Ethylene glycol (EG) futures, a new chemical futures product, was formally launched on Monday at China's Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), to help domestic enterprises improve price risk management.
On the first trading day, the market edged down, with total transaction volumes amounting to 40.15 billion yuan (about 5.94 billion U.S. dollars), involving six products with different delivery months.
An important basic organic raw material of the petrochemical industry, EG is widely used in polyester fiber manufacturing, with end products ranging from clothing and carpet to curtains and bottles.
Affected by multiple factors, the price of EG has fluctuated drastically in recent years, bringing significant impact to relevant industries, according to Chang Depeng, spokesperson with the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
The listing of EG futures will provide a better hedging tool for companies and facilitate a healthy industry chain, he said.
Currently, China is the largest EG importer and consumer in the world. In 2017, China produced 5.57 million tones of EG, taking up 20 percent of the world's total, the second highest after the Middle East, according to the DCE.
China's total consumption, however, reached 14.307 million tonnes in 2017, accounting for 51 percent of the world's total.
To meet huge domestic demand, China imported 8.751 million tons of EG in 2017, posting an import dependence rate of 61.2 percent.
According to an exchange forecast, more than 60 percent of the world's new production capacity in the next two years will be generated in China, which will make more EG available for futures delivery.
China's polyester industry has attracted thousands of enterprises. The listing of EG futures will provide domestic enterprises along the industry chain a risk prevention tool, according to an exchange statement.
Considering the industry's high dependence on imports, the exchange has allowed bonded futures delivery so clients can start the delivery process before customs clearance.
As eastern and southern China import and consume the largest amount of EG, the exchange has made Jiangsu Province in the east the standard delivery location, supplemented by non-standard delivery locations in Shanghai and the provinces of Zhejiang, Guangdong and Fujian.
In addition to EG, DCE has already launched three other chemical futures products, namely LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene), PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PP (Polypropylene).
Director General Li Zhengqiang of DCE said the exchange would speed up the launch of new products and tools under the premise of ensuring steady market operation, continuously optimizing existing products, facilitating the integration of over-the-counter business and steadily opening-up the futures market to foreign investors.