Investors bought and sold 89,387 commodity contracts on average in every session on NYSE Liffe in Europe last month, according to online figures from the exchange. That compared with 82,087 lots a day a year earlier and 97,882 daily contracts in the prior month.
NYSE Euronext’s derivatives exchanges in Paris and London handled 1.79 million commodity futures and options contracts last month in 20 trading sessions, compared with 1.81 million lots a year earlier over 22 days, the data showed.
Trading of robusta coffee futures rose the most in volume terms, climbing to 299,335 contracts from 201,854 in March 2012. Cocoa overtook milling wheat as the most actively traded commodity on NYSE Liffe for the first time in 12 months as 447,698 contracts were traded, against 457,267 a year earlier.
Milling wheat futures buying and selling in Paris dropped to 440,036 contracts from 451,189 in March 2012. Trading of futures for white, or refined, sugar in London gained to 155,432 lots from 131,016 and for rapeseed fell to 152,960 contracts from 191,768.
The number of robusta-coffee futures outstanding at the end of last month, or open interest, rose to 96,135 contracts from 85,519 a month earlier. Open interest in cocoa futures fell to 234,670 lots from 245,088.
Open interest for milling-wheat futures slipped to 178,312 contracts from 197,761 at the end of February, the lowest since April 2012 and compared with 197,054 lots a year earlier.
The value of trading in cocoa futures fell to 7.44 billion euros ($9.6 billion) from 8.25 billion euros a year earlier. Trading in Paris milling-wheat futures rose to 5.07 billion euros last month from 4.66 billion euros a year earlier.
Robusta coffee futures trading in London jumped to 4.94 billion euros in March from 3.09 billion euros a year earlier. Sugar was little changed at 3.11 billion euros from 3.16 billion euros, while the value of rapeseed trade in Paris fell to 3.05 billion euros from 4.44 billion euros in March 2012.
The total value of agricultural futures trading, including so-called soft commodities, rose to 24.6 billion euros from 24.1 billion euros a year earlier.
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