New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)

NYMEX is a commodity futures exchange located in Manhattan. It was founded in the 1870s and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This is the biggest and best place to buy commodities in the USA. Because of its sheer size, reach and power, many commodity prices are actually set here.

Since 2008, the NYMEX has been owned by the CME Group, one of the biggest futures exchanges in the world. They also operate the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which has revenues of over $3 billion, as well as the Chicago Board of Trade and the Kansas City Board of Trade.

The Biggest & the Best

Indeed, the New York Mercantile Exchange is the biggest commodity futures exchange in the world. All trade here is split between two divisions: the NYMEX Division, which trades platinum and palladium, among other things, and; the COMEX Division, which is where you can trade gold and silver. There are many commodities to trade here, not just precious metals, and millions of dollars are traded on many different commodities every single day. It is open all hours, using different systems for the main trading hours than it uses for off-hours and, in addition to commodities, it trades in indices.


In 1872, dairy farmers got together to create an exchange that eventually developed into the NYMEX. In the beginning they traded butter and cheese, before adding other products to the list. After 50 years, and as other exchanges across the state and country began to shut down, the NYMEX grew bigger and bigger. It merged with other exchanges and, by the 1930s, it was trading in everything from rubber and silk to metal and leather. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, currently owned by the same company, also began as a dairy exchange, opening its doors some two decades later. It is at NYMEX that the trading floor was born, and it operates in the same way today, with a cacophony of shouts filling the room throughout the day (lending it the name “open outcry” floor), before an automated electronic system takes over during the evening hours. NYMEX continued to grow throughout the years and, in 1997, it became too big for its offices in the World Trade Center, so it was forced to move. Just 4 years later, the original offices of the NYMEX were destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Rules and Regulations

The NYMEX is officially classified as a Designated Contract Market, with a set of rules and guidelines by which all traders, and the operators themselves, must abide. These rules cover everything from headset use to membership enquiries, trading and fees. Anyone looking to participate in the NYMEX is advised to read these rules.


The following commodities can be traded on the NYMEX:

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Sugar Coffee Cocoa Lumber
  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Crude Oil
  • Brent Crude Oil
  • Heating Oil
  • Gas
  • Natural Gas
  • Ethanol
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Soybean Meal
  • Soybean Oil
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Ethanol
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Red Wheat
  • Spring Wheat
  • Canola
  • Live Cattle
  • Feeder Cattle
  • Lean Hogs
  • Milk
  • Cotton
  • Orange Juice
  • Sugar
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Lumber

On the official opening day of the COMEX Division, the only available commodities were copper, hides, silk, silver, and tin. It has also previously traded in propane, plywood, coins, apples, eggs, turkeys, and more.


Everyone is invited to apply for membership to the NYMEX. The days of slow, drawn-out applications are long gone and you can now do everything online.

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