ON Jan. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will implement its previously announced plan to shift the release time for its major grain-related statistical reports.
Following a summer of major changes to grain and oilseed trading hours at commodity exchanges across the country, USDA announced Sept. 19 that it would change the release time of those potentially market-moving data reports from 8:30 a.m. to noon Eastern time (Feedstuffs, Sept. 24).
The first major set of reports to be released under the new schedule will happen Jan. 4 with the "Crop Production," "World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates," "Winter Wheat Seedings" and "Quarterly Grain Stocks" reports.
When major commodity exchanges announced last spring that they would expand trading hours to 22-23 hours per day, USDA opened a 30-day comment period on its report release schedule. It received 147 comments from relevant stakeholders.
USDA chief economist Joe Glauber said, "The shift to a noon release allows for the greatest liquidity in the markets, provides the greatest access to the reports during working hours in the U.S. and continues equal access to data among all parties."
In response, the Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) announced that it would eliminate the early start time of open outcry trading for its hard red winter wheat futures and options contracts. Since June 12, KCBT has opened floor trading at 7:20 a.m. Central time on report days, and USDA released its reports at 7:30 a.m. Central. With USDA's shift to a later report release time, KCBT said the earlier trading start is unnecessary.
KCBT has since been acquired by CME Group (Feedstuffs, Oct. 22).
When asked if CME planned to alter the trading schedule for its Chicago Board of Trade grain and oilseed contracts in a similar fashion, CME chief operating officer Bryan Durkin told grain industry leaders attending a conference in Omaha, Neb., earlier this month that the exchange had no plans yet to alter its trading schedule.