With the new 21-hour electronic trading day, traders, grain elevators and others have expressed concern about release of USDA reports during "open market" times. While the major markets - including CME Group and the Kansas City Board of Trade have changed when pit trade will open on key report days, there are questions about report timing and how it may impact market volatility.
In late May USDA announced it would seek public comment on the potential for moving report release times from 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern Time (key grain reports are released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time). The official notice seeking comment will be published in the Federal Register Friday, June 8. The National Agricultural Statistics Service and the USDA will hold a 30-day comment period to determine gather input about the release times for nine major statistical reports and whether they should be adjusted.
According to the Federal Register notice, the comment period seeks to "hear from all parties who use federal agricultural statistics so that we best meet their needs while upholding [USDA] responsibility to provide equal access to data."
Interested parties must submit answers to each of the following items:
1 - What is your preferred time of day (EDT) for report release?
2 - Why is this time preferred?
3 - Who are the data users impacted by this recommended time change?
4 - How will this change impact these data users?
5 - How are the data used when received at the current release time?
6 - Other comments
Comments can be submitted online at https://www.agcounts.usda.gove/optin/136771 or via mail to USDA-NASS, Agricultural Statistics Board Chair, 1400 Independence Ave., SW Room 5029, Washington, D.C. 20250.
Questions can be directed to HQASBDeputy@nass.usda.gov or 1-800-727-9540.
Reports are currently released at 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET. The changes could affect the following reports: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Acreage, Cattle, Cattle on Feed, Crop Production, Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings, Quarterly Hogs and Pigs, and Small Grain Summary.
There has been speculation on probable new release times, and their potential impact on the market. Stakeholder comments will allow the USDA to gather user information and determine the most effective solution for users.