Release: †††††††††††† #4263-99
For Release:†††† May 13, 1999

CFTC STREAMLINES SPECULATIVE POSITION LIMIT RULES

Washington, D.C.óThe Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently increased speculative position limits for various domestic agricultural products and streamlined certain associated rules. Speculative position limits limit the size of positions that speculators may hold in the U.S. futures markets and have been a key regulatory feature for over 60 years. These revisions are part of the Commissionís on-going regulatory reform program. They increase significantly the rulesí accessibility and clarity, making compliance easier to achieve. The rules become effective on July 6, 1999.

The revised rules increase Commission speculative position limits only in the deferred trading months. The number of positions speculators are permitted to hold in the spot month remains unchanged. In addition, the revised rules simplify and reorganize various associated policies, exemptions and rules by incorporating them within a single section of the Commissionís rulebook. Specifically, these relate to the requirement that exchanges set speculative position limits for certain contracts, to exemptions from that requirement for position accountability rules and to the rules on aggregating positions that are commonly owned or controlled. In addition, the Commission adopted a new provision which requires a limited partner with greater than a 25 percent ownership interest in a small commodity pool whose operator is not registered with the Commission to aggregate with the pool's positions. However, the limited partner is eligible for an exemption during deferred trading months.

These rules were published in the Federal Register on May 5, 1999, 64 FR 24038. Copies may be obtained by contacting the Commissionís Office of the Secretariat, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581, (202) 418-5100, or by accessing the Commissionís website at www.cftc.gov.