CHICAGO — CME Group recently announced that it will permanently close most of its physical trading pits, including those for grain trading. They had been closed since March 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Floor trading for agricultural commodities has existed in Chicago since the mid-19th century and has long been part of the heritage of CME Group, which took its name from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now one of the company’s subsidiaries.
The rise of electronic trading has made floor traders nearly irrelevant in most financial markets, and exchanges have been shutting down trading pits in Chicago and elsewhere in recent years.
Only the Eurodollar options pit, which was reopened last August, will remain, which means trading ag products like corn and soybeans will no longer have human-to-human interaction in the pit.
CME Group also announced that, subject to regulatory review, it will delist its full-size, floor-based S&P 500 futures and options contracts following the expiration of the September 2021 contracts on Sept. 17, 2021.
Open interest that remains after the delisting will be migrated into the E-mini S&P 500 futures and options contracts that are available electronically on CME Globex. All individual trading positions will be converted into the corresponding E-mini S&P 500 contracts with the matching expiration date and strike price for options at the current 1:5 ratio.
CME Group exchanges offer a wide range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural products and metals.