New data from the Futures Industry Association (FIA) shows a 20.2% increase in the number of futures and options contracts traded globally on exchanges in 2018.
Futures volume rose 15.6% to 17.15 billion contracts traded, while options volume rose 26.8% to 13.13 billion contracts traded.
“The rapid growth in derivatives trading on exchanges around the world highlights the value that these products continue to provide for end-users and investors,” says Walt Lukken, president and CEO of FIA.
The overall rate of growth was the highest since 2010, when rapid growth in Asia-Pacific and Latin America combined with a recovery in the North American interest-rate sector to produce a growth rate of 26.4%.
Looking at regional trends, exchanges in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions grew the most rapidly in 2018. Last year, Asia-Pacific exchange volume rose 27.1% to 11.19 billion contracts, while Latin American exchange volume grew 40.8% to 2.78 billion contracts.
Volume on North American exchanges in 2018 rose 18.8% to 10.56 billion contracts, equivalent to 34.9% of worldwide volume. Volume on European exchanges rose 6.7% to 5.27 billion contracts, equivalent to 17.4% of worldwide volume.
Trading of equity index futures and options was one of the main drivers for the overall increase in trading in 2018. Global equity index volume jumped 32.8% to 9.98 billion contracts, with exchanges in India, North America, Brazil and Korea accounting for most of that increase.
Currency futures and options rose 31.7% to a record amount of 3.93 billion contracts, driven mainly by higher levels of trading on exchanges in India, Brazil and Argentina.
Interest rate trading, which is concentrated on North American and European exchanges, rose 14.8% to a record amount of 4.55 billion contracts. This was the third straight year that interest rate trading hit a record. Non-precious metals volume was down 12.5% to 1.52 billion.
However, year-end open interest declined 1.4% to 827.6 million contracts in 2018. This decline was felt globally, except in Europe, where year-end open interest rose 9% to 212.1 million contracts. Asia-Pacific exchanges, despite having high levels of volume, had only 67.8 million contracts in open interest outstanding at year-end, equivalent to just 8.2% of global open interest. Open interest on North American exchanges was 455.3 million contracts at year-end, more than half of all exchange-traded derivatives outstanding worldwide.