Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Singapore Mercantile Exchange traded more than 1,100 metric tons of black pepper futures on Feb. 10, the first day of trading, the bourse said today.
The futures, the first agricultural commodities contract offered by the exchange, were worth almost $7 million, it said in an e-mailed statement. The March-delivery contract declined 2.9 percent to $5,850 per ton at 6 p.m. in Singapore today.
The contract traded in Singapore, the first in global pepper futures, is for spice with a density of 550 grams per liter, a common grade in Asia, said the exchange, which is promoted by Financial Technologies (India) Ltd. The spice will have a physical delivery center in Binh Doung province of Vietnam, according to the exchange.
In Vietnam, the largest exporter, the harvest is set to start by the end of February, the exchange said. The country dominates the world market, with an export share of 43 percent, while other major shippers include Indonesia, Malaysia and India, the Singapore exchange said this month.
Imports by the U.S. rose to 64,276 tons in the first 11 months of 2011, from 63,274 tons a year earlier, the International Pepper Community said in its weekly bulletin.
--Editors: Thomas Kutty Abraham, Abhay Singh
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