What Are Micro WTI Crude Oil (MCL) Futures?

CME Group Micro WTI Crude Oil futures (MCL) are the latest in a series of micro-sized contracts.

Micro Crude Oil futures are a smaller version of the NYMEX West Texas Intermediate “WTI” Crude Oil futures contract (CL) which is a benchmark for global petroleum markets. Each contract of MCL represents 100 barrels of oil which is 1/10th the size of the standard CL futures contract.

What is West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil (WTI)?

There are many different grades of crude oil, both in the U.S. and globally. WTI is the U.S. benchmark because it has the largest share of total U.S. production. Also, WTI is a global benchmark since it is not only used domestically but it is also exported. US crude oil production more than doubled from 2007 to 2019, leading WTI to strengthen its role as the global benchmark.

Crude Oil Chart

WTI Crude Oil prices have fallen at the beginning of July, leading to some increased trade activity. While the short-term outlook for oil may be slightly bearish, it continues to track the 20-day moving average and stay well above the 50-day moving average.

While considered lagging indicators, simple moving averages can help inform traders of long-term trends in their favorite markets. The last few crosses of the 20-day moving average so far this year have only led to higher highs in the market.

Overlaid on the price action is NinjaTrader’s Order Flow Volume Profile, showing various value areas and points of control over the past few months in Crude Oil Futures trading.

Why Trade Micro WTI Crude Oil Futures?

Micro WTI Crude Oil futures (MCL) allow traders to have exposure to the crude oil market with smaller capital requirements. Through NinjaTrader Brokerage, you can trade the MCL with only $100 intraday margins.

As with other futures contracts, traders can be long or short MCL futures, allowing for bullish or bearish views.

Micro Crude Oil futures are cash-settled as opposed to the standard CL futures contract, which is physically delivered.

Micro Crude futures benefit from the liquidity in the standard contract as traders will be adding liquidity to MCL futures. These contracts will be available for trading 23 hours per day, from Sunday at 6:00pm (ET) through Friday at 5:00pm (ET), which allows traders to react to any breaking fundamental or political news that impacts the crude oil market.

NYMEX Micro Crude Oil Futures Contract Specs

  • Exchange: New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)
  • Class: Futures
  • Trading Symbol: MCL
  • Contract Size: 100 barrels
  • Pricing Unit: U.S. Dollars
  • Tick Size: 0.01
  • Tick Value: $1
  • Point Value: 1 = $100
  • Intraday Margin: $100
  • Contract Months: All 12 calendar months, starting with August 2021
  • Trading Hours: Sunday to Friday 6:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET

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