1. Introduction to Commodities
  2. Commodities: Cocoa
  3. Commodities: Coffee
  4. Commodities: Copper
  5. Commodities: Corn
  6. Commodities: Cotton
  7. Commodities: Crude Oil
  8. Commodities: Feeder Cattle
  9. Commodities: Gold
  10. Commodities: Heating Oil
  11. Commodities: Live Cattle
  12. Commodities: Lumber
  13. Commodities: Natural Gas
  14. Commodities: Oats
  15. Commodities: Orange Juice
  16. Commodities: Platinum
  17. Commodities: Rough Rice
  18. Commodities: Silver
  19. Commodities: Soybeans and Soybean Oil
  20. Commodities: Sugar
  21. Commodities: Wheat
  22. Understanding Commodities Trading

Heating oil is a low-viscosity refined byproduct of crude oil (as such, the price of heating oil is directly tied to WTI crude oil prices). It’s primarily used as a fuel for furnaces and boilers to heat homes and other buildings. Much of the demand for heating oil occurs between October and March each year, especially in cold markets like the northeastern states in the U.S.

Contract Specifications

Ticker Symbol

HO (CME Globex)

Contract Size

42,000 gallons

Contract Months

All months: F, G, H, J, K, M, N, Q, U, V, X, Z

Trading Hours

CME Globex: Sunday – Friday, 6:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (there’s an hour break from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. each day)

Last Trading Day

The last business day of the month preceding the delivery month

Price Quote

U.S. dollars and cents per barrel

Tick Size

$0.0001 per gallon ($4.20 per contract)

Production

Refineries produce heating oil in the distillate fuel category, which also includes diesel fuel. U.S. refineries support most of the U.S. demand for distillates; however, imports typically supplement supplies during the winter months for consumers in the Northeast. Heating oil (and diesel) are moved throughout the U.S. via pipelines, tankers, barges, trains and trucks.

Price Drivers

Since heating oil is a byproduct of crude, WTI crude oil prices affect heating oil prices. Other price drivers include:

  • cold weather (cold weather can trigger a spike in demand and therefore prices)
  • refining costs
  • the price of alternative heating fuels
  • improvements in building energy efficiency and insulation
  • government regulations

Commodities: Live Cattle
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Will Winter Affect the Price of Oil and Gas?

    Learn how heating oil and natural gas prices are affected during a harsh or mild winter and the EIA's prediction for heating consumption.
  2. Investing

    How To Winterize And Heat Your Home For Less

    Here are three environmentally-friendly tips on how to save money on your heating costs this winter.
  3. Investing

    How Does Crude Oil Affect Gas Prices?

    Find out how this commodity's fluctuating price affects more than just how much you pay at the pump.
  4. Investing

    Fueling Futures In The Energy Market

    The energy market influences every aspect of our lives, and these four options are its driving force.
  5. Investing

    5 Businesses That Rise As The Temperature Falls

    Not many people welcome the snow and cold, but these businesses depend on it to increase sales and profitability.
  6. Investing

    A Guide To Investing In Oil Markets

    Find out how to take advantage of this market without having to open a futures account.
  7. Investing

    What Affects Oil Prices?

    Oil prices have an enormous impact on the global economy. Learn how market forces, the futures market, and market sentiment all influence the price of oil.
  8. Investing

    Oil Boom 2.0: Be Sure You Are Ready to Invest

    Learn about the potential for oil boom 2.0, and discover why some experts say this is a good time to invest in oil companies and ETFs.
  9. Investing

    The End of US Foreign Oil Dependency

    Learn about how U.S. production of oil is increasing on an annual basis and how oil imports are dropping, and why Congress may lift a ban on the export of oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are the primary differences between a closed end investment and an open end investment?

    Learn what the primary differences are between open-end investments and closed-end investments, and the implications for ...
  2. Why is Ireland sometimes referred to as a tax haven?

    Learn why Ireland is a desirable location for corporations, how low the country's tax rate is and what taxation and economic ...
  3. What is the history of binary options?

    Discover the history of binary options trading, which is now one of the fastest growing investment market vehicles available ...
  4. How did Richard Branson make his fortune?

    Learn how Virgin Group tycoon Richard Branson earned his billions. Follow his journey from Virgin Records to the corporate ...
Trading Center