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Crops briefs March 8

Record U.S. corn crop to cool red-hot prices

washington / reuters U.S. farmers will harvest a record corn crop this year, which will rebuild stockpiles and bring down prices, a University of Missouri think-tank projected in a report March 5 that came in 2.5 per cent lower than the most recent U.S. government projections.

The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Center, or FAPRI, projected a corn crop of 13.916 billion bushels, six per cent larger than the record set in 2009, based on the second-largest plantings since the Second World War.

The U.S. Agriculture Department projected a crop of 14.27 billion bushels on Feb. 24 at its annual outlook conference.

CME delays new rules

chicago / reuters CME Group said on March 5 it would delay until June the implementation of new procedures for the daily settlement of Chicago Board of Trade grains futures, combining trading activity from the open-outcry pits and the electronic Globex system.

However, the exchange said decisions regarding settlement procedures for CME livestock futures “have yet to be finalized.”

CME had initially planned a transition to the new settlements for both grains and livestock futures in March and April. That plan was met with strong opposition from floor traders when it was first announced in December.

The bulk of trade at the CME, parent of the CBOT, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange, is already traded electronically. But settlement prices are currently set in the open-outcry pits.

Opponents of the move to incorporate electronic trade in the settlements viewed the change as a threat to the livelihood of floor traders, who thrive on the final frenetic minute of pit trading used to set the official end-of-day prices. Some launched a website, savethefloor.com, to spread the word about the proposal.

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