Copper Futures Trading Basics

Copper futures are standardized, exchange-traded contracts in which the contract buyer agrees to take delivery, from the seller, a specific quantity of copper (eg. 25 tonnes) at a predetermined price on a future delivery date.

Copper Futures Exchanges

You can trade Copper futures at London Metal Exchange (LME) and New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

LME Copper 'A' Grade futures prices are quoted in dollars and cents per metric ton and are traded in lot sizes of 25 tonnes (55116 pounds).

NYMEX Copper futures are traded in units of 25000 pounds and contract prices are quoted in dollars and cents per pound.

Exchange & Product NameSymbolContract SizeInitial Margin
LME Copper 'A' Grade Futures
(Price Quotes)
CA25 tonnes
(Full Contract Spec)
USD 15,000 (approx. 19%)
(Latest Margin Info)
NYMEX Copper Futures
(Price Quotes)
HG25000 pounds
(Full Contract Spec)
USD 7,763 (approx. 21%)
(Latest Margin Info)

Copper Futures Trading Basics

Consumers and producers of copper can manage copper price risk by purchasing and selling copper futures. Copper producers can employ a short hedge to lock in a selling price for the copper they produce while businesses that require copper can utilize a long hedge to secure a purchase price for the commodity they need.

Copper futures are also traded by speculators who assume the price risk that hedgers try to avoid in return for a chance to profit from favorable copper price movement. Speculators buy copper futures when they believe that copper prices will go up. Conversely, they will sell copper futures when they think that copper prices will fall.

Learn More About Copper Futures & Options Trading

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