Last week, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing with Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo titled State of the CFTC: Examining Pending Rules, Cryptocurrency Regulation, and Cross-Border Agreements. USCA President Kenny Graner issued the following statement on the hearing: “USCA commends U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow for hosting the hearing. The statements made by the leadership and Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are evidence to a strong interest and awareness of the need for properly functioning contracts, notably in the livestock industry.
CFTC Chairman Giancarlo’s comments during today’s hearing show that he, along with his fellow Commissioners, are aware and committed to the importance of ensuring a properly functioning live cattle contract. "All of that being noted, cattle producers are concerned about the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) recent plans to allow block trading of the cattle contract. In a market in which liquidity is an already known issue, it’s highly questionable to allow large market participants to “match” orders up and transact them outside of the marketplace. This undercuts cattle producers from their ability to participate in the needed liquidity.
Furthermore, in 2017 USCA members helped coordinate adding stockyards for delivery points as it links to the Live Cattle Contract in order to address the Dodd-Frank law stipulating supply requirements. However, USCA just learned that several delivery locations have been removed. This was announced with very little dialogue and input from the cattle industry and those directly impacted by these changes."Reducing irregular volatility and ensuring that the fundamentals of the cattle market are working properly is a basic tenet that needs to be in place. 2018 can be the year to make progress here as we have seen in recent days that work continues to be needed. Again, we thank the Senate Ag Committee and the CFTC for their efforts and look forward to working with them to address these issues.”