The volume of Oman crude futures traded on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), hit a new record on January 13, up 35 per cent from the previous high of 4,819 lots traded on November 18, the bourse said yesterday.
A total 6,484 Oman futures traded on the exchange, which marks a new record for the volume of contracts traded on the exchange on a given day, the bourse said in an e-mailed statement.
Volumes have picked up again since the start of January, after having slowed down over the holiday period in December.
Most trades have been for forward-looking contracts.
Trading on the DME has been volatile, ranging from 482 to 6,484 lots a day so far this month.
Volumes have tended to be higher on Tuesdays over the past two months.
DME, a joint venture between the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) (whose parent, Nymex Holdings Inc was recently acquired by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange), Tatweer, a member of Dubai Holding, and the Oman Investment Fund (OIF), is the premier international energy futures and commodities exchange in the Middle East, providing a financially secure, well-regulated and transparent trading environment.
Making the announcement, Ahmad Sharaf, Chairman of the DME said: "This achievement underlines the global recognition of the DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract as the third global benchmark for crude oil. The continued growth of this DME contract highlights the market's desire for transparency and fair value in the pricing of crude oil for the East of Suez markets."
Thomas Leaver, CEO of the DME, said: "These record volumes also reflect the confidence in the DME from international industry participants and global trading community. In these times of extreme credit risk, market participants look for the security afforded by Nymex central counterparty clearing of DME contracts.
"Our migration to the CME Group Globex trading platform, due this quarter, will enable an even wider audience to participate in trading the DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract."
The exchange has developed and trades the DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract, addressing the growing market need for price discovery of Middle East Sour Crude Oil, while simultaneously bridging the time-zone gap between the European countries and Asia countries by providing for the trading of energy futures, options and other related products. (With inputs from agencies)