25 Billion Global Futures Trades

The FIA (Futures Industry Association) is out with their annual data showing just how big the futures and options (what we some might call derivatives) world is. Specifically, looking at the 2017 volume and open interest on all futures and options exchanges. 2017 held steady with 25 Billion contracts:

2017 Futures Options Volume

Overall volume did decline by 20 million trades, or 0.01% of total trades year-over-year. Each region experienced a decline in trading except North America and Latin America:

Futures Options Volume by Region

Growth by Sector

Between 2016 and 2017, volume of Interest Rate Futures and Options grew by 500 Million contracts. The biggest chance came from the 3 Month Euribor Futures contract (traded on the ICE Futures Europe) with volume up 62 Million trades, or a 46% increase. Eurodollar Mid-Curve Options saw a 35% increase in volume year-over-year, but comes in third place amongst most traded Interest Rate derivatives.

Meanwhile, the top Interest rate increase of open interest came from IDI Index Options, up 13 million contracts, or a 110% increase.

Top 20 Commodity Future Contracts Traded in 2017

Interest Rate Futures and Options might have been the highest performing sector, but what about the most traded Commodity future? If you would have guessed Steel Rebar Futures, you would have guessed right, followed by Brent futures traded on the Moscow Exchange.

Top commodity Futures and Options Volume 2017

Top Exchange

Finally, which futures exchange can hold claim to the most contracts handed over in the year 2017? No surprise, it is once again the CME with a 1.6 Billion in volume over second place, National Stock Exchange of India, and an almost 2 Billion contract lead over ICE:

Top Futures and Options Exchange 2017

To put this into context, CME only led ICE by 300 Million contracts back in 2013. It’s not only that the CME has 1 Billion more contracts since 2013, but ICE has lost 700 Million contracts on its exchange since 2013.


In a year with little market movement, it’s good to see the amount of market activity remained the same. The CME has taken an even larger lead for volume than any other exchange. When it comes to interest rates, we will say that Managed Futures and Global Macro programs love interest rate markets, which would set up for an even more interesting 2018 than we’ve already experienced.

The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, RCM's own estimates of performance based on account managed by advisors on its books, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

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