Chicago Mercantile Exchange


    The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is one of the world’s largest derivatives exchanges.

    Based in Chicago, it is commonly known as the Merc, or the Chicago Merc.

    Around 80% of trading takes place electronically on the CME Globex platform, the remaining 20% still being conducted on the old-fashioned open outcry system. CME Globex offers 24-hour trading.

    Trading on the Merc

    Commodities and equities are among the main securities traded at the Merc – other core derivative financial instruments are currenciesfuturesoptions, real estate derivatives and interest rates. It is also possible to trade some of the more unusual derivatives such as weather.


    Founded in 1898, the exchange was originally called the Chicago Butter and Egg Board, as it traded only agricultural commodities. For more than a century, the CME was structured as a not-for-profit company owned by its members. In 2000, it demutualised then became a plc in 2002. A merger with the Chicago Board of Trade took place in 2007.

    In 2008, a further merger took place with the New York Mercantile Exchange.