Release Number 5484-08

Release: 5484-08
For Release: April 10, 2008

CFTC Announces Details of April 22 Agricultural Forum

Washington, DC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today further details about the upcoming 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.


The roundtable will include discussion of the following topics:

    I. Price Discovery in the Agriculture Futures Markets

      a. Overview of fundamentals 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


The roundtable will consist of 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, commodity consumer and producer groups, financial firms, and futures exchanges. A complete participant list will be available before the forum.

Attendance and Comment

The roundtable will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, in the Commission’s hearing room located on the ground floor of its headquarters – Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581. The 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 live broadcast of the roundtable via Webcast on

2. Call in to a toll-free telephone line to connect to a live audio feed

Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their first name, last name, and affiliation. Conference call information is listed below.

Domestic Toll Free: 866-759-0291

International Toll: 763-416-8828

The conference ID: 43214239

Call leader name: “CFTC”

Because opportunities for questions and comments the day of the roundtable may be significantly limited, participants and members of the public may submit written statements for the official record up to two weeks following the roundtable.

Media Contacts
Ianthe Zabel

R. David Gary

Last Updated: April 10, 2008