CHICAGO, May 17 – Pending Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) certification, the CME Group plans to offer expanded market access to a variety of CBOT futures and options 21 hours per day, rather than the 22-hour trading day that was previously proposed on May 1.

The CME had announced expanded hours, running from 6 p.m. to 4 p.m., after the  Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) began a 22-hour trading platform for agricultural products earlier this month. But groups like the National Grain and Feed Association expressed concerns.

In making the changes, the CME Group acknowledged that they wanted to be responsive to customers’ concerns about the expanded trading hours.

"What sets CME Group apart is our close working relationship with the grain industry, who have made our grain and oilseed futures the benchmark risk management products," said Tim Andriesen, Managing Director, Agricultural Commodities and Alternative Investments, CME Group. "That's why, in response to significant feedback for this customer segment, we're further amending CBOT grain and oilseed trading hours to 5 p.m. to 2 p.m. CT Sunday through Friday. They have clearly communicated that these hours best meet their risk management needs."

In a statement, the CME Group said the measures are, in part, “the result of collaboration between CME Group, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) to address these changes and help the grain industry prepare for the transition.”

"This action by the CME Group demonstrates the value of collaboration between the exchange and users of futures and options markets who rely heavily on the CBOT contracts to hedge marketplace risk," said Randall C. Gordon, acting president of the National Grain and Feed Association. "This important change will provide time during normal business hours for grain, feed and grain processing operations and other merchants to reconcile their trading accounts and perform other required accounting and back-office operations without incurring the significant additional expense of hiring or providing overtime to employees performing these important functions."

"We commend the CME Group for making this change before implementing its expanded electronic trading hours," Gordon added.  "We look forward to continuing to discuss with the CME Group, other exchanges and other parties possible ways to address industry concerns about USDA reports being released during market hours."

The CME wants to put the new hours into effect no later than June 3 for the June 4 trading day, but the changes could be adopted earlier if the Commodity Futures Exchange Commission approves.

Once approved by the CFTC, electronic trading hours for CBOT Corn, Mini-Sized Corn, Soybeans, Mini-Sized Soybeans, Wheat, Mini-Sized Wheat, Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Rough Rice, Oats, and Ethanol futures and options plus all related calendar spread options and inter-commodity spread options will be extended to: Sunday to Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT

Daily settlements will continue to be based on market activity at or around 1:15 p.m. CT each day. Additionally, open-outcry trading hours will continue to operate from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CT Monday to Friday.



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