The record figures are primarily driven by a surge in dry bulk futures in June, which accounted for $776 million and were up 376% compared with June 2006. Mikal Bøe, the exchange's director of information services, said the increase was due to growth in the underlying bulk freight market, driven by demand for coal and iron ore from China and India. Though the underlying is relatively illiquid, he said, "liquidity breeds liquidity" in the futures market; exchange volumes in the dry bulk freight sector had been growing since late 2006.
Freight options also saw strong development, with 9,140 lots traded in the second quarter, up close to 900% since the start in Q206.
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