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Nymex Ups Margins Again on Natural Gas Futures Contracts

With winter cold settling in and natural gas futures prices rising, the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (Nymex) announced Friday that it is increasing the margins for its natural gas futures, Henry Hub swap futures, Henry Hub penultimate swap futures, Nymex miNYTM natural gas futures and Henry Hub swing swap futures, for the second time in a week. The exchange also said Friday that it is upping natural gas index swap futures. The latest increases are scheduled to go into affect at the end of the day Monday, Dec. 12.

The margins on the first month of the natural gas futures contract will increase to 15,500 from $12,500 for clearing members, to $17,050 from $13,750 from members, and to $20,925 from $16,875 for customers. Margins on the second month will increase to $16,000 from $13,000 for clearing members, to $17,600 from $14,300 for members, and to $21,600 from $17,550 for customers. Margins on the third month will increase to $15,500 from $12,500 for clearing members, to $17,050 from $13,750 for members, and to $20,925 from $16,875 for customers. The margins on the fourth month will increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for clearing members, to $8,800 from $7,700 for members, and to $10,800 from $9,450 for customers. Margins on the fifth to ninth months will increase to $7,000 from $6,000 for clearing members, to $7,700 from $6,600 for members, and to $9,450 from $8,100 for customers. Margins on all other months will remain unchanged.

The margin rates on the first month of the Henry Hub swap and Henry Hub penultimate swap futures contracts will increase to $3,875 from $3,125 for clearing members, to $4,263 from $3,438 for members, and to $5,231 from $4,219 for customers. The margins on the second month will increase to $4,000 from $3,250 for clearing members, to $4,400 from $3,575 for members, and to $5,400 from $4,388 for customers. Margins on the third month will increase $3,875 from $3,125 for clearing members, to $4,263 from $3,438 for members, and to $5,231 from $4,219 for customers. The margins on the fourth month will increase to $2,000 from $1,750 for clearing members, to $2,200 from $1,925 for members, and to $2,700 from $2,363 for customers. Margins on the fifth to ninth months will increase to $1,750 from $1,500 for clearing members, to $1,925 from $1,650 for members, and to $2,363 from $2,025 for customers. Margins on all other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the Nymex miNYTM natural gas futures contract will increase to $7,750 from $6,250 for clearing members, to $8,525 from $6,875 for members, and to $10,463 from $8,438 for customers. The margins for the second month will increase to $8,000 from $6,500 for clearing members, to $8,800 from $7,150 for members, and to $10,800 from $8,775 for customers.

Nymex reported that margins on the Henry Hub swing swap futures contract will increase to $3,875 from $3,125 for clearing members, to $4,263 from $3,438 for members, and to $5,231 from $4,219 for customers. All other months remain unchanged. Margins on the first month of the Henry Hub index swap futures contract will increase to $2,000 from $1,000 for clearing members, to $2,200 from $1,100 for members, and to $2,700 from $1,350 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the Waha index swap and Sumas index swap futures contracts will increase to $2,000 from $1,250 for clearing members, to $2,200 from $1,375 for members, and to $2,700 from $1,688 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the Chicago City Gate index swap futures contract will increase to $2,500 from $2,000 for clearing members, to $2,750 from $2,200 for members, and to $3,375 from $2,700 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the Houston Ship Channel index swap futures contract will increase to $2,300 from $1,500 for clearing members, to $2,530 from $1,650 for members, and to $3,105 from $2,025 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the TETCO M-3 index swap futures contract will increase to $2,300 from $1,000 for clearing members, to $2,530 from $1,100 for members, and to $3,105 from $1,350 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the Transco Zone 6 index swap futures contract will increase to $2,300 from $1,200 for clearing members, to $2,530 from $1,320 for members, and to $3,105 from $1,620 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the Panhandle index swap futures contract will increase to $1,700 from $1,250 for clearing members, to $1,870 from $1,375 for members, and to $2,295 from $1,688 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the PG&E City Gate index swap futures contract will increase to $1,600 from $1,250 for clearing members, to $1,760 from $1,375 for members, and to $2,160 from $1,688 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the Rockies index swap futures contract will increase to $1,975 from $1,575 for clearing members, to $2,173 from $1,733 for members, and to $2,666 from $2,126 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the SoCal index swap futures contract will increase to $2,200 from $1,250 for clearing members, to $2,420 from $1,375 for members, and to $2,970 from $1,688 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Margins on the first month of the San Juan index swap futures contract will increase to $1,800 from $1,250 for clearing members, to $1,980 from $1,375 for members, and to $2,430 from $1,688 for customers. All other months will remain unchanged.

Nymex is also reducing the size of its Nymex miNY natural gas futures, beginning with the February 2006 contract. The exchange said the contract will be reduced from 5,000 MMBtu to 2,500 MMBtu. The January 2006 NYMEX miNY natural gas futures contract (5,000 MMBtu) will expire on Dec. 27, at 2:30 p.m. EST. The February 2006 contract (2,500 MMBtu) will be listed for trading on Dec. 27, at 3:15 p.m. EST, for the trade date of December 28.

Clearing fees for one to 200 contracts traded will decrease to $0.32 from $0.63 for Nymex Division members, to $0.52 from $1.03 for Comex Division members, and to $0.65 from $1.25 for customers. Fees for 201 to 750 contracts traded will decrease to $0.19 from $0.38 for Nymex Division members, to $0.32 from $0.63 for Comex Division members, and to $0.65 from $1.25 for customers. Fees for 750 contracts or more will decrease to $0.08 from $0.15 for Nymex Division members, to $0.13 from $0.25 for Comex Division members, and to $0.65 from $1.25 for customers.

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