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UNCTAD COMMODITY EXCHANGES AROUND THE WORLD By the UNCTAD Secretariat ∗ Virtually all of the futures exchanges in the United States date from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. They all started as commodity exchanges, but since the early 1980s trade in financial futures has become more and more important for most of them. Until 1998, the Chicago Board of Trade used to be the world=s largest futures exchange, but is now the second-largest place with a volume of 255 million contracts in 1999 (11 per cent of total world volume). The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the world=s fourth-largest, accounted for about 8.5 per cent of world volume, while the New York Mercantile Exchange (former NYMEX and COMEX), the world=s…show more content…
Most of the products traded are agricultural (with some processed products traded in a few countries), but the Government of Colombia is looking at the possibility of introducing a commodity exchange for emeralds. The trading possibilities offered by the exchanges vary widely. Most provide a forum for the trade in physical commodities, but some also enable forward trading; in Colombia, the exchange also trades the Acredit@ part of warehouse receipts (in Latin America, warehouse receipts consist of two parts, one which gives rights to the commodities, and one which is used for credit purposes). The creation of a commodity futures exchange was proposed by a major private sector group in Chile in the late 1980s; the proposed exchange would trade in domestic food-grains and in fishmeal, but plans for it have not yet been finalised. In Paraguay, the Government considered the possibilities for the introduction of an exchange. Progress towards the introduction of an exchange is quite advanced in the Dominican Republic; it is planned to introduce warehouse receipt trading for beans and coffee. In Venezuela, a group already active in trading warehouse receipts over-the-counter is also working on the creation of an exchange. 6 UNCTAD Europe is home to both some of the world=s oldest and some of the world=s newest commodity exchanges. Two

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