BEIJING, Jan. 3 -- China's futures trading volume reached a record high of 71.9 trillion yuan (10.5 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2008, up 76 percent year-on-year, the China Futures Association (CFA) said on Saturday.
It said 1.36 billion contracts were traded, up 87 percent.
The most active contracts were for sugar in Zhengzhou, soybeans and soybean meal in Dalian and copper and natural rubber in the Shanghai.
Trading in gold futures, the only new product launched in 2008,hit 1.49 trillion yuan in less than 12 months.
The Dalian Commodity Exchange in the northeast, where corn and soybean futures are the most active, saw volume rise 130 percent to 27.5 trillion yuan.
Volume rose 163 percent to 15.6 trillion yuan at the central Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange where wheat, cotton and sugar are the mainstays.
Business at the Shanghai Futures Exchange, where fuel oil and metals such as gold, copper, zinc are traded, rose 25 percent to 28.9 trillion yuan.
More industrial companies entered the market to manage risks caused by sharp price fluctuations during 2008, which enhanced both the capacity and the quality of futures investors, CFA staff said.
Volatility in major commodities amid the global financial crisis drew more speculative capital and increased demand for futures as a form of risk management.
Commercial banks and other financial institutions had also become more interested in futures trading because of the launch of gold futures and the preparation for stock futures, the staff said.