CME Group weighs overhaul for daily grain price limits
By Tom Polansek CHICAGO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc is considering a proposal to reset daily price limits for U.S. grain and oilseed futures every six months based on underlying price levels in agricultural markets, documents distributed by the exchange operator show. The proposal would allow higher price limits when market prices are high and lower price limits when market prices are low, according to a CME fact sheet sent to market participants and obtained by Reuters. Limits would always be approximately six percent of the underlying nearby contract price. CME is collecting feedback on the proposal and hopes to complete any necessary submissions to regulators at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission by the end of February, a spokeswoman said. The exchange operator, which owns the Chicago Board of Trade, currently has initial daily price limits for grains and oilseeds that remain unchanged throughout the year. Under the proposal being considered, the first reset date for price limits would be the first trading day in May. The newly calculated limits would remain in effect until the last trading day in October. The limits would be based on daily settlement prices collected for the July expirations for each of the CBOT grain and oilseed futures products over 45 consecutive trading days before and on the business day prior to April 16, according to the fact sheet. Average prices for each contract would be calculated based on the collected settlement prices and then multiplied by six percent. The resulting numbers would be rounded off for each contract. If a market settles up or down by the new limit during the six-month period, the limit would be expanded by 50 percent the next trading day, and remain at the expanded limit until no listed contracts settle at the expanded limit, according to the fact sheet. The second reset date would be the first trading day in November. New limits would be calculated in a similar manner to the May reset. Markets that would be impacted by the change include corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat, hard red winter wheat, soybean oil, soybean meal, oats and rough rice futures.