Minnesota-based Ceres Global has reached a settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to pay a $3 million civil penalty. The settlement comes after the company was charged with attempting to manipulate the price of oat futures contracts. Following the announcement of the settlement, Ceres Global’s Toronto-listed stock rose by 6.7% to 2.40 Canadian dollars.
The CFTC order states that Ceres Global engaged in manipulation of oat futures contracts on two occasions, in July 2016 and March 2017. Senior personnel at Ceres were found to have facilitated the creation of large long positions, which exceeded speculative limits. The company held these positions into the delivery period and took delivery of the oats, both to increase the price of oat futures and obtain higher-quality oats at lower delivery prices.
Ceres Global stated that it has resolved the matter with the CFTC and the $3 million penalty aligns with the amount set aside as a legal settlement reserve in their financial statements for fiscal 2023. It also stated that it does not expect any further charges or fines from the ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice.