Rice futures trade urged continued

JIJI

The Osaka Dojima Commodity Exchange plans to apply for farm ministry approval to extend test trading in rice futures for two more years, sources said Wednesday.

The exchange’s rice futures trading is currently scheduled to end its two-year trial in August.

The exchange will not seek a full-fledged launch of rice futures trading due to low volume, according to the sources.

Participation by rice producers has been limited due to opposition by the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, or JA-Zenchu.

But a task force of experts set up by the exchange sees positive effects from the rice futures trading, including its contributions to fair rice price formation. The task force is expected to shortly compile a report asking for continued trading.

The exchange began the trial on Aug. 8, 2011, the first rice futures trading in the country in 72 years.

The exchange thinks a continued trial will open the way for the start of a full-fledged trading in the future, the sources said.