Number of futures and options contracts traded globally 2013-2018

In 2018, 17.15 billion futures contracts were traded worldwide, up from 12.13 billion in 2013. The number of options contracts traded increased from 9.42 to 13.13 billion contracts in the same period. Both contracts are financial derivatives, used to manage financial risk and speculate on future market performance.

What are derivatives?

Derivatives are financial instruments that are based on an underlying asset, such as a stock price, commodity value, or currency. There are multiple categories of derivatives, but this statistic focuses on futures and options. Futures contracts are the commitment to buy or sell the underlying at a future date for a set price. Options contracts are similar, but the holder is not required to execute the contract. Derivatives are often bought and sold on specific exchanges.

What are derivatives used for?

The promise of a futures contract is appealing to investors and firms who want to guarantee their expenses. For example, volatile commodities such as crude oil can rise suddenly, so a futures contract can hedge against a rise that would be damaging to a firm that relies heavily on gasoline, such as a transport company.

Number of futures and options contracts traded worldwide from 2013 to 2018

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Release date

March 2019



Survey time period

2013 to 2018

Special properties

contracts traded and/or cleared at 78 exchanges worldwide.

Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded.
contracts were traded and/or cleared at 82 exchanges worldwide in 2018.

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Statistics on "Exchange Traded Funds"

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