CME starts review of livestock electronic trading hours

Chicago | Reuters — The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has officially begun the review process of electronic trading hours in its cattle and hog contracts, it said Wednesday, to include scaling back hours to ease market volatility and keep the contracts attractive.

Reducing activity on the exchange, the world’s biggest platform for trading cattle and hog futures, would concentrate volumes into a shorter time frame, which should increase liquidity.

Contracts currently see wide price swings after open-outcry trading has closed.

On July 15, the CME said it was “in the early stages” of planning the review processes for livestock electronic trading based on feedback from customers and members.

“This is formal confirmation from us that we are beginning a formal survey process,” CME spokesman Chris Grams told Reuters.

Currently, electronic trading in futures contracts for live cattle, lean hogs and feeder cattle only closes from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. CT from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, the trading stops at 1:55 p.m. CT and resumes on Monday at 9:05 a.m CT.

Open outcry trading runs from 9:05 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT from Monday to Friday.

The survey will run through Aug. 19 and can be found online on the CME Group’s website.

Reporting for Reuters by Theopolis Waters in Chicago.

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