Visit www.USDA.gov and you get a placeholder page and no information, it's one of several government sites that have shut down. And it's severely cutting off information for some key trade contracts. The CME Group has been reporting on ways it will work around the closure and Monday announced that under CME Rule 701 it is authorized to change final settlement procedures for currently listed contracts.
At issue is the October 2013 Lean Hog futures and options contracts which are normally calculated using the Lean Hog Index based on cash price information reported through USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. Here's CME Group's plan for alternative settlement of the contracts:
October 2013 Lean Hogs Alternative Final Settlement Methodology
October 2013 Futures and Options:
In the event that USDA price reporting of the relevant data is available for both October 11 and 14 by October 15, 2013, then that data will be used to determine the final settlement price for October 2013 futures and options contracts, pursuant to the current methodology for calculating the CME Lean Hog Index.
If USDA price reporting of the relevant data is not available for both October 11 and 14 by October 15, 2013, then final settlement for October 2013 Lean Hog futures and options contracts will be calculated by using the volume weighted average price of the October 2013 futures contract for trades occurring during the 2-day period of October 11 and 14, 2013, incorporating both Floor-based and Globex-based trading activity during Regular Trading Hours only (9:05 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on October 11 and 9:05 a.m. to 12:00 noon on October 14). The alternate final settlement price will be applied to any open positions in October 2013 futures and options on the normally scheduled date of October 16, 2013.
You can keep up with CME Group moves during the shutdown at their Government Shutdown Page.