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Electricity Contracts Heading For ACCESS

Electricity Contracts Heading For ACCESS

The New York Mercantile Exchange said it will move electricity trading from open outcry to the Nymex Access electronic trading system following the close of trading March 2. At the 4 p.m. start that day of the Access session, which marks the start of the March 3 trading session, the Exchange will list all of its existing electricity futures and options contracts for trading on the system through 2:30 PM the next day. The contract will begin trading at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday evenings and will begin trading at 7 p.m. Sundays.

Nymex electricity contract offerings are futures and options based on delivery at the California-Oregon border; at Palo Verde, AZ; into the Cinergy transmission system; into the Entergy transmission system; as well as based on delivery at the western hub of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland interconnection.

The move has been expected since July because of poor liquidity. Robert Levin, Nymex senior vice president for planning and development, said last summer the exchange was examining various proposals to bring liquidity to the contracts, particularly with an eye to bringing in more market makers. "The contracts themselves are fine, and so it's a matter of, I think, supporting market-making and then getting back out to the customer base, the commercials, and reinforcing with them what we're doing and attract them back in. I think that's pretty much it," he said at the time.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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