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EghtesadOnline: An estimated 470,000 futures contracts worth 19.03 trillion rials ($65.6 million) changed hands at the Iran Mercantile Exchange in the last calendar month ending Dec. 21.

Agriculture products including saffron, pistachio and cumin plus precious metals (silver and gold) comprised the underlying assets. 

“Negin Saffron” was the top traded futures in the month, accounting for 93% of the volume and 89% of value of the  futures deals. 

According to data seen on, 435,834 Negin futures valued at 16.87 trillion rials ($58 million) changed hands in IME for deliveries due in January and February. Negin is considered the best quality of saffron produced in Iran. 

In the mentioned month, 17,906 gold fund futures with an estimated value of 1.774 trillion rials ($6m) were sold in the IME’s derivative market, accounting for 4% of volume and 9% of value of the total traded futures.  The underlying asset for precious metal futures is units of gold-based exchange-traded funds.  

Traders exchanged 14,485 silver futures worth 321.952 billion rials, representing 3% and 2% of volume and value of deals, respectively. 

In the preceding months, commodity market investors traded copper futures for the first time in the IME’s history. They bought 58 copper cathode futures worth 14.5 billion rials. Trade in copper cathode futures commenced in the final days of the last calendar moth and the nascent futures is expected to thrive in the near future. 

Copper futures are backed by copper cathode, which is the basic building blocks of the copper production. Cathode is the starting point for processing copper.

Each contract is backed by 100 kilograms cathode and those interested can buy a maximum of25 contracts in each transaction at a daily price spread ranging from -5% to +5%.