ICEX eyes steel, petrol and diesel futures contracts

MUMBAI: The Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX), which had launched the world's first diamond futures contracts last year, is set to launch steel, petrol and diesel futures contracts, a top exchange official said.

The exchange sees huge demand for steel ingots and billets, which are basic raw materials for long steel products.

"We are hopeful of launching steel futures in the next one to two months as we have received the Sebi nod," ICEX managing director and chief executive officer Sanjit Prasad told PTI.

The futures contracts will provide price hedging platform to lot of infrastructure players, he said, adding, "Initially we are looking at launching three future contracts for steel."

The exchange is also working to launch petrol and diesel futures contracts to manage price discovery.

"We have received in-principle nod from the petroleum ministry and are awaiting Sebi nod," Prasad said, adding diesel and petrol contacts will enable retail outlets and large fleet owners to safeguard against crude price uncertainty.

The launch of futures contracts on diesel and petrol will allow consumers to buy these contracts at a fixed price and to take delivery at a future date-which could range from a few days to a few months.

"These products could also help retail gas outlets and transporters acquire new clients by offering fixed prices on a one, two or three months, or even for longer period," he said.

Commenting on growth plans, Prasad said, the ICEX is all set to merge the Ahmedabad-based National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE) with itself, making it the third largest commodity exchange after the MCX and the NCDEX.

"The NMCE merger, which is running successful rubber contracts, will help us launch more commodity-based contracts. The merger is expected to be completed two months after the NCLT approval," he added.

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