The Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE) in central China's Henan Province on Tuesday launched trading of Chinese jujube futures.
As the world's first futures trading platform for dried jujube, the ZCE has introduced the first batch of jujube contracts CJ1912, CJ2001, CJ2003 and CJ2005.
Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said jujube was an important agricultural industry in China, and the futures could provide benchmark prices and tools to avoid risks for enterprises and farmers.
He said the futures could also help jujube enterprises improve standards and add more value to products.
Jujube trees are indigenous to China, which has 98 percent of the world's jujube plantations. The plant is a source of income for more than 20 million Chinese farmers.
The demand for the nutritious agricultural product has been on the rise in China. Over 5.6 million tonnes of jujubes were sold in the Chinese market in 2017, up from 3.9 million tonnes in 2005, according to the ZCE.
Xu Longzhang, deputy secretary-general of the regional government of Xinjiang, hailed the futures trading for its significance to Xinjiang's jujube industry.
Xinjiang is the largest commercial jujube plantation base in China, with 476,300 hectares of jujube trees in 2017 and an annual output of 3.47 million tonnes.
Xu said at the launch ceremony that despite the rapid growth, Xinjiang's jujube industry had faced problems such as violent price fluctuation and lack of standards.
"The launch of the futures is conducive to forming a fair and transparent jujube market, boosting the jujube industry and stabilizing farmers' incomes," he said.