* Volume in commodity futures, options up 19 pct last year
* Equities, interest rate and currency derivatives down
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, March 7 Commodity futures and options
were the only derivatives that saw growth in trading volumes
last year, the World Federation of Exchanges said, amid what
analysts said was a weak U.S. market after the MF Global and
Peregrine broking scandals.
The number of commodity derivatives traded across the world
rose by around 19 percent for a second straight year in 2012,
reaching 3,265 contracts in all from 2,749 in 2011, the
Paris-based WEF said in a statement issued on Thursday.
In comparison, interest rates instruments registered a 15
percent decline in derivatives volume; securities for equities
showed a fall of more than 15 percent and currency derivatives
marked a drop of over 22 percent.
And for the first time since 2004, the number of exchange-
traded derivatives worldwide decreased 15 percent to a total of
around 21 billion.
"The only segment that experienced an increase in 2012 was
commodities," WEF said.
"This increase in volumes was partly, but not only,
explained by mainland Chinese exchanges that experienced a 34
percent increase and that accounted for 41 percent of the global
volumes in 2012."
Although the WEF cited China as a contributor to last year's
growth in commodities, it did not break down trade by country,
meaning there were no numbers to compare volumes in China with
those in the United States, the world's No. 1 economy.
The growth in commodity trading volumes was at odds with the
activity in U.S. markets last year after the collapse of major
brokers MF Global and Peregrine Financial, analysts said.
"From what I know, the U.S. marketplace for commodities was
pretty much damaged in 2012 from the MFG and Peregrine sagas,
and I speak from evidence of my own trade volumes and what I
know of other FCMs (futures commissions merchants)," said Sean
McGillivray, vice president at Great Pacific Wealth Management
MF Global declared bankruptcy in October 2011 after
regulators found an estimated $1.6 billion hole in customer
accounts at its U.S. broker-dealer unit and determined that the
money had been improperly used to cover corporate needs.
In Peregrine's case, it filed for bankruptcy in July 2012,
listing more than $500 million in assets and over $100 million
in liabilities. Former chief executive Russell Wasendorf Sr. is
serving a 50-year sentence for bilking $215 million from
customers of the failed futures brokerage.
Revenue from commodities trading at global investment banks
fell by a quarter last year from 2011, making the asset class
the worst performer in the fixed-income business of banks,
according to London-based Coalition, a financial services
(Reporting by Barani Krishnan. Editing by Andre Grenon)