Tokyo Commodity Exchange – 3 Exchanges In One To Create Japan’s Largest Trading Floor

The Essential Guide
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What is the Tokyo Commodity Exchange?

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) is Japan’s largest commodity futures exchange.

TOCOM trades more than 24 million contracts annually, which represents 98.5% of Japan’s commodity futures. About half of all trading on TOCOM originates outside of Japan.

Therefore, the exchange serves not only commodities traders in Japan, but also the rest of Asia and the global trading community at large.

History of TOCOM

TOCOM was established in 1984 as the result of the merger of three exchanges:

  • Tokyo Textile Exchange – 1951
  • Tokyo Rubber Exchange – 1952
  • Tokyo Gold Exchange – 1982
Event/Product LaunchYearCommentary
Electronic Trading1991Started continuous trading on electronic platform
Aluminum1997Discontinued aluminum trading in 2010
Oil Refined Products1999Listed gasoline and kerosene
Crude Oil2001
Electronic Trading (Upgrade)2003Launched second generation platform
Gas OilDiscontinued listing in 2006
Gold Options2004
Auction Floor Abolished
Japan Commodity Clearing House Co., Ltd. (JCHH)2005Commenced multi-exchange clearing house operations
Rubber, Precious Metals and Aluminum EFPIntroduced exchange future for physical (EFP) product, which is a transaction between two parties in which a futures contract on a commodity is exchanged for the actual physical good.
Gold Mini2007Introduced smaller-sized gold futures contract
Platinum Mini2008
Electronic Trading (Upgrade)2009Launched third generation platform
Extended Trading HoursExtended trading until 11pm (7pm for rubber)
Nikkei-TOCOM Commodity Index Market2010Launched Nikkei-TOCOM Commodity Index futures (discontinued listing in 2012)
Emissions TradingEstablished Emissions Trading Exchange Preparatory Corporation Inc. in collaboration with Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc.
Gas OilReopened market
Extended Trading HoursExtended trading until 4am (rubber excluded)
JCHHBecame a subsidiary of TOCOM
Margin Change2011Introduced SPAN margin model at JCHH
Agricultural Products2013Launched soybean, Azuki (red bean), corn and raw sugar (raw sugar listing discontinued in January, 2015)
Japan OTC Exchange Inc. (JOE)Established a joint venture with Ginga Energy Japan, Inc., to provide an OTC trading platform
Overseas Trading 2015Granted registration as Foreign Board of Trade (FBOT) by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
Gold Launched rolling spot futures
Gold2016Launched physical gold transaction
Electronic Trading (Upgrade)Launched fourth generation platform
Oil2017Launched physical oil transaction
PlatinumLaunched rolling spot futures
OTCJOE became wholly-owned subsidiary of TOCOM
OilLaunched cash-settled oil products futures

How is TOCOM Regulated?

TOCOM oversees the regulation of the exchange and clearing house it operates, and in that role, functions as a self-regulatory organization (SRO). The Commodity Derivatives Act in Japan sets forth the process for self-regulation and the establishment of a Self-Regulatory Committee.

A Self-Regulatory Committee (SRC) must be composed primarily of outside directors to ensure that is independent from trading, clearing and other operations of the exchange.

The TOCOM SRC has the power to make decisions on matters concerning self-regulation. TOCOM also has established a department in charge of self-regulation to support the Self-Regulatory Committee.

