CHICAGO, April 5 (Reuters) - The Chicago Board of Trade is set to cut trading for its grain and soy markets to 17.5 hours per session from 21 hours on Sunday after a move to expand activity hurt liquidity.
Under the shorter schedule, electronic trading will run from 7:00 p.m. CDT (2400 GMT) to 7:45 a.m. CDT (12:45 GMT) Sunday to Friday. Trading will pause for 45 minutes before resuming on the screen and in Chicago's historic open-outcry pits until 1:15 p.m CDT (1815 GMT).
Daily settlements will be based on market activity at or around 1:15 p.m. CDT.
Since May, electronic trading has run from 5 p.m. to 2 p.m. CDT Sunday to Friday.
The cut comes after the Board of Trade, owned by CME Group Inc, in May increased the trading cycle from 17 hours per session in response to a challenge from arch-rival IntercontinentalExchange Inc.
Traders complained the longer cycle spread out volume and reduced liquidity.
The longer cycle kept grain markets open for the first time during the release of key monthly reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which often cause sharp swings in prices.
Markets will still be open when the USDA releases major crop reports at 11 a.m. CDT (1600 GMT) under the new schedule.