Chinese speculation in apple trade worth 60 billion

In just four hours, earlier this week, Chinese speculators traded as many apples as the whole country consumes in three months. We’re talking about 60 billion apples of the Fuji variety.

Investors on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange bought and sold about 964,000 futures contracts in a frenzied bout of trading, last Tuesday. At 10 tons apiece and a price of about 7,200 yuan ($1,138) a ton, that’s almost $11 billion worth of apples.

Even for the hectic world of China’s commodity markets, where everything is more intense, the explosion in apple volumes stands out. The world’s first apple futures started trading in December as a means for farmers to hedge output of the most popular fruit. After initial enthusiasm, volumes trailed off before picking up again in February, after the end of the Lunar New Year.

According to, shortly after the launch of the apples contract, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said it would strengthen supervision of the futures and firmly fight against market manipulation. Traders remain undeterred.

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