AGRIBUSINESS: CME Warns Of Potential Shutdown Problems

The world’s biggest futures-exchange operator said a prolonged government shutdown could interrupt or delay settlement prices for certain livestock futures contracts.

The Department of Agriculture has furloughed staff that produces several reports on data, including cash prices for agricultural products that are used as benchmarks for futures contracts.

In addition, the USDA website has been shut down.  According to the CME, the lack of USDA data could disrupt the October 2013 contracts for live cattle, lean hog as well as feeder cattle futures and options.

Customers were told this week that a prolonged federal shutdown may require the exchange to modify current settlement procedures for the affected contracts.  Grain traders have concerns as well, particularly if the USDA does not resume work by Oct. 11 when the next World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report is supposed to be released.