Live Cattle Futures Trading Basics

Live Cattle futures are standardized, exchange-traded contracts in which the contract buyer agrees to take delivery, from the seller, a specific quantity of live cattle (eg. 40000 pounds) at a predetermined price on a future delivery date.

Live Cattle Futures Exchanges

You can trade Live Cattle futures at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

CME Live Cattle futures prices are quoted in dollars and cents per pound and are traded in lot sizes of 40000 pounds (18 metric tons).

Exchange & Product NameSymbolContract SizeInitial Margin
CME Live Cattle Futures
(Price Quotes)
LC40000 pounds
(Full Contract Spec)
USD 1,620 (approx. 5%)
(Latest Margin Info)

Live Cattle Futures Trading Basics

Consumers and producers of live cattle can manage live cattle price risk by purchasing and selling live cattle futures. Live Cattle producers can employ a short hedge to lock in a selling price for the live cattle they produce while businesses that require live cattle can utilize a long hedge to secure a purchase price for the commodity they need.

Live Cattle futures are also traded by speculators who assume the price risk that hedgers try to avoid in return for a chance to profit from favorable live cattle price movement. Speculators buy live cattle futures when they believe that live cattle prices will go up. Conversely, they will sell live cattle futures when they think that live cattle prices will fall.

Learn More About Live Cattle Futures & Options Trading

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