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Commodity Futures Trading in India Increases 52% on Bullion

Commodity futures trading in India, the world’s biggest gold and sugar user, surged 52 percent in value to a record last year, driven by bullion and farm goods.

The value of commodities traded on bourses, including the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd., advanced to 181.3 trillion rupees ($3.5 trillion) in the year ended March 31 from 119.5 trillion rupees a year earlier, the Forward Markets Commission, the industry regulator, said on its website today.

Bullion worth 101.8 trillion rupees was traded last year, 85 percent more than a year earlier, as gold futures in India rallied to a record in December, data from the regulator showed. Trading in farm commodities gained 51 percent, while the value of trade in crude oil, natural gas and other energy products climbed 23 percent, it said.

“It’s more of a price jump, rather than a participation increase,” said Kishore Narne, head of research at Anand Rathi Commodities Ltd., in Mumbai.

Commodity futures trading volumes may decline this year after the regulator banned some contracts and increased margins, Narne said.

The market regulator this month barred exchanges from offering new contracts in soybeans, while raising margins on trading in mustard seeds, gram and potatoes to curb speculation.

Domestic traders, producers and consuming companies are the main participants in India’s 21 exchanges. Overseas funds aren’t allowed to buy and sell commodity futures.

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