A BROKER has been fined for a rules violation after frenzied speculation in rice futures. Guangdong Southern Financial Services exceeded a position limit on rice contract 711 on Thursday and was fined 124,400 yuan (about HK$115,567) by the Guangdong United Futures Exchange. Under the exchange's rules, a broker has limited open positions of 20,000 lots for contracts expiring the following month. Each lot is 10 tonnes. 'The rice contract is the hottest among all agricultural products futures,' exchange spokesman Wu Jianshui said. Contract 711, which will expire in November, is the only rice contract in China. The exchange trades the rice futures only in the afternoon session, but non-ferrous futures contracts are traded in the morning. Another two brokers, Shanghai Continent Futures Brokerage and China Non-ferrous Materials General Co, were also found building up huge positions on the same contract on Thursday, but were not penalised. The contract peaked at 3,086 yuan per tonne on Thursday, but closed at 2,980 yuan. Trading was suspended for a while yesterday in accordance with exchange rules, after contract 711 plunged by more than three per cent and ended at 2,939 yuan. Mr Wu admitted that the sell-off was partly due to the disposal of contracts by the three brokerages which were forced to unwind excessive positions.