ICE to Start Iron Ore Futures as Market Grows on China Bets

Intercontinental Exchange Inc., an operator of regulated exchanges and clearinghouses, will start two kinds of iron-ore futures as the market grows for the derivatives used to hedge prices and bet on Chinese growth.

The contracts will be based on cargoes with 62 percent iron content delivered to the Chinese port of Tianjin, settled against prices published by the Steel Index Ltd. and Platts, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Cos., ICE said in an e-mailed statement today. The futures will start trading on Feb. 11 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, according to the statement.

Trading in iron-ore swaps almost tripled to a record 111 million dry metric tons in 2012, according to Singapore-based SGX AsiaClear, the largest clearer of the contracts. About 1.1 billion tons of the raw material used to make steel were transported at sea, estimates Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker. Prices jumped as much as 83 percent from an almost-three-year low on Sept. 5 to 14-month high of $158.50 a ton on Jan. 8, the Steel Index data show.

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