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Proposed Rule

Revision of Regulations for Determining Price Quotations for Spot Cotton

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Agricultural Marketing Service is proposing to amend the regulation concerning designation of the spot markets used to calculate differences for tenderable qualities delivered against cotton futures contracts. The re-designated spot markets will better reflect the trading value of tenderable qualities. Presently, regulations provide for the Secretary of Agriculture to determine and designate spot markets from which spot cotton price information can be collected. Currently, there are seven designated markets that qualify under the Cotton Futures Act requirements and five of those are designated to determine differences for the settlement of futures contracts. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in an effort to better reflect market transparency, approved a request from the New York Board of Trade that the spot markets used to calculate commercial differences in Cotton Futures Exchange deliveries be re-designated. The requested changes were as follows: Replace the South Delta quote with the West Texas quote; and replace the North Delta quote with the average of the combined North and South Delta quotes. Including West Texas quotes and combining and averaging North and South Delta quotes provides a more accurate reflection of cotton that is traded for cotton futures contracts.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before September 23, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposed rule to Norma McDill, Deputy Administrator, Cotton Program, AMS, USDA, STOP 0224, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0224. Comments should be submitted in triplicate. Comments may also be submitted electronically to: cottoncomments@usda.gov. All comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments will be available for public inspection at Cotton Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2641-S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250 during regular business. A copy of this notice may be found at: www.ams.usda.gov/​cotton/​rulemaking.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Norma McDill, Deputy Administrator, Cotton Program, AMS, USDA, STOP 0224, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0224. Telephone (202) 720-2145, facsimile (202) 690-1718, or e-mail norma.mcdill@usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866, and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Executive Order 12988

This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. This proposed rule would not preempt any state or local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. There are no administrative procedures which must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), AMS has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities and has determined that its implementation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

The New York Cotton Future Market traders include the entire cotton industry: farmers, merchants, and textile mill owners. There are an estimated 3,000 traders. This proposed rule would affect all such traders. The majority of the traders are small businesses under the criteria established by the Small Business Administration. Amending the regulations to change the designated spot markets for determining tenderable differences will not significantly affect small businesses as defined under the RFA because:

(1) The information gathered will be more reflective of the cotton traded for cotton futures contracts and add more transparency to the market;

(2) The competitive position or market access of small entities in the cotton industry would not be affected;

(3) No new costs would be imposed on the affected industry.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations (5 CFR part 1320) which implement the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) the information collection requirements contained in the regulation to be amended have been previously approved by OMB and were assigned control number 0581-0029 under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Background

The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized under the U.S. Cotton Futures Act (7 U.S.C. 15b) to make such regulations as determined necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act. The Act provides for the designation of at least five bona fide spot markets from which spot cotton price information can be collected. Presently, there are seven such designated markets that qualify under the Cotton Futures Act requirements. The seven designated markets are as follows: Southeastern, North Delta, South Delta, East Texas and Oklahoma, West Texas, Desert Southwest and San Joaquin Valley. For the purposes of determining settlement of futures contracts five of the seven spot markets are used. They are Southeastern, North Delta, South Delta, East Texas and Oklahoma, and Desert Southwest. The Cotton Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service provides market information from these spot markets under the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act (7 U.S.C. 473b) and the Start Printed Page 48051Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1622(g)).

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in an effort to better reflect market transparency, approved a request from the New York Board of Trade to change the spot markets used to calculate commercial differences in Cotton Futures Exchange deliveries. This proposed rule would change the designation of the spot markets which are used daily to calculate price differences for cotton futures contracts. The current designations were published in the Federal Register on August 4, 1988 (53 FR 29327). As previously stated, differences are quoted for those qualities of cotton which are tenderable on active futures contracts in five designated markets. These differences are averaged to obtain the differences quoted for futures settlement.

This proposed rule would provide that differences would continue to be quoted for those qualities of cotton which are tenderable on active futures contracts in all of the five markets currently designated for this purpose. However, the West Texas spot market would be added as a bone fide spot market for the settlement of futures contracts, and the North Delta and South Delta spot markets would be combined and averaged together when used for this purpose of calculating differences of tenderable qualities for the settlement of futures contracts. This proposed rule would change the calculation of differences of tenderable qualities for the settlement of futures contracts to be the average of the differences of (1) the Southeastern spot market; (2) the East Texas/Oklahoma spot market; (3) the West Texas spot market; (4) the Desert Southwest spot market; and (5) the combination and averaging of the North Delta and South Delta spot markets. The remaining designated spot markets would not change. These proposed modifications are expected to more accurately reflect the trading value of tenderable cotton on futures contracts and add more transparency in the market.

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 27

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR Part 27 is proposed to be amended as follows:

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PART 27—[AMENDED]

1.The authority citation for 7 CFR part 27 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 15b, 7 U.S.C. 4736, 7 U.S.C. 1622(g).

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2. Section 27.94 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:

Spot markets for contract settlement purposes.

(a) For cotton delivered in settlement of any No. 2 contract on the New York Cotton Exchange:

Southeastern, North and South Delta, Eastern Texas and Oklahoma, West Texas, and Desert Southwest.

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Dated: July 15, 2002.

A.J. Yates,

Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-18255 Filed 7-22-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P