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CFTC forum to address agricultural markets

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced details about its roundtable discussion on the agricultural markets set for April 22 in Washington, D.C.

The roundtable is designed to gather information about whether the futures markets are properly performing their risk management and price discovery roles.

The roundtable will include discussion of the following topics:

  • Price discovery in the agriculture futures markets, including an overview of fundamentals in markets, the role of speculators, index funds and commercial hedgers, the adequacy of transparency in the markets and of contract terms and conditions.
  • Hedging in the agricultural futures markets, including the convergence of futures and cash prices, forward contracting in the current markets and the role of agricultural swaps and other risk management tools.
  • Margin levels (performance bond) and agricultural credit, including the role of margin and the clearing system, overview of agricultural credit and record margin levels, proper determination of margin, price limits and margin levels and credit market conditions and ag lending outlook.

The roundtable will consist of officials from the CFTC, USDA, Farm Credit Administration, Federal Reserve System, and a broad spectrum of agricultural market participants, including producer groups, commodity merchandisers, commodity consumer and producer groups, financial firms, and futures exchanges. A complete participant list will be available before the forum.

The roundtable will begin at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 22, in the commission's hearing room located on the ground floor of its headquarters — Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C. The hearing room doors will open at 8:30 a.m.

Due to significant space limitations, interested members of the public are strongly encouraged to use the following alternative options to access the hearing:

You can watch a live broadcast of the roundtable via Web cast on or call in to a toll-free telephone line to connect to a live audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide first name, last name, and affiliation. Conference call information is listed below.

Domestic toll free: (866) 759-0291

International toll: (763) 416-8828

Conference ID: 43214239

Call leader name: CFTC

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