Global interest rate derivatives contracts reach largest number on record

Data from the World Federation of Exchanges showed 3.9 billion interest rate derivatives contracts were traded in 2017.

The number of contracts traded globally for interest rate derivatives reached the highest number on record in 2017, according to statistics from the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).

Volumes traded of interest rate derivatives contracts were up 13.1% compared to 2016, with the total number of contracts peaking at 3.9 billion in 2017. WFE said this was the largest number of contracts since it started examining the figures in 2005.

All regions saw increased interest rate derivatives volumes in 2017 compared to 2016. The Americas, where over 66% of the total volumes are traded, saw volumes increase by 11.7%, while in the Asia Pacific and EMEA regions volumes were up by 5.5% and 18% respectively.

Globally, derivatives volumes were down slightly in 2017 by 0.2% compared to the year prior, with a total of 25 billion contracts traded.  

The WFE report showed a 5.8% increase in volume traded in the Americas, which offset declines of 3.5% in Asia Pacific and 5.3% in EMEA.

“While the overall global derivatives market was broadly flat in 2017, it is interesting to note the growth in volumes in the Americas, helping to offset declines in both EMEA and Asia-Pacific,” said WFE’s chief executive officer, Nandini Sukumar.

“Indeed, the Americas posted a very strong year across the board, with upticks across most asset classes. It was also interesting to see – for the second consecutive year – volumes of equity derivatives hover below 50% of total volumes,” she added.

Equity derivatives remained the most actively traded exchange-traded derivative product at 48% of total volumes, although this accounted for less than 50% of the total derivatives volume traded.

Equity derivatives volumes traded in the Americas and Asia Pacific were up year-on-year, although the EMEA region saw a 10.9% decline in the number of contracts traded.