China will expand access to key agricultural futures to foreign investors, three major commodity exchanges announced on 2 September.

The Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE) and Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) all released notices of the move on their websites separately but simultaneously on Friday, AgriCensus reported on the same day.

"Starting from today, Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors and RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors can participate in the trading of the following commodity futures and options contracts," the statements said, listing a range of agriculture futures including futures and options for No. 1 soyabean, No. 2 soyabean, soya meal, soya oil, RBD olein, iron ore and petrochemical product LLDPE on the DCE. Within these products, RBD olein had been open to international investors since the end of 2020, AgriCensus said.

On the ZCE, overseas investors would be allowed to trade in rapeseed oil, white sugar, methanol and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) futures and options, and polyester staple fibre futures. However, rapeseed, rape meal and wheat would still not open to international investors.

The SHFE would allow overseas trading in various metal futures and options.

AgriCensus said China was increasing efforts to improve transparency and accessibility to its domestic commodity futures markets, while also promoting its pricing power and influence in the international financial market.

However, international trade sources doubted the move would attract much investment in the current climate, adding that larger international firms and experienced traders had already been active in these markets for a while through local entities.