European futures and options volumes climbed by almost 10% in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest figures from the Futures Industry Association (FIA).
However, growing volumes in Europe and North America were tempered by falls in Asia and Latin America, meaning global growth was much lower.
The figures show total global volume rose by 0.5% from 5.39 billion contracts in Q1 2012 to 5.41 billion in the first quarter of this year. Latin America saw the biggest fall, down 9.2% to 416 million, while European volume leaped 9.5% to 1.13 billion.
The number of futures contracts expanded considerably, up 21.2% to 3.06 billion, however this was largely offset by a fall in options volume, down 17.9% from 2.86 billion to 2.35 billion.
Looking at specific asset classes, equity index contracts saw a sudden decline, dropping 24.9% to 1.3 billion, though this was largely blamed on the Korea Exchange's decision to make a five-fold increase in the size of its Kospi 200 options contract, which was at the time the most actively traded derivatives contract in the world.
Among the major exchanges, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) saw a huge leap in volumes, with quarterly volume up 126.3% to 218.3 million. Liquidity also jumped, with March Open Interest hitting 82.2 million, an 893.8% annual increase. This increase reflected the inclusion of OTC derivatives converted to swap futures for the venue from 15 October.
Overall, preliminary second quarter numbers indicate activity is picking up more substantially, with the US seeing volume increase by 23% in April and 11.6% in May on an annualised basis. Outside the US, figures for April saw volume increase by 11.6% to 1.27 billion.