Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cornhusker Economics, May 31, 2023


Copyright © 2023 University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Mini futures contracts (or e-mini, since they are traded electronically) were first developed in the late 1990s based on futures contracts that already existed. The main characteristic of mini contracts is that they represent a fraction of standard-size contracts. For example, the first mini contract was launched in 1997 and based on the S&P500 futures contract. The size of the standard futures contract is $250 times the value of the S&P500 index, while the size of the mini futures contract is $50 times the value of the S&P500 index. If the index is at 4,200 points, the total value of the standard contract is $1,050,000 and the total value of the mini contract is $210,000, i.e., the mini contract, in this case, corresponds to 1/5 of the size of the standard contract.