CFTC Announces Details of Agricultural Forum

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist; clgerman@udel.edu

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced the details concerning the April 22nd roundtable discussion on the agricultural markets. The roundtable is designed to gather information about whether the futures markets are properly performing their risk management and price discovery roles.

Discussion Agenda
The roundtable will include discussion of the following topics:

I. Price Discovery in the Agricultural Futures Markets
  a. Overview of market supply/demand in markets
  b. Role of speculators, index funds, and commercial hedgers
  c. The adequacy of transparency in the markets
  d. The adequacy of contract terms and conditions

II. Hedging in the Agricultural Futures Markets
  a. Convergence of futures and cash prices
  b. Forward contracting in the current markets
  c. Role of agricultural swaps and other risk management tools

III. Margin Levels (Performance Bond) and Agricultural Credit
  a. Role of margin and the clearing system
  b. Overview of agricultural credit and record margin levels
  c. Proper determination of margin
  d. Price limits and margin levels
  e. Credit market conditions and Ag lending outlook

Participants
Officials from the CFTC, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit Administration, Federal Reserve System, and a broad spectrum of agricultural market participants, including producer groups, commodity merchandisers, consumer groups, financial firms, and futures exchanges.

Attendance and Comment
The roundtable discussion session will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 in the Commission’s hearing room located on the ground floor of CFTC headquarters – Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581. 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:

1. Watch the live broadcast of the roundtable via Webcast on www.cftc.gov
2. Call into a toll-free telephone line to connect to a live audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their full name and affiliation. Conference call information is listed below:
Domestic Toll Free: 866-759-0291
Conference ID: 43214239
Call leader name: “CFTC”

Members of the public may submit statements for the official record up to two weeks following the roundtable discussion.

Go to
http://www.cftc.gov/newsroom/generalpressreleases/2008/pr5484-08.html for an official copy of the press release.

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