The New York Mercantile Exchange is a US-based futures exchange that deals with energy futures, as well as options in gasoline, crude oil, propane, natural gas, electricity and heating oil, and even base and precious metals. It is the largest physical commodity futures exchange in the world and is considered the premier forum for precious metals and energy trades. Traders who are looking for liquidity alternatives that can counter their bond and stock investments normally flock to the Nymex.
To start trading electricity futures on the Nymex, you have to first open an account with a Nymex accredited, series 3, commodity futures broker. This broker will be your point of entry into the electricity market, so you have to make sure that you make the right choice. By ‘right broker’, it is meant that your representative should have ample experience and background in the electricity futures trading environment. He should have a considerable level of expertise in the market and, preferrably, operates in just the electricity market, in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
There are brokers that prefer to deal only with companies and institutional investors, but there are also some that cater to smaller units and individuals. Once you have chosen your broker, you must then assess your current financial standing, your knowledge of the options and futures trading methods, find out how much you are willing to risk and the purpose and objective of your investment.
No two commodity trading accounts are alike, because each is tailored to fit your needs, so you can’t really accurately compare with others. However, doing so with an investment that falls within your range will give you an idea on how to go about the process. The largest electricity market in the world is administered by PJM Interconnection LLC, which is a Nymex affiliate. To date, over 44 million clients participate in PJM from all over the world. Power firms that are members of PJM normally hold over 1,000 generating units, or around 137,000 megawatts of capacity.
Electricity is fit for futures trading because of the following reasons:
- it has a large spread of buyers and sellers
- electricity rates are forever changing and volatile
- it is fungible
The best time to trade electricity futures is during its peak hours, which usually run from 7AM to 11PM. However, you may also trade during off-peak hours, which go from midnight to 7AM. For more information about trading electricity futures, visit the Nymex web site.