CHICAGO, May 11 (Reuters) - Bart Chilton, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said on Friday the agency should institute a 30-day public comment period on a plan by CME Group to increase trading hours for grain futures and options.
The planned shift to nearly around-the-clock trading at CME's Chicago Board of Trade, which dominates agricultural markets, has become the most contentious issue among grain traders as it will keep markets open during key U.S. Department of Agriculture crop reports that often cause sharp swings in futures prices.
"These markets have operated for a long time and have been closed when significant USDA announcements have taken place," Chilton told Reuters. "We could use a little feedback from the industry and the public."
Two top U.S. grain groups have urged the CFTC to institute a 30-day public comment period on plans for 22-hour trading at the CBOT and rival IntercontinentalExchange.
CME, which currently trades grain futures and options 17 hours a day during the week, plans to increase trading to 22 hours as of May 21.
ICE is slated to launch new grain contracts on Monday with 22-hour trading. The contracts are not expected to attract significant volume.