Japan to relaunch rice futures for first time after WW II

images (6) TOKYO (Commodity Online): Japan is relaunching the Rice futures for the first time since World War II with Tokyo Grain Exchange and Kansai Commodity Exchange to begin trading in the commodity from Monday.

Tokyo Grain Exchange, the largest agricultural bourse in Japan has informed in its website that initally three contracts, November 2011, December 2011 and January 2012 will be available for trading. The two exchanges will list yen-denominated contracts, with deliverable grades including "koshihikari," a popular rice brand grown in Japan. Imported rice is excluded from physical delivery at the exchanges as the government maintains control over foreign purchasing and sales, according to Bloomberg,

The re-launch of Rice futures is intented to boost flagging volumes and profit for the bourses while government has banned rice shipments from Fukishima and near by areas fearing radiation contamination after the natural disaster in March. Analysts said that if rice shipments are banned, that will reduce supplies and boost rice futures. Tokyo Grain Exchange, suffering losses for three consecutive years, hopes to break-even with rice futures trading.

The timing of the re-launch also looks appropriate in view of the 46% jump in rice futures at Chicago Board of Trade following fall in acreage this year. Rice futures was suspended in 1939 when the government put grain production and distribution under its control to secure supplies during the war.

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