* CME submits details on longer grains trading hours to CFTC
* Top grains group says it was not consulted about increase
* CFTC staff members contacted group about concerns
By Tom Polansek
CHICAGO, May 8 (Reuters) - CME Group has notified federal regulators by letter that there were "no substantive opposing views" to its plan for nearly around the clock grains futures and options trading.
However, the nation's largest grain group has said it has concerns because the longer hours will increase costs for its members and create competitive disadvantages for some. The CME's letter, posted Tuesday on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's website, should serve as the CME's required notification to the federal futures regulator of the new hours. Barring an objection by the CFTC, the longer trading should start May 21.
Christopher Bowen, CME's chief regulatory counsel, told the CFTC that there was little opposition to the change to nearly around-the-clock trading in the May 3 letter.
CME did not immediately respond to a request for more information about how it gauged feedback.
The National Grain and Feed Association, the largest U.S. grains group, has concerns about the trading change and said it was not consulted about the increase in trading hours before CME announced the change.
It said the longer trading will raise costs for it members, which include thousands of grain elevators and merchandisers, and put some at a competitive disadvantage.
The association has since had conference calls with CME and continues to have concerns about longer trading hours, spokesman Randy Gordon said on Tuesday.
The CME's plan to increase trading hours for grain and oilseed futures and options to 22 hours a day starting on May 21, is widely seen as a response to a threat from rival IntercontinentalExchange.
Atlanta-based ICE said last month it would challenge CME's iron grip on grains markets by listing look-alike wheat, corn and soy contracts on May 14 -- on a 22-hour basis.
CME had said it would match the start of ICE's 22-hour trading but was forced to delay the start date last week after the CFTC said it had not received a required 10-day notification for the change.
CFTC staff members contacted the NGFA to ask about its concerns and whether the group had a chance to provide input to CME, NFGA's Gordon said.
"The CFTC, I think, certainly is performing some due diligence on this," Gordon said, adding that the association is slated to voice its concerns to ICE executives on Wednesday.
CFTC spokesman David Gary said he did not immediately know how commission staff members would assess CME's claim that there was no significant opposition to its plan.
CFTC staff members have 10 business days to review the plan, during which time the public can submit comments to the commission, Gary said. He did not immediately know whether staff members were considering extending the comment period.