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Forum to address market volatility

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will hold a public meeting April 22 in Washington, D.C., to “discuss recent events affecting the agriculture markets — including the lack of convergence between the futures and cash prices, higher margin requirements and the impact on market participants, and the role of speculators and commodity index traders.”

The forum will begin at 9 a.m. and will include representatives from USDA and stakeholders in agricultural markets such as producers, traders and exchanges.

“These historic market conditions, particularly in wheat and cotton, require the CFTC to hear firsthand from participants to ensure that the exchanges are functioning properly to discover prices and manage risk,” said Walt Lukken, CFTC acting chairman.

Mark Lange, National Cotton Council president, wrote Lukken and ICE Futures CEO Thomas Farley on March 11 expressing serious concerns about the recent events in which the Number 2 contract failed to adequately provide orderly price discovery and hedging functions.

The American Cotton Shippers Assoc. and AMCOT wrote ICE expressing similar concerns and urged ICE to work to immediately return the contract to — “a viable, healthy, efficient and orderly contract which attracted traders from throughout the world.”

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