Chinese investors traded a record volume of commodity futures last year as speculators poured in and out of the market on bets that shortages are looming.
Combined aggregate trading volume on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, Dalian Commodity Exchange and Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange jumped 27 percent from 2015 levels to 4.1 billion contracts, according to data e-mailed by the China Futures Association. Turnover across the bourses rose 30 percent to a record 177.4 trillion yuan ($25.5 trillion), the data show.
Chinese investors, flush with credit and hunting for returns, piled into commodities futures last year, spurred by bets that the government’s efforts to cut industrial capacity would lead to shortages of raw materials. They charged into markets several times in 2016 and bought everything from iron ore to cotton, driving up prices and stoking fears of a bubble. Authorities introduced curbs on excessive speculation to quell the mania.