Public comments are being sought by USDA relative to timing of several key reports issued by the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) and the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) via a notice to be published in the Federal Register June 8. The notice said that the comments would be due 30 days after publication, presumably July 9 as July 8 falls on a Sunday.
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In the notice on review at the Federal Register, USDA said it is seeking comments relative to the following reports in the wake of nearly round-the-clock trading in commodity futures:
- World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates
- Cattle on Feed
- Crop Production
- Grain Stocks
- Prospective Plantings
- Quarterly Hogs and Pigs
- Small Grain Summary
The above reports have release times currently of 8:30 am and 3:00 pm ET, and will continue to be released at those times "until official comments are considered."
In seeking public comments, USDA asks the responses address the following:
1. What is your preferred time of day (EDT) for report release?
2. Why is this time preferred?
3. Who are the data users impacted by this recommended time change?
4. How will this change impact these data users?
5. How are the data used when received at the current release time?
6. Other comments
"All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized and considered by NASS and the Office of the Chief Economist in preparing any recommendation(s)," USDA said.
PF says: It's clear that any shift in report release times will not happen until at least the August Crop Production report which is due to be released August 10, a month following the expected deadline for public comments. The inclusion of the "other comments" could expand the scope of issues addressed beyond just when the reports should be released. It’s certainly possible that the trade could use this as an opportunity to comment on other aspects of USDA reports, especially relative to questions that have arisen with the Grain Stocks data.