China reports progress in launching trading of lead futures contracts

09:40, March 18, 2011      

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The Chinese securities regulator said here on Thursday that it had approved lead futures contracts designed by the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

The exact time to launch the trading is yet to be decided by the Shanghai Futures Exchange, according to a statement by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Shanghai Futures Exchange now does futures contract trading in eight materials, including gold, copper, aluminium, zinc. It was given approval in February for launching the trading of lead futures contracts.

On Tuesday, the exchange started simulated trading of lead futures as an preparation for the formal launch of trading in lead futures contracts. Analysts estimated that the contracts will go on trading in April.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of the metal used in batteries. Statistics show that China's annual consumption of lead rises 17 percent every year since 2001.

The country produced 3.77 million tons of lead in 2009, which made up 42.5 percent of the world output and consumed 3.9 million tons in the same year, accounting for 40 percent of the global consumption.

Lead futures will allow Chinese smelters to hedge risks and improve the lead pricing mechanism, according to the CSRC.

Source: Xinhua
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