Livestock & Dairy » Feeder Cattle Futures

Our user-friendly trading platform and exceptional customer service help you to get in on the bustling agricultural market of feeder cattle futures, and our low commissions are sure to "meat" your needs. Open an account to trade futures at optionsXpress.

Contract Size
50,000 lbs
Tick Size
0.025 = $12.50

About CME Feeder Cattle Futures

Feeder cattle are young animals sent to feedlots for finishing into "fed" cattle, the basis of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's live cattle futures contracts. The CME added feeder cattle futures to its livestock products in 1971, and in 1987 the exchange added options on futures on this contract. These tools have enabled cattle producers to manage their price risk more effectively.

The CME's feeder cattle index is a seven-day weighted average of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prices from a 12-state region: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Medium #1 and Large #1 feeder steers weighing between 700 and 849 pounds are included in the calculation, except for those identified as fancy, thin, fleshy, gaunt, or full.

Livestock producers face a great deal of risk. One is uncertain weather, which affects feed costs, the availability of feed and forage, rates of gain, conception rates, survivability of young animals, and shipment. Another risk is the constant threat of disease - livestock producers know that staying on top of animal health requires the best management in agriculture. Producers have managed such production risk with top-notch husbandry practices. But no amount of husbandry can address market risk - the uncertainty of prices at market time, owing to shifting supply and demand factors. That's where the futures market comes in.

optionsXpress offers trading in feeder futures at the CME. We give every participant in the cattle industry - from ranchers to feedlots - the ability to use feeder cattle futures to manage their price risk. Speculators can also trade feeder cattle futures and options in hopes of profiting from changes in price. Because cattle prices often trend up or down, many individual speculators are attracted to both live cattle and feeder cattle futures.

CME Feeder Cattle Futures Specifications

Feeder cattle futures, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, trading symbol FC. The contract size is 50,000 lbs. Minimum tick is $0.025/cwt (0.025 cents per pound), worth $12.50 per contract.

Trade electronically on Globex Monday 10:05 AM US EST to 5:00 PM US EST, Tuesday through Thursday 6:00 PM US EST until 5:00 PM US EST, and closes Friday at 2:55 PM US EST.

Primary trading months for feeder cattle futures and options are January, March, April, May, August, September, October, and November.

Please see the disclosures page for additional information regarding this section.