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Shortened hours coming to Chicago futures market

Winnipeg's ICE will now consider 1:15 p.m. closing time

Grain and oilseed futures at the Chicago Board of Trade and Kansas City Board of Trade will revert back to their traditional 1:15 pm CT close, starting April 8.

CME Group, which owns the two exchanges and announced its plans Tuesday, said the move to shorten hours came after a consultation process with producers, commercial customers, traders, and other industry participants who use the markets.

The two exchanges initially lengthened their trading hours in May 2012, pushing back the traditional 1:15 pm close to 2 p.m. CT while also expanding overnight electronic hours.

"Over the past several months, we have received significant customer feedback about the current CBOT grain trading hours," Tim Andriesen, CME Group's managing director for agricultural commodities, said in a release.

"As a result, 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. While there were varying opinions about what the modifications to hours should be, we believe these changes balance the needs of our diverse global customers based on their feedback."

Beginning April 8, electronic and floor trading hours for CBOT corn, soybeans, wheat, soybean meal, soybean oil, rough rice and oats, and KCBT wheat futures and options, plus all related CBOT and KCBT calendar spread options and inter-commodity spread options, will be amended as follows:

  • Sunday to Friday, electronic trading from 7 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. CT

  • Monday to Friday, break in electronic trading from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. CT

  • Monday to Friday, floor and CME Globex trading from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CT
  • Daily settlements for CME Globex and floor trading of these products will be based on market activity at or around 1:15 pm CT each day. Mini-sized corn, mini-sized soybeans and mini-sized wheat will continue to trade on CME Globex and on the floor until 1:45 p.m. CT.

    In a separate release, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) announced it would also adjust the hours for its hard red spring wheat contracts to come in line with the CBOT and close at 1:15 p.m. CT, effective April 8. ICE Futures Canada's canola and grain market currently closes at 2 p.m. CT. The Winnipeg exchange will also now consider shortening its hours to stay in line with the U.S. futures.

    "We'll consult with our participant base, listen to what they have to say, and then make a decision at that time," said Brad Vannan, president of ICE Futures Canada.

    The short window before the changes take effect in the U.S. meant that ICE Canada would be moving forward quickly with getting information out to its customers and making a decision on its own hours, he said.

    -- Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.


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