No one seems to care much about the fact that half of government employees are cooling their heels and that the other half isn’t getting paid. There’s probably even going to be a jobs report on Friday to corroborate what we already know. But the Chicago Merc has discovered at least one area of the market that won’t escape from the political chicanery unscathed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture began Tuesday furloughing staff who produce numerous daily and weekly reports on data, including cash prices for agricultural products that are used as benchmarks for futures contracts that are used to hedge against big price swings in commodities….
The CME said the lack of USDA data could disrupt the October 2013 contracts for live cattle, lean hog, feeder cattle futures and options. The exchange operator earlier Tuesday said the shutdown could also affect certain dairy futures and options but later said that it had learned late that the federal rule-making body overseeing purchases from dairy farmers would release prices Wednesday, in time for the affected product contracts to settle as scheduled….
The CME said in its statement to customers Tuesday that a prolonged federal shutdown “may require the exchange to modify the current settlement procedures” for the affected contracts. The exchange operator declined to say how the procedures would be modified.