In a letter to the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Corn Growers Association requested a 30-day public comment period before the grain traders are allowed 22-hour-per-day electronic trading of grain and oilseed futures contracts. NCGA believes it is important for CFTC to take input and further analyze the proposals from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and the CME Group.
“As currently formulated, both ICE’s plans for new contracts with greatly expanded trading hours and the CME Group’s plans to expand hours raise serious issues that potentially place the Nation’s corn growers at a marketing disadvantage,” wrote NCGA President Garry Niemeyer in his letter to CFTC Chair Gary Gensler. “Approval of these major market changes without a 30-day comment period is ill-timed since many growers are currently preoccupied with planting. We believe that there is no compelling reason why 22-hour trading needs to begin imminently.”
Niemeyer cited two reasons for special concern:
- Allowing the futures markets to trade during the release of key U.S. Department of Agriculture reports can lead to rampant market distortions. Growers use numerous USDA reports to adjust their risk management strategies and futures positions. Trading through release of these reports could lead to extreme volatility immediately following their release.
- Growers routinely track futures and cash markets throughout the day, and make marketing decisions based on market movements. It is impossible for growers, and many of the small elevators they rely upon, to actively track markets through later afternoons and evening trading sessions, let alone 22 hours per day.