Washington, D.C. R-CALF USA has contacted newly appointed Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler to request reforms to the U.S. cattle futures market and also has joined with 52 other organizational members of the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition (CMOC) to persuade the CFTC to aggressively regulate the commodity futures market to prevent excessive speculation and to ensure a fair and orderly market. Additionally, formal correspondence from the CMOC was sent today to the Senate and House leadership to call for meaningful reform of commodities trading.
"R-CALF is working with the CFTC to ensure that the cattle futures market functions properly to provide price discovery and reduce price risk for physical cattle hedgers," said R-CALF USA Marketing Committee Chair Dennis Thornsberry. "The benefits of today's cattle futures market, however, appear to flow primarily to large market speculators and large market participants, while smaller independent U.S. cattle operations find the cattle futures market too susceptible to distortion and the resulting volatility too great to serve as a useful marketing tool.
"We seek reform of the cattle futures market to restore its original purpose of affording U.S. cattle producers a useful marketing tool void of distortion and manipulation by certain speculators and other dominant market participants," he added.
Included in R-CALF USA's letter to the CFTC are requests to prevent packers from engaging in speculative short selling as a strategy to depress cash cattle prices, impose aggregate speculative position limits across all markets, and ensure that speculative position limits be set by physical hedgers.