(Updated with KC Board of Trade information)
Market observers have more to talk about today with the announcement by CME Group that it will expand open outcry floor trading hours, but only during key USDA report days. In a press statement, the organization says it will offer expanded hours in its CBOT grain and oilseed futures and options during major reports. The move requires approval by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The Kansas City Board of Trade also announced today that it would match this report-day strategy for the key World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. However, Kansas City will not have the early floor hours for the June 29 acreage report, according to a statement from the group.
During those key days floor trading will open at 7:20 a.m., more than two hours earlier than the normal 9:30 a.m. Central Time open. The move would begin on June 12 and would only occur for major reports including WASDE, crop production, prospective plantings and acreage data.
Just last Monday, CME Group initiated longer e-trade hours - from 5 p.m. to 2 p.m. - in response to a move by another exchange - ICE - that now trades 22 hours. One question facing grain groups and traders is how those longer hours would impact market moves on major market days. It appears now, at least, that floor traders will be at work along with electronic markets when those reports are released.
USDA is currently, at the industry's request, mulling a change in report release times from the current 7:30 a.m. timeframe to later in the day. Some speculate that USDA could move report times to 3 p.m., but no official word has been released on that. And USDA might put such a move through a public comment period before making a decision, which could take an added 30 to 60 days.
For now, CME Group will expand floor trading hours will impact the following report days in 2012:
- June 12 (WASDE, Crop Production)
- June 29 (Acreage)
- July 11 (WASDE, Crop Production)
- August 10 (WASDE)
- September 12 (WASDE, Crop Production)
- October 11 (WASDE, Crop Production)
- November 9 (WASDE, Crop Production)
- December 11 (WASDE, Crop Production)
Products included in the expanded hours are CBOT corn, soybeans, wheat, soybean meal, soybean oil, oats and rough rice futures and options. Open outcry trading ours will continue to close at the same time - 1:15 p..m. Central Time Monday to Friday.