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NGFA calls for pause in trading after release of key USDA reports.

The National Grain and Feed Association is calling on USDA to work with futures exchanges to arrange for a one-hour pause in trading following release of key USDA reports. According to comments submitted to the department, "A pause would help facilitate a rational review of the data and perhaps less volatility when markets reopened."

The NGFA's statement was submitted in response to USDA's notice requesting comments on the public release times of several of its major agricultural statistical reports, given the expansion of electronic trading to 22 hours on the InterContinental Exchange (ICE) and 21 hours at the CME Group, Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) and Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX).

Currently, there is no time of day when CME Group, KCBT, MGEX and ICE grain and oilseed markets are closed.

In its comments, NGFA acknowledges that implementing and enforcing such a pause likely is beyond the control of USDA, but also says it believes the department still has a "clear interest in helping create an environment in which its major statistical reports do not roil markets to the extent that producers and agribusiness firms reliant upon them are disadvantaged or competitively harmed."

USDA is reviewing the release times of the following statistical reports: 1) monthly world agricultural supply and demand estimates; 2) acreage; 3) cattle; 4) cattle on feed; 5) monthly crop production; 6) grain stocks; 7) prospective plantings; 8) quarterly hogs and pigs; and 9) small grains summary.

While expressing a willingness to consider changing the release times of its reports, USDA officials have stated that they will retain its current release times of 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern time until its review is completed.

NGFA is the nation's largest trade association comprising commercial hedgers of grains, oilseeds, feed and feed ingredients, and grain products. Its more than 1,050-member companies operate about 7,000 facilities nationwide and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds.
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Publication:The Food & Fiber Letter
Date:Jul 16, 2012
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