NYMEX Heating Oil (ULSD) Futures and Options Trading
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*The information contained within this webpage comes from sources
believed to be reliable. No guarantees are being made to the
content's accuracy or completeness.
The History of Heating Oil and Heating Oil Futures Market
The market for heating oil, also known as No. 2 fuel oil, today known as ultra
low-sulfur-diesel (ULSD), grew rapidly after
World War II, as homeowners and builders switched from coal. Heating oil is very
similar in chemical makeup to diesel fuel. Over the last 20 years, the sulfur
content of heating oil has been reduced and today's heating oil is 95% cleaner
than it was in 1970.
Heating Oil accounts for almost 25% of the yield of
a barrel of crude oil, the second largest "cut" of the
barrel after unleaded gasoline. The price to
consumers of home heating oil is usually comprised of approximately 42% crude
oil, 12% from refining costs, and 46% for marketing and distribution costs. Heating oil futures has
become one of the premiere distillate contracts in
future trading. During the September terrorist
attacks on the World Trade Center the NYMEX was
destroyed but within 3 days the heating oil futures
and heating oil options contracts were being traded
again. This is a testament to the strength and
viability of the energy future markets.
Heating oil has the energy output of 138,690 BTUs per gallon.
Natural gas has 99,000 BTUs per therm. It takes 1.4 therms to equal
the heat output of one gallon of heating oil.
Here is the energy products brochure courtesy of the CME
*Contract information changes from time to time. Please
click here to see the most recent
contract specifications and
click here for the most recent trading hours.
NYMEX Division Heating Oil Futures and Options
Futures: 42,000 U.S. gallons (1,000 barrels).
Options: One NYMEX Division heating oil futures
Futures and Options: In dollars and cents per
gallon: for example, $0.7527 (75.27¢) per gallon.
Futures and Options: Open outcry trading is
conducted from 9:00 A.M. until 2:30 P.M.
After hours heating oil futures trading are conducted via the GOLBEX internet-based trading platform
beginning at 3:15 P.M. on Mondays through Thursdays
and concluding at 9:30 A.M. the following day. On
Sundays, the session begins at 7:00 P.M. All times
are New York time.
Futures: Trading is conducted in 18 consecutive
months commencing with the next calendar month (for
example, on January 2, 2002, trading occurs in all
months from February 2002 through July 2003).
Options: 18 consecutive months.
Minimum Price Fluctuation
Futures and Options: $0.0001 (0.01¢) per gallon
($4.20 per contract).
Maximum Daily Price Fluctuation
Futures: $0.25 per gallon ($10,500 per contract) for
Options: No price limits.
Last Trading Day
Futures: Trading terminates at the close of business
on the last business day of the month proceeding the
Options: Trading ends three business days before the
underlying futures contract.
Exercise of Options
By a clearing member to the Exchange clearinghouse
not later than 5:30 P.M., or 45 minutes after the
underlying heating oil futures settlement price is posted,
whichever is later, on any day up to and including
the option's expiration.
Options Strike Prices
Twenty strike prices in one-cent-per-gallon
increments above and below the at-the-money strike
price, and the next ten strike prices in five-cent
increments above the highest and below the lowest
existing strike prices for a total of at 61 strike
prices. The at-the-money strike price is the nearest
to the previous day's close of the underlying
heating oil futures contract. Strike price boundaries are
adjusted according to the futures price movements.
Margins are required for open futures or short
options positions. The margin requirement for an
options purchaser will never exceed the premium.
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