TOCOM self-regulatory functions cover the following three areas:

Regulatory FunctionDescription
Examination of Members’ Qualifications The period of examination of new members’ qualifications covers about three months. The process takes place as follows:
  1. TOCOM consults/explains requirements to prospective member
  2. Exchange provides membership form to applicant
  3. Member returns application
  4. SRC examines and approves application
  5. Applicant pays registration fees
  6. Exchange concludes membership agreement
  7. Member deposits guarantee funds
Sanctions Against MembersIf the exchange suspects that a member has violated laws and regulations or the rules of the Exchange, the SRC decides the specific sanctions to be imposed. The process takes place as follows:
  • Occurrence of a case deemed highly likely to fall under unfair trading or another exchange violation.
  • The SRC:
    1. Investigates
    2. Offers the subject of the investigation an opportunity to explain
    3. Decides on any sanctions, when appropriate
  • SRC notifies the member of the type of sanction and the reason for its imposition
  • Examination of Trades and Trade PracticesTOCOM monitors all transactions carried out in the markets of the Exchange, and investigates the status of transactions and price trends to detect unfair trade practice, including market manipulation.

    Traders can consult the compliance and self-regulatory sections of the TOCOM website to learn more about each of these regulatory functions and to see examples of the following:

    1. Explanations of unfair trading under the Commodity Derivatives Act
    2. Examples of trade practices that might trigger actions by the Exchange
    3. Explanations of trade practice surveillance techniques
    4. Case studies of unfair trading

    What Products Does the TOCOM Trade?

    The TOCOM website provides the following guide to its listed products:

    MarketProductsMarket DataTrading Guide
    Precious Metals
    Gold Icon
    Gold (Standard)Quotes for Individual Products (Gold (Standard))
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Gold (Standard))
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Precious Metals)
    Contract Specifications (Gold (Standard/Mini))
    Gold (Mini)Quotes for Individual Products (Gold (Mini))
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Gold (Mini))
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Precious Metals)
    Gold Rolling SpotQuotes for Individual Products (Gold Rolling Spot)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Gold Rolling Spot)
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Precious Metals)
    Contract Specifications (Gold Rolling Spot)
    Gold OptionsQuotes for Individual Products (Gold Options (Call))
    Quotes for Individual Products (Gold Options (Put))
    Contract Specifications (Gold Options)
    SilverQuotes for Individual Products (Silver)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Silver)
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Precious Metals)
    Contract Specifications (Silver)
    Platinum (Standard)Quotes for Individual Products (Platinum (Standard))
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Platinum (Standard))
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Precious Metals)
    Contract Specifications (Platinum (Standard/Mini))
    Platinum (Mini)Quotes for Individual Products (Platinum (Mini))
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Platinum (Mini))
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Precious Metals)
    Platinum Rolling SpotQuotes for Individual Products (Platinum Rolling Spot)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Platinum Rolling Spot)
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Platinum Rolling Spot)
    PalladiumQuotes for Individual Products (Palladium)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Palladium)
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Precious Metals)
    Contract Specifications (Palladium)
    Fuel Icon
    GasolineQuotes for Individual Products (Gasoline)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Gasoline)
    Contract Specifications (Gasoline)
    KeroseneQuotes for Individual Products (Kerosene)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Kerosene)
    Contract Specifications (Kerosene)
    Gas OilQuotes for Individual Products (Gas Oil)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Gas Oil)
    Contract Specifications (Gas Oil)
    Dubai Crude OilQuotes for Individual Products (Dubai Crude Oil)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Dubai Crude Oil)
    Contract Specifications (Dubai Crude Oil)
    Chukyo GasolineQuotes for Individual Products (Chukyo Gasoline)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Chukyo Gasoline)
    Contract Specifications (Chukyo Gasoline)
    Chukyo KeroseneQuotes for Individual Products (Chukyo Kerosene)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Chukyo Kerosene)
    Contract Specifications (Chukyo Kerosene)
    Rubber Icon
    RubberQuotes for Individual Products (Rubber)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Rubber)
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Rubber)
    Contract Specifications (Rubber)
    Wheat Icon
    CornQuotes for Individual Products (Corn)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Corn)
    Contract Specifications (Corn)
    Grading Table (Corn)
    SoybeanQuotes for Individual Products (Soybean)
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Soybean)
    Contract Specifications (Soybean)
    Grading Table (Soybean)
    Azuki (Red Bean)Quotes for Individual Products (Azuki (Red Bean))
    Open Interest by Categories [Weekly] (Azuki (Red Bean))
    Stocks and Warehouse Receipts (Azuki (Red Bean))
    Contract Specifications (Azuki (Red Bean))
    Grading Table (Azuki (Red Bean))

    Explanation of the TOCOM Listed Products Guide


    Each TOCOM listed product falls into one of four broad categories: precious metals, oil, rubber or agricultural.


