ICE set to introduce five new U.S. grain and oilseed contracts

Reuters / ICE Futures US intends to begin offering five new U.S. grain and oilseed contracts, pending review by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The contracts include U.S. corn, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) announced. Futures contracts are slated to be available on May 14, with options available May 15.

“These contracts round out ICE’s U.S. and Canadian agricultural products,” said Ben Jackson, COO of ICE Futures US.

The contracts will be listed on ICE Futures US, which features sub-millisecond execution speeds, and cleared at ICE Clear US. The contracts will be cash settled with daily settlement based on the CBOT settlement price.

The contracts will join ICE’s current slate of agricultural futures and options contracts, including sugar, cotton, coffee, cocoa, orange juice, Canadian wheat, barley and canola. Through ICE Futures Europe the company also accounts for half of the world’s crude and refined oil trade.

Some traders say new ICE contracts may face challenges luring activity away from the CME Group’s well-established Chicago Board of Trade.

Cargill earnings bounce back

U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. reported a rebound in earnings after its worst quarter in a decade, led by record profits in its global food ingredient businesses and stronger results in energy trading.

Minneapolis-based Cargill, one of the world’s largest privately held corporations, reported $766 million in earnings from continuing operations for the fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 29, just ahead of $763 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose five per cent to $31.9 billion.

Third-quarter results represent a bounce back after Cargill’s second quarter profits fell 88 per cent to $100 million — the worst quarterly performance since 2001, as earnings were hurt by investments made in equity markets and by distressed assets amid the European debt crisis.

Cargill, which operates in 65 countries, is a leading U.S. grain exporter, food processor, energy trader and biofuels producer. If Cargill were a publicly listed company, its 2011 sales of $119.5 billion would have ranked No. 13 on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies.

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