CME Group has announced expanded trading hours for its CBOT grain and oilseed futures and options beginning Sunday, May 20 for Monday, May 21 trade date. The announcement comes shortly after a similar move by CME Group’s upstart rival IntercontinentalExchange, (ICE), which also recently announced extended trading hours.

CME’s hours will increase from the current 17 hours per day to 21 hours per day on CME Globex from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CDT Sunday to Friday. Daily settlements will continue to be based on market activity at or around 1:15 p.m. CDT each day. Open-outcry trading hours will continue to operate from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CDT Monday to Friday.

Products included in the expanded CME hours are CBOT Corn, Mini-Sized Corn, Soybeans, Mini-Sized Soybeans, Wheat, Mini-Sized Wheat, Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Rough Rice, Oats, and Ethanol futures and options plus all related calendar spread options and inter-commodity spread options.

ICE contracts will trade 22 hours per day on Monday through Friday, from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. CDT. On Sundays, trade on ICE will start 5 p.m. CDT. ICE contracts will be cash-settled with daily settlement based on the CBOT settlement price. The contracts will be listed on ICE Futures U.S., which features sub-millisecond execution speeds. Futures contracts are available from ICE Futures U.S. on corn, soybeans, soybean meal, wheat and soybean oil.

Despite the additional hour of trading and lower fees offered by ICE, pork producers may hesitate until they see significant volume on contracts. “We’ll have to wait and see whether ICE will be embraced by pork producers,” said risk management specialist Joe Kerns, president, Kerns and Associates, Ames, Iowa. “ICE fees are a bit cheaper -- $1.25 per contract compared to CME Group’s $1.75.  However, this $.50 benefit is quickly overwhelmed if the bid/ask spread is even ¼ cent wider.  Each ¼ cent is $12.50 per contract.”

The extended trading hours have triggered concerns by some on trading around major crop reports. Traditionally, USDA crop reports are released while markets are closed to provide equal opportunity to review the data. USDA officials are assessing how extended trading hours may impact the release of the reports, however no change is expected in the near term.

The first major reports to be released during the extended trading day will be the U.S. and world crop forecasts on June 12.

Read more information on CME Group.  

ICE contract specifications and additional information is available here.