New futures contracts launched on ClearPort

CME Group is to launch 18 natural gas and 17 petroleum product swap futures contracts on its ClearPort system.

The natural gas basis, index and swing swaps contracts will be launched on 19 October for a trade date of 20 October. The basis and index contracts will be listed for 36 consecutive months, while the swing swaps futures contracts will be listed for two consecutive months. Contracts will be 2,500 mmBtus (10,000 million British thermal units) in size with a minimum price fluctuation of $0.0025 per mmBtu.

The 17 new petroleum product contracts will include 12 balance of month (BALMO) swap futures contracts and will begin on 26 October for a trade date of 27 October. The BALMO contracts will be listed for two consecutive months and the others for 48 consecutive months. All will be 1,000 metric tons in size, except for the Brent crude oil BALMO swap futures contract, which will be 1,000 barrels. The first listed month for both natural gas and petroleum contracts will be November 2008.

CME spokesperson Anu Ahluwalia highlighted an increase in interest among customers in using a clearing house after the recent turmoil in financial markets. “Because of the fears of counterparty risk, relying on a clearing house is a pretty good alternative for people right now,” she said. “We definitely feel like there has been a flight to quality and that people are more comfortable trading with an established clearing house.”

The new natural gas futures contracts are: NGPL STX natural gas basis swap; Algonquin Citygate natural gas basis swap; TCO natural gas index swap; TETCO STX natural gas index swap; Tennessee Zone 0 natural gas index swap; Transco Zone 3 natural gas index swap; Tennessee 500 leg natural gas index swap; MichCon natural gas index swap; CIG Rockies natural gas index swap; TCO natural gas swing swap; TETCO STX natural gas swing swap; Tennessee Zone 0 natural gas swing swap; Malin natural gas swing swap; Stanfield natural gas swing swap; Transco Zone 3 natural gas swing swap; Tennessee 500 leg natural gas swing swap; MichCon natural gas swing swap; and CIG Rockies natural gas swing swap.

The new petroleum futures contracts are: 1.5% fuel oil FOB Rotterdam swap; gasoil 0.1 CIF Med swap; gasoil 0.1 CIF Med vs. ICE gasoil swap; ULSD 10 ppm CIF Med swap; ULSD 10 ppm CIF Med vs ICE Gasoil swap; Brent crude oil BALMO swap; ICE gasoil BALMO swap; 1.5% fuel oil Rotterdam barges BALMO swap; jet fuel cargoes CIF Northwest Europe BALMO swap; jet fuel barges FOB Rotterdam BALMO swap; gasoil 0.1 cargoes CIF Northwest Europe BALMO swap; ULSD 10 ppm cargoes CIF Northwest Europe BALMO swap; gasoil 0.1 barges FOB Rotterdam BALMO swap; diesel 10ppm barges FOB Rotterdam BALMO swap; gasoil 0.1 cargoes CIF Med BALMO swap; ULSD 10 ppm cargoes CIF Med BALMO swap; and Argus gasoline Northwest Europe BALMO swap.

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