Q&A: FIA’s Acworth shares key findings from survey of global derivatives volume

The Futures Industry Association recently released its 2015 Annual Survey on Global Derivatives Volume. SmartBrief chatted with Will Acworth, Senior Vice President of Publications, Data and Research at FIA, to learn more about the survey and the trends it uncovered.
What are the key findings of FIA’s 2015 Annual Survey on Global Derivatives Volume?
The big trend that we saw last year was a jump in the trading volume on Asian exchanges. We collect statistics from about 75 exchanges worldwide and 28 of those are in the Asia-Pacific region. Last year, Asia-Pacific exchanges handled 9.7 billion futures and options contracts, which represents a 33.7% increase from the previous year. That compares with basically zero growth in North America and about 8% growth in Europe. Clearly, volumes in Asia were growing much faster than the rest of the world.
Another development worth noting is that if you look at the share that Asia has of the global market, it is definitely on the rise. In 2015, approximately 39% of worldwide trading activity in listed derivatives took place on exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region. That compares to 33% in North America and 19% in Europe. It is not the first time that Asia has captured the largest market share, but it is clearly a notable development for 2015.
Many of the most actively traded contracts on Asian exchanges are much smaller than their counterparts in Europe and the U.S. Does that distort the size of the growth trend in Asia?
There is no question that many of the Asian contracts you …