ZCE Hard White Winter Wheat

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ZCE hard white winter wheat futures trade on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE). They were launched on February 1, 2000, in compliance with the National Standard for Wheat GB1351-1999[1]. Wheat futures had already been listed on the ZCE prior to February 1, 2000, but back then there was no specification, such as hard white winter wheat, etc.

Currently, China is the world’s top wheat producer[2].

Each ZCE hard white winter wheat futures contract represents 10 tons of deliverable 2nd grade hard winter white wheat, which is defined in accordance with the new National Standard for Wheat GB1351-2008, while substitutions at differentials that meet ZCE delivery rules are also good for delivery, and its delivery date is set as the first to last trading day of the contract month[3].

Each ZCE hard white winter wheat futures contract is subject to a margin rate equivalent to 5 percent of contract value (e.g., 902.5 yuan = 1805 yuan [WT903 last price on May 21, 2008] x 10 [tons/contract] x 5 percent) as well as a trading fee of 2 yuan (RMB) / contract.

Although ZCE hard white winter wheat futures contract complies with the National Standard for Wheat, for that very reason, it lacks price volatility and at the same time both its commercial usage and definition of delivery eligibility are not quite clear, and as a result, its sister contract, ZCE strong gluten wheat futures has far larger trading volume. In 2008, ZCE hard white winter wheat futures traded only 328,418 contracts (+538.47 percent YOY) and its turnover amounted to 6 billion yuan (+600 percent YOY), compared with ZCE strong gluten wheat futures' 55,017,028 contracts and 1,140.7 billion yuan, respectively.

Effective March 24, 2008, the ZCE announced that it would relax the delivery conditions for hard white winter wheat futures contract starting June 2008, making not only first- and second-grade but also lower grade white winter wheats eligible for delivery, upon the introduction of the new National Standard for Wheat GB1351-2008[4]. Thereafter, volume seems to have picked up somewhat, with 12,370 contracts traded in April 2008, up 64.6% over April 2007[5].

ZCE Monthly Volume by Product.JPG

ZCE Hard White Winter Wheat futures
Exchange Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange
Settlement Physically delivered
Contract Size 10 tons/lot
Pricing Unit 10 yuan (RMB)
Tick Value 10 yuan (RMB)
Contract Months Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep and Nov
Last Trading Day The seventh business day prior to the last trading day in the contract month
Note: This contract is electronic ONLY -- no open outcry
  No Open Outcry Electronic
Trading Hours N/A 9:00-11:30 a.m. 1:30-3:00 p.m
Ticker Symbol N/A WT
Price Limits N/A 3% above or below the previous trading day's settlement price


  1. History of ZCE. Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange.
  2. Record crop to ease wheat prices?. Toronto Star.
  3. Hard White Winter Wheat Futures Contract Specs. Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange.
  4. Changes in wheat futures. People's Daily Online.
  5. MONTHLY REPORT(Apr., 2008). Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange.