Coronavirus Forces Postponement of CFTC Conference in Overland Park

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s ag conference in Overland Park will be postponed, and an open meeting scheduled for the area will now take place in Washington. CFTC announced Wednesday that the Agriculture Commodity Futures Conference, set for April 1st and 2nd, will be moved to a later date. Lab office hours in New York will also be postponed. The open meeting that was set to take place March 31st at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City will now occur at the CFTC Headquarters in Washington. CFTC’s announcement comes as the coronavirus outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Coronavirus fears have prompted the CME Group to announce that its trading floor in Chicago will close after the closing bell Friday. The operators of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade say it is a precaution to reduce large gatherings that can contribute to the spread of Covid-19. All products will continue to trade on CME’s electronic exchanges. The trading floor will reopen once further medical guidance becomes available. The company’s headquarters in Chicago will remain open.

Also on Wednesday, organizers of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced the cancellation of the three-week contest.  Last year the show brought in 2.5 million visitors from 75 countries.  Farm Bureau also announced the cancellation of its annual Young Farmers and Ranchers convention in Louisville.

On a positive note, Bayer CropScience’s St. Louis area headquarters will reopened Thursday morning. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an employee on the campus containing their North American agribusiness headquarters tested negative for coronavirus. The suspected case prompted Bayer to close the campus in suburban Creve Coeur and three other locations Monday. A statement from the company added that none of their employees have tested positive as of Wednesday night. Employees based in Creve Coeur still have the option to work from home for the remainder of the week. Bayer’s offices in downtown Saint Louis and New Jersey remain closed.