What Does "CWT" Mean?

CWT stands for a unit of measurement known as the hundredweight. This unit of measurement is utilized in commodities trading contracts for items such as grain paper, oilseed, concrete and livestock. In the United Kingdom, a hundredweight equal 112 pounds, while in America it is equal to 100 pounds and is also known as the short hundredweight. The United Kingdom hundredweight is called the long hundredweight, equal to 8 stone.

The hundredweight unit of measurement may also be used in futures exchanges for some types of commodities. In kilograms, a short hundredweight is 45.359237 kilograms, and a long hundredweight is 50.802345 kilograms. America and Canada both use the same measurement for the hundredweight. A short hundredweight can also be called a cental, particularly in areas where the long hundredweight is more common.

When using either the short or long hundredweight, a ton is considered to be 20 hundredweight. A short ton is 2,000 pounds, and a long ton is 2.240 pounds. Historically the hundredweight was used as the standard measurement for the sale of many different kinds of commodities. It fell out of favor due to the standardized usage of the pound and kilograms for contract specifications. Prior to the 15th century, the hundredweight in England equalled 108 pounds.