CME Group tightens trading hours

Exchange says grain and oilseed trading hours will follow new 17.5-hour schedule starting April 8 in response to customer feedback.

FOLLOWING extensive customer outreach, CME Group announced that beginning April 8, it will trim the trading day for its CBOT grain and oilseed and KCBT wheat contracts from the current 21-hour schedule in favor of a 17.5-hour day.

Following a move to a 23-hour trading day by rival Intercontinental Exchange last Spring, CME expanded trading hours for its grain and oilseed markets to the current 21-hour day (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,” said Tim Andriesen, CME’s managing director of agricultural commodities. “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 said 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. The exchange said 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).

Starting April 8, the exchange will adopt the new 17.5-hour schedule 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 trade will occur Sunday through Friday, from 7 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. CT. Electronic trading will take a 45-minute break until floor and CME Globex trading commences at 8:30 a.m. CT, with the day session running through 1:15 p.m.

Trading, both pit and electronic, will be halt from 1:15 p.m. CT through start of the overnight session at 7 p.m., something many grain sector participants had called for publically.

Daily settlements for both floor and CME Globex trading will be based on market activity at or around 1:15 p.m. CT, though trading of Mini-sized Corn, Soybeans and Wheat contracts will continue on the Globex platform through 1:45 p.m. CT.

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