Livestock & Dairy » Live Cattle Futures

Our user-friendly trading platform and exceptional customer service help you to get in on the bustling agricultural market of live cattle futures. Open an account to trade futures at optionsXpress.

Contract Size
40,000 lbs
Tick Size
0.025 = $10.00

About CME Live Cattle Futures

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.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange broke the mold of traditional futures markets in 1964 by introducing a futures contract on live cattle, an innovative move because futures were only traded on storable commodities such as grain at the time. But the livestock industry appeared ready for a central forward market with the advantages futures could bring. Since then, the live cattle futures contract has undergone significant changes, and each of these changes has enhanced the usefulness of the contract in risk management programs. These tools have enabled cattle producers to manage their price risk more effectively. CME continues to work with the cattle industry to meet producers' changing needs by improving the live cattle futures contract.

In addition to live cattle futures, live hog futures were added in 1966, and feeder cattle were added in 1971. In 1997, lean hog futures and options replaced the live hog contracts. In 1999, stocker cattle futures and options were added.

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

CME Live Cattle Futures Specifications

Live cattle futures, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, symbol LC. Contract Size is 40,000 lbs. The minimum tick size is $0.025/cwt, worth $10 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.

Principal trading months for cattle futures include February, April, June, August, October, and December.

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