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A level playing field

Agriculture.com Staff 04/21/2006 @ 12:12pm

For those who trade futures at the Chicago Board of Trade, you may have wondered how your order makes it to the trading pit. Or, maybe you were concerned that, if you have a small order, it does not get the treatment it deserves. With the advent of what is known as an electronic clerk, the playing field is leveled between big players and those who may have smaller orders.

When a farmer places a futures or options order through their broker, the order is either called in or electronically sent to the exchange floor. If called in, the order is received by a phone clerk who then types the order into a computer system, which sends the order either directly to a broker in a pit or his/her assistant holding an electronic tool, called the electronic clerk. If your broker types in your order at his/her office computer, the order is sent directly to the electronic clerk that the broker or broker assistant is holding. This electronic clerk organizes the orders that the broker in the pit will execute. Orders are organized via price, and the originator of the order is unknown. Therefore, as orders hit the pit, they are stacked according to order type, with no preference provided to who the order is from or number of contracts. The broker simply fills the order.

Therefore, when your order is sent to the floor, there is no reason to believe that the filling broker will identify who you are or miss your ticket. The electronic system is quick, efficient and provides for a much more organized flow of tickets to the filling broker.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Top Farmer at 1-800- TOP-FARM, ext. 129.

For those who trade futures at the Chicago Board of Trade, you may have wondered how your order makes it to the trading pit. Or, maybe you were concerned that, if you have a small order, it does not get the treatment it deserves. With the advent of what is known as an electronic clerk, the playing field is leveled between big players and those who may have smaller orders.

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