Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) announced January 10 that December 2011 trading volume averaged 112,492 contracts per day, down 5.3% from November 2011 with year on year volume up 8%. There was a significant drop in average daily volume for Crude Oil (down 10.4% to 5,190 contracts) and Rubber (down 35.4% to 7,502 contracts).
The decreases may be attributed to lingering concerns of market participants over the persistent
European financial crisis that could prolong global financial market troubles, which resulted in stagnating trading. The holiday season has also slowed down the market.
Open interest at the end of December for all listed commodities totaled 323,801 contracts, a decrease of 29,838 contracts from the end of November.
TOCOM’s 2011 annual volume increased for the first time in five years, reaching 31,670,031 contracts, up 14.6% from 2010. Total trading value amounted to 96,172,439,359,600 yen, up 37% from 2010.
In 2011, gold attracted a significant amount of investment funds as a safe asset in light of global financial instability caused by the European sovereign debt problems and the downgrading of US government bonds. It also received wide public attention while its price hit record highs all around the world, which also raised awareness of commodities market in general. Under such circumstances, gold was more actively traded on TOCOM and its volume climbed dramatically in August and September. From October onwards, trading volume started to decline as investors withdrew their funds from risky assets in response to the escalating crisis.
At the end of 2011, open interest was 323,801 contracts, down 24,231 contracts from the end of 2010.