China launches iron ore futures Friday


DALIAN (oct 19)  China's Dalian Commodity Exchange on Friday launched the country's first iron ore futures with physical delivery, which ended the trading day with smooth performance.

The May 2014 contract, the most actively traded of the day, rising 1.77 percent to 977 yuan ($159.19) per ton, compared with the contract benchmark price as 960 yuan per ton.

Shi Jianjun, General Manager of the Yongan Futures, one of China's largest futures company, said that the launch of iron ore futures serves as a tool to dodge the risks associated with volatile prices.

Dalian, a seaside resort in northeast China's Liaoning province, is home to one of China's four futures exchanges and mainly trades agricultural products. The securities regulator announced the plan on Oct 11 and the bourse confirmed on Oct 14.

Iron ore is the most important raw material for steel production, with Australia, China, Brazil and India accounting for around 80 percent of the world total output.

China is the world's second-largest iron ore producer. It reported 440 million tons in output, 740 million tons in imports and 1.05 billion tons in consumption last year