Performance Margins are deposits held at Clearing to ensure that members can meet their obligations to their customers and to Clearing. Performance margin requirements vary by product and market volatility.
There two different kinds of margin that a market participant should be aware of.
Initial margin is the up-front payment, a percentage of the trade price, made prior to a market transaction when purchasing on that margin.
After the initial margin is met, a market participant is required to keep up maintenance margin. This is the amount of equity required to retain an open position.
Speculative (Spec) /non-member initial margin requirements for all products are set at 110% of the maintenance margin requirement for a given product. Member initial margin requirements for all products are set at 100% of the maintenance margin requirement for a given product.
The logic in practice: The maintenance margin requirement for Canadian Heavy Crude (Net Energy) Futures Months 3-6 is $1,400. The Member initial margin requirement is $1,400, while the Spec initial margin requirement is $1,540 ($1,400*1.1).
All margins can be calculated in RAM.