FOLLOWING an extensive customer outreach effort, CME Group announced that, beginning April 8, it will trim the trading day for its Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grain and oilseed and Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) wheat contracts from the current 21-hour schedule in favor of a 17.5-hour day.
Following a move by rival Intercontinental Exchange to expand to a 23-hour trading day, CME announced last May that it would expand trading hours for its grain and oilseed markets (Feedstuffs, May 7, 2012). Feedback from traders and industry participants was quick in coming and not always positive.
"Over the past several months, we have received significant customer feedback about the current CBOT grain trading hours," Tim Andriesen, CME managing director of agricultural commodities, said. "We engaged our customers more formally through one-on-one conversations, focus groups and an online survey, which attracted more than 4,000 responses, to determine what hours best meet their needs."
Andriesen noted that opinions varied on what modifications should be made to the trading day but said the plan announced March 5 would balance the needs of a diverse, global customer base.
CME announced in January that it would trim trading hours but would embark on the more extensive outreach effort to gauge how best to design its trading hours (Feedstuffs, Jan. 28).
It will adopt the new 17.5-hour schedule April 8 for its CBOT corn, soybeans, wheat, soybean meal, soybean oil, rough rice, oats and KCBT wheat futures and options, as well as all related calendar and inter-commodity spread options.
Under the new schedule, electronic overnight trading will occur from 7:00 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. (CT) Sunday through Friday. Electronic trading will take a 45-minute break until floor and CME Globex trading commences at 8:30 a.m., with the day session running through 1:15 p.m.
Both pit and electronic trading will be halted from 1:15 p.m. (CT) through the start of the overnight session at 7 p.m., something many grain sector participants had called for.
Daily settlements for both floor and CME Globex trading will be based on market activity at or around 1:15 p.m. (CT), although trading of mini-sized corn, soybean and wheat contracts will continue on the Globex platform through 1:45 p.m.
Following the CME announcement, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) confirmed that it would adopt the same schedule for its hard red spring wheat futures and options and index contracts, also starting April 8.
Both MGEX and KCBT followed CME into the 21-hour trading day. CME then acquired KCBT and earlier this year announced the closure of the Kansas City, Mo., trading floor (Feedstuffs, Feb. 11).