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

Crude oil is one of the most important commodities in the world. It’s an unrefined petroleum product composed of hydrocarbon deposits and other organic materials that can be refined to produce usable products such as gasoline, diesel and various types of petrochemicals. This section discusses contracts for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil, a sweet crude oil that’s less sour than Brent oil, its European counterpart. Still, both are considered light and sweet, making them ideal for refining into gasoline.

Contract Specifications

Ticker Symbol

CL (CME Globex)

Contract Size

1,000 barrels

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 third business day prior to the twenty-fifth calendar day of the month preceding the delivery month.

Price Quote

U.S. dollars and cents per barrel

Tick Size

$0.01 per barrel ($10 per contract)


WTI oil is produced, refined and consumed in North America. It’s sourced from U.S. oil fields – primarily in Texas, Louisiana and North Dakota – and refined mostly in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions. The major trading hub for TWI is Cushing, Oklahoma, which is the delivery point for crude contracts.

Price Drivers

WTI oil is considered the benchmark for oil pricing in the U.S. As such, its price is very sensitive to factors that influence the price of crude oil in general. In addition to supply and demand, the price of WTI is also driven by:

  • geopolitical and economic events
  • stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma
  • OPEC’s production target
  • natural disasters


Commodities: Feeder Cattle
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    How does crude oil affect gas prices?

    Understand the origins of oil, how its price is determined and where its correlation with gas prices falls in the global economy.
  2. Investing

    Long Term Oil ETFs

    Investors with a longer term view of things may want to check out an Oil ETF for their portfolio.
  3. Financial Advisor

    Learn How To Trade Crude Oil in 5 Steps

    Crude oil and energy markets are specialized venues. Here are five steps to take to build consistent profits.
  4. Investing

    Top 6 Oil-Producing States

    Check out the U.S. states that produce the most barrels of crude oil each year.
  5. Investing

    Want To Start Trading Oil? Understand The Basics First

    The overall economics of oil extraction is that there is money in it - both for extraction companies and their investors.
  6. Investing

    The Economics of Oil Extraction

    The overall economics of oil extraction is that there is money in it - both for extraction companies and their investors.
  7. Investing

    Is USO a Good Way to Invest in Oil?

    The United States Oil Fund is better suited to short-term investors who actively manage their portfolios.
  8. Investing

    What a $20 USD Barrel Means For the US Oil Industry

    Read about Goldman Sachs' prediction that oil prices could go as low as $20 a barrel. Understand how low prices impact companies in the U.S. oil sector.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are the differences between divergence and convergence?

    Find out what technical analysts mean when they talk about a divergence or convergence, and how they can affect trading strategies.
  2. Can coupon in fixed-income security effect bond yield maturity?

    See how fixed-income security investors can expect to use coupon on semi-annual payments if the bond or debt instrument is ...
  3. How are savings bonds taxed?

    Learn who is responsible for reporting U.S. EE savings bond interest for taxation and when the interest can be reported for ...
  4. What is the difference between inflation and deflation?

    Determine how inflation and deflation affect prices, employment, loans, and the central banks. Economies frequently teeter ...
Trading Center