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China's first oil futures likely to start trading at year-end

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SHANGHAI, May 28 (Xinhua) -- China's first oil futures contract is likely to start trading by the end of this year, said the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SFE) chairman Song Anping on Thursday.

"As an important consumer of crude oil, a crude oil futures contract in Shanghai will complement and perfect the existing global oil-pricing system," said Song.

The blueprint of the contract has been completed and supporting policies will be launched soon, said Chu Juehai, general manager of the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (SIEE), the unit of SFE that will oversee the contract.

"To establish an authoritative international pricing benchmark, one needs to have an advanced financial system, healthy supervision, a thorough oil industry chain and a large consumer market," said Wang Zhen, of the China University of Petroleum.

China's oil consumption and imports, along with Shanghai's position as an international financial and shipping center, provide the chance for China to introduce a regional oil future with global influence, said Wang.

China is one of the world's largest oil buyers, and nearly 60 percent of its oil consumption comes from imports.

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