Not to be outdone by the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) announcement last week that it posted new volume and commission records during February, the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) reported Monday that exchange-wide volumes during February were up over February 2006 levels and that electronic trading of its contracts through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) Globex system is enjoying “significant increases.” The dueling announcements from Nymex and ICE brought on a little bout of deja vu from early February, when both companies touted record January volumes (see Daily GPI, Feb. 6).

Nymex announced that its average daily volume in February 2007 was 1.55 million contracts per day, a 34% increase from 1.15 million contracts per day in the same period of 2006. Nymex electronic volume also fart outpaced floor volume activity during the month. Nymex said its electronic volume on Globex was 601,000 contracts per day and represented a 448% increase over the February 2006 electronic volume on Nymex Access. Nymex floor-traded energy futures and options averaged 332,000 contracts per day for February 2007.

Comex electronic volume on Globex averaged 91,000 contracts per day and represented a 685% increase over the February 2006 Nymex Access electronic volume. Comex, which trades metal futures and options contracts, posted a floor-traded average daily volume of 52,000 contracts for February 2007.

As the battle for trading exchange market dominance continues, ICE late last week reported significant increases in volume and commissions during the month of February 2007 compared to February 2006 (see Daily GPI, March 5). Average daily volume (ADV) for ICE Futures, ICE’s U.K. based regulated futures subsidiary, was 492,353 contracts, an increase of 92.8% over ADV in February 2006. Volume at the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), ICE’s newly acquired U.S.-based regulated futures subsidiary (see Daily GPI, Jan. 16), totaled a record 4,886,508 contracts in February 2007, for an ADV of 256,447 contracts, an increase of 17.9% over February 2006. The exchange noted that electronic trading accounted for 32.4% of the total NYBOT soft commodities futures contracts. Average daily commissions in ICE’s over-the- counter (OTC) business segment in February 2007 were $800,446, a 90% increase over February 2006.

Nymex also reported that average daily volume on Nymex ClearPort increased 45% in February 2007 to 386,000 contracts, from 267,000 contracts in the comparable period of 2006. The remaining volume of 84,000 trades per day consisted of other transactions, which includes position transfers and exchanges.

The exchange said that the January rate-per-contract gross average across all venues in January 2007 was $1.51, while the net average rate per contract, including direct transaction costs, was $1.25. This is compared to gross average rate per contract of $1.37, and a net average rate per contract of $1.26 for January 2006. Direct transaction costs were $8.6 million for January 2007 vs. $2.6 million for January 2006.

Breaking down the rate per contract by venue, the Nymex floor posted $1.20, Nymex electronic $0.88, COMEX floor $1.26, COMEX electronic $1.17, ClearPort $1.74 and other $2.13.

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