    This column provides a description of the specific commodity.

    Market Data

    The market data column provides links to the section of the TOCOM website that provides more details about the product:

    • Quotes for Individual Products: This page shows the following information for each trading session:
      1. Contract month
      2. Last settlement price
      3. Open
      4. High
      5. Low
      6. Close
      7. Change
      8. Volume
      9. Settlement

    Traders can also find links to pages with margin requirements, circuit breaker triggers, business calendars and historical data.

    • Open Interest: This page shows the long and short open interests for commercials and non-commercials and other categories such as funds, retail traders and proprietary trading firms. Traders can also locate near and back month settlement prices.
    • Stocks and Warehouse Receipts: Traders can track warehouse receipts for those commodities stored in warehouses. This allows traders to gauge changes in supply of the commodity.

    Trading Guide

    Traders can find all of the contract specifications for each TOCOM commodity.

    How Can You Start Trading?

    Many regulated brokerage firms offer contracts for difference (CFDs) based on products traded on TOCOM such as precious metals, oil, rubber and agricultural commodities.

    CFDs are a derivative instrument that offers retail traders a different way to invest in financial markets. CFDs allow traders to use leverage to bet on the price of financial assets. The value of a CFD is the difference between the price of a financial instrument at the time of its purchase and its current price.

    Traders can open an account at one of these regulated brokerage firms and begin trading CFDs based on TOCOM products.

    CFD commodity brokers available in :

    Loading table...

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 71.00%-89.00% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

    How Does TOCOM Conduct Trading?

    TOCOM conducts all trading electronically on its fourth generation trading platform. Features of the platform include the following:

    • NASDAQ Technology: The platform runs on NASDAQ’s Genium INET technology and its Pre-Trade Risk and SMARTS Market Surveillance technology
    • Integration with J-GATE: TOCOM integrates its trading platform with the Osaka Exchange’s derivatives trading system (J-GATE), which also runs on the same NASDAQ trading technology
    • Mutually-shared Trading System: The integration between TOCOM and the Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE) allows customers to seamlessly trade both financial products and commodities on the same platform. (* The integration of trading between two separate exchanges is one of first of its kind in the world. NASDAQ and TOCOM have been technology partners since 2009)

    What Type of Memberships Does TOCOM Offer?

    TOCOM offers six different classes of memberships:

    Membership Classes

    Tokyo Commodity Exchange Membership Options

    Membership CategoryTrade PermissionsAccess to TOCOM
    Broker Member
  • Proprietary transactions
  • Customer transactions
  • Direct
    Trade MemberProprietary transactions Direct
    Remote Broker Member
  • Proprietary transactions
  • Customer transactions
  • (only based on consignment of commodity clearing transactions)
    Remote Trade MemberProprietary transactions (only based on consignment of commodity clearing transactions)Direct
    Affiliate MemberMembers who have qualifications other than the aboveIndirect
    Associate MemberForeign customers who trade often in TOCOM marketsIndirect

    (* TOCOM does not require a member to have a business location in Japan. However, Remote Brokers and Remote Trade Members must designate their clearing brokers as Agents for Service of Process. Indirect trading must take place through Commodity Derivatives Business Operators.)

    TCOM has received regulatory approval to provide direct market access to market participants in the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.

