Most of the iconic trading pits at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where traders would buy and sell corn, wheat, soybean and other future contracts with elaborate hand gestures, will close permanently, according to a CME Group announcement.

The “open outcry” pits were closed last year in March because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the company has decided they will not be reopened.

Contracts for corn, soft red winter wheat, hard red winter wheat, soybeans, soymeal, soy oil, rough rice, oats and other commodities will now only be traded electronically.

The exception will be CME’s Eurodollar options pit. It was reopened in August, last summer, and it will “remain open, allowing these contracts to continue to trade in both open outcry and electronic venues,” CME said. All other trading will be converted to completely digital platforms.

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“As the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group enables clients to trade futures, options, cash and OTC markets, optimize portfolios, and analyze data — empowering market participants worldwide to efficiently manage risk and capture opportunities,” the company said.

But the announcement evoked some passionate responses.

“It was a great run!!,” tweeted Jack Bouroudjian, a CNBC contributor and co-founder of the Universal Compute Exchange. 

Brian Fisher, a financial adviser for Infinity Strategic Partners and co-chairman of two CME committees, lamented, “You were a great place to call home all these years.”

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