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Abstract

Excerpts from the report: The Commodity Exchange Act, which provides Federal regulation of futures trading in agricultural commodities, was amended by Congress in four instances in 1954 and 1955. The Congress amended the act to authorize the regulation of futures trading in two commodities, wool and onions, in which futures trading has become important within recent years . Two other amendments were designed to implement the regulation of futures trading in twenty-odd commodities, some of which have had futures markets for nearly 100 years. A basic function of futures trading which is being utilized in meeting the changing needs of agricultural marketing is that of providing adequate facilities for “hedging." Hedging is the balancing of price risks in commodity inventories and requirements against opposite price risks in the futures markets. Merchants, processors, and farmers' cooperative associations make hedging sales in futures to offset or reduce price risks on stocks of commodities, or make hedging purchases in futures to reduce price risks on forward commitments to deliver commodities or commodity products.

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