The lacklustre condition of the financial markets during the past 12 to 18 months has pushed investors back towards commodities, where a revival in volume was seen throughout 2002. Of particular interest, is the fact that agricultural derivatives experienced record volumes.
Last year, Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) beat its
all-time volume record in July for wheat options, in November
for wheat futures and across the exchange in October. Winnipeg
Commodity Exchange (WCE), although not beating its all-time
high, also witnessed increased volume levels, especially in its
canola futures and options contracts. This was despite
considerably reduced crop levels. The US, Canada and Australia
were all subject to a drought that left the underlying physical
market significantly depleted, which boosted the derivative
"The last time that we had such a reduced amount of crop,
the volumes were considerably lower than they are now. We are
encouraged by the fact that, during this reduction in crop
levels, volume has not dropped off as much as it did in the
past," say Bruce Love, vp market and corporate development at
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