stock exchange, where they use hand signals and shouting to transfer information and trade. However, most trading now takes place on electronic trading systems.</li></ol>


The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is significant in the business and finance world as it’s one of the largest commodities futures exchange platforms globally. This platform is particularly important to the oil industry as NYMEX provides a means for producers, commercial traders, brokers, and investors to trade in futures and options of several commodities, prominently crude oil, natural gas, gold, and silver. By facilitating these transactions, NYMEX enables price discovery and risk mitigation, thus being pivotal in the functioning of international commodity and derivative markets. Furthermore, its price quotations are often used as global benchmarks, showcasing NYMEX’s influential role in setting prices for these commodities on a worldwide scale.


The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) serves a crucial role in determining the prices of several important commodities that fuel the global economy. It is the exchange platform where commodities like agriculture products, metals, and energy products are traded actively. NYMEX ensures an organized, secure and regulated framework for businesses, institutions, and individual traders to negotiate prices and execute buy or sell orders of these commodities. Its scope includes various commodities like crude oil, natural gas, gold, silver, and even soft commodities like coffee, cotton, etc.The purpose of using NYMEX is to offer a transparent arena where market participants can freely engage in trading activities, hedging their risks associated with volatile price movements of the underlying commodities. Given its widespread acceptance, prices quoted on NYMEX are revered as global benchmark prices for major commodities. For instance, NYMEX’s West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures contract and Henry Hub Natural Gas futures contract are regarded as the U.S. pricing benchmarks for oil and natural gas respectively. These transactions are secured by the Clearing House of the NYMEX, offering assurance to participants that their executed trades will be honored.


1. Example 1: A petroleum company decides to hedge its risk against volatile oil prices. Rather than depending directly on the market rates of crude oil, the company decides to use futures contracts available on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). This way, they can lock in a price for a future delivery, ensuring their operational costs remain stable regardless of how oil prices fluctuate.2. Example 2: An investor believes that the price of natural gas will rise in the coming months. Instead of buying physical natural gas and storing it, which would be costly and impractical, he purchases a futures contract on NYMEX. If his prediction is right and the price of natural gas increases, he can sell the contract for a profit. 3. Example 3: A multi-national corporation is worried about the current volatility in the gold market. In order to preciously plan for its future manufacturing needs, which include a significant amount of gold, it enters into a futures contract on the NYMEX. This guarantees them a set price for gold at a specified future date, helping them budget effectively and protect against possible sudden increases in prices.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)?

The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange located in New York City. It is part of the CME Group since 2008, and trades in contracts for a variety of commodities including energy, metals, and agricultural products.

What types of commodities are traded on NYMEX?

A wide variety of commodities are traded on the NYMEX, including crude oil, natural gas, gold, silver, copper, aluminum, and a range of agricultural products such as wheat, corn, and cattle.

Who can trade on the NYMEX?

Trading on the NYMEX is generally done by professional traders, including companies who produce or consume the commodities being traded, and speculators looking to profit from price movements.

What is the history behind the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)?

The NYMEX was founded in 1872, originally as a market for dairy products. It evolved over time to include a broad array of commodities, and in 1994 it merged with the Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX) to enhance its metals trading.

What is the relationship between NYMEX and CME Group?

In 2008, CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, acquired the New York Mercantile Exchange, further expanding its range of trading services and markets.

How does the NYMEX affect global commodity prices?

The NYMEX has a significant impact on global commodity prices because it’s where producers and consumers of raw materials come together to negotiate and agree on prices for future delivery. These futures contracts then serve as global price benchmarks.

What is a NYMEX futures contract?

A futures contract on the NYMEX is a legal agreement to buy or sell a particular commodity at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future. These contracts are standardized according to the quality, quantity, and delivery time and location for each commodity.

How can I trade on the NYMEX?

Trading on the NYMEX requires setting up a brokerage account with a firm that has direct access to the exchange. After setting up an account, you can buy and sell futures contracts through the broker’s trading platform. Please note that commodities trading involves substantial risk and isn’t suitable for all investors.

Related Finance Terms

  • Commodity Futures
  • Exchange Trading Floor
  • Energies and Metals Division
  • Clearing House
  • Electronic Trading Platform

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