This year has been one of huge progress for energy markets, with the spread of electronic trading allowing new and more sophisticated players to enter the market. Commodity exchanges have introduced sweeping changes to facilitate this new order. Our cover story looks at the implications of the latest merger announcements between ICE and Nybot, CBOT and the CME, and agreements between the CME and Nymex.
The fierce rivalry between Nymex and ICE arguably reached a peak this year, with ICE progressing its electronic offerings by launching a competitor WTI contract, and Nymex hitting back by launching an electronic WTI contract on the CME's Globex platform. The success of all these contracts shows that at least part of the market is hungry for change.
It will be fascinating to see if the success of electronic trading signals the end for the Nymex floor. We're also following closely the spread of clearing. Together with electronic trading, OTC clearing means the lines between exchanges and inter-dealer brokers are blurring. We wait and see whether some form of co-operation between an inter-dealer broker and an exchange develops soon.
On a different note, just a reminder that voting in the Energy Risk/Risk Commodity Rankings Poll is now under way. If you haven't received an email, please visit our website for details at www.energyrisk.com.
And finally, the Energy Risk team would like to thank all our readers, and everyone who has appeared in the magazine, attended an event, or taken part in a survey this year, for your help and support. Have a very happy Christmas break!