Position Limits for Derivatives and Aggregation of Positions
On December 12, 2013, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (``Commission'') published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (the ``Position Limits Proposal'') to establish speculative position limits for 28 exempt and agricultural commodity futures and options contracts and the physical commodity swaps that are economically equivalent to such contracts. On November 15, 2013, the Commission published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (the ``Aggregation Proposal'') to amend existing regulations setting out the Commission's policy for aggregation under its position limits regime. In addition, the Commission directed staff to hold a public roundtable on June 19, 2014, to consider certain issues regarding position limits for physical commodity derivatives. In order to provide interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the issues to be discussed at the roundtable, the Commission published notice in the Federal Register on May 29, 2014, that the comment periods for the Position Limits Proposal and the Aggregation Proposal were reopened, starting June 12, 2014 (one week before the roundtable) and ending July 3, 2014 (two weeks following the roundtable). To provide commenters with a sufficient period of time to respond to questions raised and points made at the roundtable, the Commission is now further extending the comment period. Comments should be limited to the issues of hedges of a physical commodity by a commercial enterprise, including gross hedging, cross-commodity hedging, anticipatory hedging, and the process for obtaining a non-enumerated exemption; the setting of spot month limits in physical-delivery and cash-settled contracts and a conditional spot-month limit exemption; the setting of non-spot limits for wheat contracts; the aggregation exemption for certain ownership interests of greater than 50 percent in an owned entity; and aggregation based on substantially identical trading strategies.