China to launch steam coal futures on Thurs, bitumen futures in Oct

SHANGHAI, Sept 24 Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:24pm EDT

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SHANGHAI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - China's Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange said it would launch trading in steam coal futures on Thursday, aiming to tap growing demand for hedging tools in the world's top producer and importer of the resource.

In a separate statement, the Shanghai Futures Exchange said it would start trading a futures contract for road-paving material bitumen on Oct. 9.

China has sped up the expansion of its commodity futures markets this year as the government hopes to offer companies more hedging tools while trying to improve the structure of the economy. Beijing also hopes to have a bigger say in pricing of major commodities globally.

Trading in steam coal and bitumen futures had been flagged earlier, with the China Securities Regulatory Commission also granting approval for the Dalian Commodity Exchange to launch China's first iron ore futures.

Regulators are also considering allowing trade in futures of crude oil, iron alloys and a slew of agricultural products, industrial sources have said.

The Zhengzhou exchange will initially list 10 steam coal futures contracts from December 2013 to September 2014, all with a base price of 520 yuan ($85) per tonne, it said in a statement published late on Monday on its website,

The futures will be subject to a daily limit of 8 percent in either direction from the base price on the first day of trading, with margin requirements of 5 percent.

The Shanghai exchange plans to launch eight bitumen futures contracts on Oct. 9, with their base prices announced a day ahead of their listing, it said on its website,

Margin requirements have been temporarily set at 4 percent, with a daily fluctuation limit of 8 percent in either direction of base prices on the first day of trading. ($1 = 6.12 yuan) (Reporting by Lu Jianxin and John Ruwitch; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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