The Dubai Mercantile Exchange Limited (DME) announced today that cumulative trading of its benchmark DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract (DME Oman) has exceeded two million contracts, representing two billion barrels of crude oil traded since its launch on 1 June, 2007.
At the close of trading on 25 March 2011, DME Oman had traded a total of 2,001, 625 contracts, which at 1,000 barrels per contract is equivalent to more than two billion barrels of crude oil.
Reflecting the growing liquidity of its flagship contract, the DME recently reported a 35% year-on-year increase in trading volumes and record levels of open interest. Today, more than 60 companies trade regularly on the exchange while in excess of 140 million barrels of crude oil were delivered through the DME during 2010, confirming the status of DME Oman as the worldâ€™s largest physically delivered crude oil futures contract.
The DME started 2011 on a positive note by setting a new trading record with average daily volumes being the highest since the launch of the exchange. The DMEâ€™s role as a provider of risk management capabilities was further enhanced through the introduction of eight new DMEâ€“Oman linked swap and option contracts that will help industry participants manage their price risk more effectively in the Middle East and Asia Pacific energy markets. The swap and option contracts were launched by the CME Group, a core shareholder of the DME.
Making todayâ€™s announcement, Ahmad Sharaf, Chairman of the DME commented:
â€œI am very pleased to report this important trading milestone to the market. Since its launch, the DME Oman contract has demonstrated its effectiveness as the most appropriate pricing benchmark for East of Suez crude oil markets. Growing liquidity and continued organic growth at the DME compellingly demonstrate the strong fundamentals of the exchange, the importance of the DME Oman contract and
its role in achieving fair value and price discovery in the worldâ€™s fastest growing commodities market. As the exchange approaches its fourth year of operations, the DME Oman continues to gain industry acceptance and consolidate its position as the global benchmark for sour crude in the East of Suez marketsâ€.
Thomas Leaver, Chief Executive Officer of the DME, added: â€œReaching this important milestone is testament to the confidence that the market has in the DME and our Oman contract. From transparency, price discovery and risk management to the seamless efficiency of the worldâ€™s largest physically delivered crude oil contract, our customers know that they can rely on the DME, especially in these volatile times. We are honoured that the industry continues to place its trust in us, and look forward to reaching still further significant landmarks during the months and years ahead.â€
The DME was launched in June 2007 with the goal of bringing fair and transparent price discovery and efficient risk management to crude oil markets East of Suez. Today, DME Oman is the explicit and sole benchmark for Oman and Dubai crude oil Official Selling Prices (OSP), the historically established markers for Middle East crude oil exports to the Asia Pacific region.