Heating Oil Futures Trading Basics

Heating Oil futures are standardized, exchange-traded contracts in which the contract buyer agrees to take delivery, from the seller, a specific quantity of heating oil (eg. 42000 gallons) at a predetermined price on a future delivery date.

Heating Oil Futures Exchanges

You can trade Heating Oil futures at New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

NYMEX Heating Oil futures prices are quoted in dollars and cents per gallon and are traded in lot sizes of 42000 gallons (1000 barrels).

Exchange & Product NameSymbolContract SizeInitial Margin
NYMEX Heating Oil Futures
(Price Quotes)
HO42000 gallons
(Full Contract Spec)
USD 10,125 (approx. 16%)
(Latest Margin Info)

Heating Oil Futures Trading Basics

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

Heating Oil 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 heating oil price movement. Speculators buy heating oil futures when they believe that heating oil prices will go up. Conversely, they will sell heating oil futures when they think that heating oil prices will fall.

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