(Updating with more comment, details throughout)
MIAMI, May 1 (Reuters) - IntercontinentalExchange expects to launch its new global cotton futures contract in the fourth quarter of this year, later than previously scheduled, a senior executive said on Thursday.
“We’re optimistic on a fourth-quarter launch. That’s our target date,” ICE Futures U.S. President and Chief Operating Officer Ben Jackson said at an industry conference in Miami.
The Atlanta-based exchange had previously aimed to list the contract, the first alternative for merchants, mills and growers to pricing on ICE’s U.S.-only one, in early 2014.
The contract will include cotton grown in the United States, Australia, Brazil, India, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mali, he said. Delivery points will be in Australia and Malaysia.
Some traders have questioned whether the new contract will attract sufficient liquidity to operate alongside the existing U.S. one, which is used as the global benchmark.
Questions also remain over the ability to deliver certain growths to Malaysia and other logistics and grading issues.
Supporters of the plan say the product is needed because the existing No. 2 contract, which accepts only cotton grown in the United States, is increasingly vulnerable to price-distorting squeezes.
“For any contract, what’s most important is that you get that liquidity early on,” Jackson told Reuters.
Jackson said that the exchange may consider adding other origins after the initial launch. (Reporting by Chris Prentice; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Marguerita Choy)