SGX AsiaClear, the world’s largest clearer of iron-ore swaps, began a futures contract for the commodity today and prices settled unchanged.
April futures were unchanged at $138.08 a metric ton after no contracts were traded. The Singapore-based clearing house is a unit of Singapore Exchange Ltd. One futures contract covers 100 metric tons compared with 500 tons for the swaps. Six e-mails sent to the SGX media office seeking comment were not replied to.
Global demand for seaborne ore has doubled since 2004 as China emerged as the world’s second-largest economy, ramping up steel output. As demand rose, ore pricing shifted from annual contracts set between mining companies and mills to shorter-term agreements and increased spot sales. SGX joins CME Group Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. in offering futures.
The contracts are to be settled in cash against The Steel Index Ltd. price for Tianjin, which refers to ore with 62 percent content delivered to the Chinese port, according to contract specifications listed on the company’s website.
The introduction of the new product, which had been set to start on Feb. 25, was postponed for six weeks to “provide member firms sufficient time to prepare their trading and clearing support, including conducting necessary systems testing,” SGX AsiaClear said in a Feb. 21 statement.