    Membership Requirements

    Membership CategoryEligible Applicants
    Broker MemberJapanese entities licensed as Commodity Derivatives Business Operators by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) or the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)
    Remote Broker MemberForeign entities licensed as equivalent to Commodity Derivatives Business Operators in the country where the office is located.
    Trade Member
  • Commercials that engage in physical trading activities of TOCOM listed commodities
  • Commodity Derivatives Business Operators such as Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs)
  • Foreign FCMs
  • Specified OTC Commodity Derivative Dealers
  • Commodity Trading Advisers (CTAs), proprietary firms and financial institutions
  • Remote Trade Member
    Affiliate Member

    Traders should consult the TOCOM membership brochure for further details including the fees and dues associated with each type of membership.

    What Are the Margin Requirements?

    The Japan Commodities Clearing House (JCCH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TCOM, establishes rules concerning margin requirements for TOCOM customers.

    The JCCH requires clearing margin from participants to protect against the possibility of a Clearing Member defaulting on an obligation. The amount of collateral required depends on many factors.

    Beginning in 2011, JCCH began using the proprietary SPAN margin model developed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). The model relies on historical volatility and price fluctuations to determine margin requirements for positions. Traders can find additional details in the Clearing Margin Rules manual.

    What Are the Fees and Charges?

    The TOCOM website lists the following yen-denominated fees levied on Broker Members. This fee schedule does not include trading system-related costs and excludes consumption tax or guaranteed fund required:

    Market DivisionsPrecious MetalsOilRubberAgricultural Product & SugarChunkyo Oil
    Registration FeePer Market Division: JPY 10 million (cap: JPY 25 million (exclude the registration fee for Agricultural Product and Sugar Market)
    Monthly Membership DuesJPY 60,000 per Market DivisionJPY 40,000
    Fee to Amend Registered NameJPY 1 million
    Exchange Fee
    (per contract; one-way)
  • Standard Futures: JPY 59
  • Mini Gold and Mini Platinum: JPY 20
  • Gold Rolling-Spot and Platinum Rolling-Spot: JPY 20
  • Gold Options: JPY 12 (Exchange fee related to option exercise and assignment is the same)
  • Cash-settled Oil (Lorry-based products): JPY 20
  • Platts Dubai Crude Oil: JPY 74
  • All products: JPY 20
    Delivery Fee
    (per contract; for each side)
    All products: JPY 144
    Give-up Fees
    (per contract; one-way)
    *charged only to a member who take-up positions
  • Standard Futures: JPY 5
  • Mini Gold, Gold Rolling-Spot, Gold Options, Mini Platinum, Platinum Rolling-Spot and Cash-settled Oil (Lorry-based products): JPY 2
  • All products: JPY 2
    Position Transfer Fees
    *charged only to a member who takes positions
    The amount calculated by multiplying the number of long/short position by JPY 5.
    Fees for application
    and Trade Cancellation
    Trade cancellation fees per executed trade shall be calculated as follows:
    The amount calculated as SCB trigger level times the contract unit multiplier or 100,000 yen, whichever the higher.

    The TOCOM website lists the following dues requirements for Trade Members, Remote Trade Members and Remote Broker Members:

    Market DivisionsPrecious MetalsOilRubberAgricultural Product & SugarChunkyo Oil
    Monthly Membership Dues
    1. A person or prospective person who satisfies certain requirements to be a Member of the Exchange prescribed in Article 94 of the Market Rules of the Exchange: JPY 50,000 per Market Division
    2. Those that do not fall under the preceding paragraph: JPY 10,000 per Market Division
    1. Same as on the left: JPY 30,000
    2. Same as on the left: JPY 5,000

    What Market Data is Available?

