Many of the undersigned were signers of the petition last May, objecting to the expansion of CBOT grain market trading hours [http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/preservethefutures]. That petition gathered 500 signatures, including representatives of significant commercial grain firms and large traders and trading firms.
At the time, we stated our view that the hours expansion would fragment liquidity, and the unique, compressed and deep liquidity the CBOT markets enjoyed under the old hours regime would be replaced by less liquid markets with more frequent order vacuums. We think time has proved that assessment correct.
We also objected to the pernicious notion of trading through USDA reports. No true economic purpose is served by giving computer order-generating word scanners a few millisecond lead time over commercial users who act on fundamental analysis following careful review of all the data. We don’t care about other commodity futures markets being open during reports. In the grain markets, we think experience has proved our negative view to be correct.
We pledged to boycott the ICE grain contracts – on practical grounds that a bifurcated market is detrimental to liquidity, and on business grounds that ICE’s move forced CME, and thereby our industry, into a new hours schedule with negative consequences for market quality and for market participants personal lives. We have honored the boycott pledge.
We are now requesting that you revise and reduce of trading hours, as follows (all hours based on Chicago daylight savings time):
• Sunday start time back to 6 PM
• 2 hour morning break from 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM
• Close at 1:30 PM Monday to Thursday
• Close at 1:00 PM Friday
• All signers pledge to continue to boycott ICE
The signers here represent many of the largest, most active customers in the CBOT grain contracts. We are the biggest and best customers you have. We can’t force you to do what is right, but if you respect your customer base, you should honor this request.