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Commodity Futures Trading

Margins! - About Commodity Trading
Margin Requirements Margin Calls

Margin: The amount of money or collateral deposited by a customer with his broker, by a broker with a clearing member, or by a clearing member with the clearinghouse, for the purpose of insuring the broker or clearinghouse against loss on open futures contracts.

The margin is not partial payment on a purchase.

  • Initial margin is the total amount of margin per contract required by the broker when a futures position is opened.

  • Maintenance margin is a sum which must be maintained on deposit at all times.

If the equity in a customer's account drops to, or under, the level because of adverse price movement, the broker must issue a margin call to restore the customer's equity.

DHT: Margin Call

Margin Call:

  • A request from a brokerage firm to a customer to bring margin deposits up to initial levels.

  • A request by the clearinghouse to a clearing member to make a deposit of original margin, or a daily or intra-day variation payment, because of adverse price movement, based on positions carried by the clearing member.