ICE durum trades for first time since February 2013

(Dave Bedard photo)

CNS Canada — ICE durum futures on Wednesday saw some trade activity for the first time since Feb. 14, 2013, with five October contracts changing hands at weaker prices. The contract dropped $12 per tonne, to settle at $230.

This comes just one day after ICE barley contracts saw new life, as five contracts also traded Tuesday in the October future at weaker values. [Related story]

“The markets have been quoted for a while, they just haven’t traded. Over the last couple of days we saw some trade, so I guess it’s a matter of more people watching the markets and more people interested in seeing them trade,” said Brad Vannan, president of ICE Futures Canada.

Following Wednesday’s close, ICE Futures Canada announced that the daily price limit for durum will revert to $20 per tonne as of Thursday, just as they did for barley futures following Tuesday’s close. Prior to that, price limits had not been applied due to the absence of open interest.

Though the recent activity seen in durum and barley futures is very small compared to the canola futures market, it’s still a step in the right direction to keep the tools alive, said Vannan.

“You’ve got to start somewhere,” he added.

Vannan said he hopes to see more of this type of activity throughout the summer, adding there is a possibility milling wheat futures also start to trade again.

“Milling wheat gets quoted quite often, it just hasn’t traded in a long time, so if the market sees that there’s a use for it, it will trade,” he added.

However, one Winnipeg-based trader said only the ICE Futures Canada barley contract can be useful for the industry, as there aren’t enough people in the durum market to make those contracts work.

Milling wheat futures may also struggle to garner any interest as there are other hedging options available through the already popular Minneapolis and Kansas City futures, the trader added.

— Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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