    TOCOM Market Data

    TOCOM provides a variety of market data and news feed options for its customers including the following:

    • Quotes for Individual Products: Please refer to Explanation of the TOCOM Listed Products Guide in Products section above.
    • Quotes for All Products by Trade Date: Previous five days of historical price data for each TOCOM listed product.
    • Quotes for All Product by Session: Previous five days of historical price data organized by trading session (day session or night session)
    • Spread Market (Calendar): Trade data for each expiring month of futures contract
    • Spot Oil Market: Gasoline spot prices
    • Periodic Quotes for All Products by Trade Date (Futures): Quotes for each expiration month for futures contracts.
    • Trading Volume and Open Interest: Includes each commodity and expiration month
    • Nikkei TOCOM Commodity Index: Shows calculated historical values for index
    • Miscellaneous Categories: Other data TOCOM makes available includes the following:
      • Open Interest by Category
      • Top 10 Volume by Member
      • Month-End Open Interest
      • Concentration of Positions Held By Large Traders
      • Market Structure Analysis

    TOCOM makes comprehensive historical market data available in a variety of different file formats. Traders should consult the historical data section of the TOCOM website for a complete menu of formats.

    Traders can also find the fees for data and instructions for ordering here.

    TOCOM operates in the following lines of business:

    Exchange-Traded MarketsTOCOM operates an electronic platform for trading four categories of commodities:
    1. Precious Metals
    2. Oil
    3. Rubber
    4. Soft Commodities
    Clearing and SettlementJapan Commodity Clearing House Co., Ltd. (JCCH) is a central clearing house for commodity trades.

    JCCH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TOCOM.
    Over-The-Counter (OTC) MarketsTOCOM’s wholly-owned subsidiary Japan OTC Exchange (JOE) operates an OTC trading platform for commodities and a brokering function centered on petroleum and liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets.
    Data ServicesTOCOM provides fee-based market data to both members and non-members including current and historical data.

    Does TOCOM Have Vendor Partners?

    Beginning in 2003, TOCOM began working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to bring its products and services to more market participants. The following is a list of TOCOM-approved ISVs:

    1. FIS
    2. ION Trading Japan
    3. Nihon Techno Systems Ltd.
    5. Multi Wave Co., LTD.
    6. Trading Technologies Japan
    7. RTS Realtime Systems
    8. Fractal Systems Inc.
    9. Success Consulting Co. Ltd
    11. SOLEKIA Limited
    12. Orc Japan KK
    13. CQG International Ltd
    14. Trade Systems Co. Ltd
    15. INTEC Inc.
    16. Three A System Corporation
    17. FFasttFill plc
    18. NTT Communications Corporation
    19. Future Assist Corporation
    20. Fidessa Group plc
    21. ULLINK Japan
    22. Bloomberg Trading Services Japan
    23. FlexTrade Systems Pte Ltd
    24. CyberQuote Japan Ltd
    25. INTERTRADE Co. Ltd
    26. Simplex Inc.
    27. Zhengzhou Esunny Information Technology Ltd Co.
    28. Stellar Trading Systems
    29. Atplatform Technology Limited

    Who Are the Tokyo Commodity Exchange Executives?

    The Board of Directors of TOCOM consists of eight directors, including the President and CEO of the exchange.

    Takamichi Hamada President & CEOHamada has been CEO of TOCOM since 2015. He also serves as an Auditor at Strategic Investment Partners, Inc. and a director at Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.

    His previous roles at Fuji Electric Co., Ltd include:
  • Senior Managing Executive Officer
  • General Manager of Corporate Administration Group
  • Senior Executive Officer of Corporate Administration Group

  • Other previous roles held by Hamada include:
  • Chair of Directors of Foundation Venture Enterprise Center
  • Executive Director of The Tokyo Commodity Exchange
  • Masaaki NangakuChairman
    & Senior Executive Adviser

    Nangaku has been Senior Executive Adviser at TOCOM since June 2009.

    He served as CEO and President of TOCOM until June 2009.

    His previous roles include:
  • Senior Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Electric Corp with responsibility for the following:
    1. Auditing
    2. Government & External Relations
    3. Legal Affairs
    4. Export Control
    5. Intellectual Property
  • Director of Mitsubishi Electric Corp
  • Member of the council of Japan Finance Corporation for Small and Medium Enterprise
  • Umetaro Nagao Chief Operating OfficerNagao also serves as Senior Executive Managing Officer and Director at TOCOM.

    Further Reading

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