Frequently asked questions: Mercaris dataset

  • 29 Oct 2020
  • By CME Group
  • Topics: Data

1. Who is Mercaris?

Mercaris, a Certified B Corporation, has helped its customers capitalize on the growing demand for organic and non-GMO agriculture by providing market intelligence, analysis, and trading services exclusively for the identity-preserved agriculture industry. Mercaris hosts the largest organic and non-GMO grain and oilseed market survey across the US and Canada and recently launched an organic dairy initiative. The company also maintains a trading platform which enables buyers and sellers to find new markets and trade organic and non-GMO commodities. With a dynamic combination of data, insights and technology, our customers can access solutions for every challenge. For more information, visit:

2. What data does Mercaris offer via DataMine?

Mercaris offers a range of regional and national organic grain and oilseed prices, non-GMO premiums, US organic grain imports, and the Mercaris Midwest Organic Corn Index.

Organic Prices: Delivered first handler prices of organic grains and oilseeds. The Mercaris organic cash grain prices represent a weekly average price for a specified commodity in a particular region. Every single contract that Mercaris uses to build price series data represents the physical delivery of a commodity. If Mercaris publishes a price, it is comprised of completed trades between two parties, rather than bids or offers simply put out into the marketplace.

Non-GMO Premiums: Average premium value of delivered non-GMO crops over comparable conventional crops delivered within a 20-mile radius of the declared point of delivery. For meals and oils, it's an FOB crushing plant price.

US Organic Grain Imports: FOB origin and delivered US prices, volumes, freight, and country-of-origin statistics.  Used to understand where organic grain is coming from, how much is being imported, and what the delivered price is. Provides a view into current domestic US Imports landscape for organic corn, organic durum wheat, organic oats, organic barley, and organic soybeans. 

Midwest Organic Corn Index: Provides a synthetic market clearing price. The Index is a weekly indicator of what organic feed grade yellow corn delivered to a Midwest (seven states defined as MN, IA, NE, WI, IN, IL, MI) elevator looks like where there isn’t a robust level of market transparency and transactional volume.

3. How is this data calculated?

Mercaris pricing products originate from the proprietary Mercaris Market Survey™ completed by survey participants each week. Mercaris' participants are a broad cross-section of producers, brokers, and first handlers across the United States and Canada. All trade data is factored equally for use in a particular valuation, only if trades are deemed repeatable and within the established specifications for each product. Mercaris' products and reports reflect the traded value of the commodity at a given point in time. Each product reflects data that fits within established specifications regarding quality, grade, purity standards, delivery times, and other factors as described in Commodity Specifications (

Mercaris collects data for commodities daily then aggregates the data and publishes products on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis depending on the product and commodity. Data is accepted and analyzed until end of week, month or quarter period for the respective commodity and region.

The Mercaris Market Survey™ publishes market prices collected at various pricing points. These pricing points capture the value and market activity at various points along the IP commodity supply chain and include different elements of cost and risk as a result. The Mercaris pricing points reported through the DataMine product is as defined below:

Delivered First Handler: Mercaris collects and reports a “Delivered” first handler price, as reported by IP commodity brokers and first handlers indicating the value of the commodity at a predetermined buyer location, as identified in the contract, with title passing at the time of transfer. The delivered price includes the cost of transportation, insurance, and the commodity.

4. Are there risks in using the data?

Transparency underpins Mercaris' valuation process.  When determining a final market valuation, Mercaris only accepts fully verifiable trades. This ensures that Mercaris' price reporting reflects the real value of the commodities it is evaluating. When no trade data exists, Mercaris will not publish a data point for that period.

5. What is the file format of this data?

Files will be delivered in .csv format on a weekly basis.

6. What is the average daily file size?

Less than 1MB.

7. How many files are available per day?

The number of files you receive depends upon the number of products you are subscribed to. There is a total of 33 unique pricing instruments available through DataMine which is inclusive of the Mercaris Midwest Organic Corn Index, in addition to the organic imports file.  

8. What is the delivery frequency of the data?

The Mercaris Market Prices are delivered on a weekly, quarterly, or monthly basis depending on the product specification. The Mercaris Midwest Organic Corn Index is delivered weekly.  Imports are delivered weekly.  

9. What time will the files be delivered each week?

Files are delivered on Sunday evenings between 4-5 p.m. ET weekly.

10. Are the files compressed?

No, the files are not compressed.

11. Are sample files available?

Sample data sets will be available upon request.  Please visit CME DataMine for further information or contact

12. How far back historically does each dataset go?

Data typically goes back to 2015.

13. Are there any missing dates to the data I should know? If so, what are they?

Because Mercaris’ market survey only includes actual and fully verifiable trade data, and not quotes or bids, Mercaris will not publish a data point for a period in which insufficient data is available (value of null). The dates of these periods are various, depend upon the specific data series, and may change as additional market data is collected.

14. Where can I find collateral on how to understand this data?

Please visit CME DataMine or contact to obtain additional materials on the Mercaris products.

15. Is there a certain process I must use to be able to use the data?

No, there is not a special process needed to utilize any of the Mercaris products.

16. Does Mercaris allow free trials for their dataset?

Yes, please visit CME DataMine for further information or contact to determine eligibility for a free trial.

17. Can you provide Layout Guides for the format of each dataset?

Organic and non-GMO Price File(s):

price: number indicating a volume weighted average over the period of time specified for the file. e.g. 0.83

interval-begin-date: date indicating the start point of the period of time over which the price is calculated. e.g. 2020-04-01

interval-end-date: date indicating the end point of the period of time over which the price is calculated. e.g. 2020-06-30

publish-date: date representing the point in time the price is first made available via this file. e.g. 2020-07-14

last-price-change: date representing the last time the price was restated. e.g. 2020-09-11



Import Date: data is for the entire month referenced e.g. 2020-07-01 

Commodity: possible values include Organic Corn, Organic Red Winter Wheat, Organic Soybeans, Organic Oats 

Country: e.g. Romania

Quantity: volume in bushels e.g. 36300

Value: FOB total value in US$ e.g. 245000

Price: FOB unit price in US$/bushel e.g. 6.75

CIF Value: CIF total value in US$ e.g. 312000

CIF Price: CIF unit price in US$/bushel e.g. 8.6

Midwest Organic Corn Index:

interval-begin-date: date representing the beginning of the pricing period

interval-end-date: date representing the end of the pricing period, also the publish date 

price: price in US$/bushel