Navigating China’s growing market for commodities data

Lucy Gao, Research Analyst (Shanghai)

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China’s futures industry didn’t exist until 1990, but today it makes up 71% of global commodity futures trading. While much of this activity remains closed to international traders, the Chinese government is slowly opening the door, spurring a growth in demand for data. In this report, we break down the Chinese commodity data market and highlight the datasets relied on by Chinese traders.


The opening of China’s commodities market is still in its infancy. The first commodities instruments available to international investors were launched in March 2018. Then, in December 2020, JP Morgan became the first foreign institution to win a licence to trade futures onshore in China. Since then, the regulator has continued to open its domestic commodities markets to foreign investors, as well as creating futures and options products for offshore investors. As shown in the graph below, the number of commodities futures and options products open to international investors increased significantly in 2022.

We look at data providers that cover the following commodities sectors:

  • One-stop shops that cover multiple commodities
  • Energy and chemicals
  • Metals
  • Agriculture
  • Commodity flow

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