Feeder Cattle Futures Trading Basics

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Feeder Cattle

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Feeder Cattle contracts represent 650-849 pound feeder steers to be placed in feedyards for fattening. As a derivative of the Live Cattle futures, prices are influenced by factors that affect both the feedgrain and the fed cattle prices. There is one contract denomination available for trade:

SYMBOL:

    FC trades in units of 50,000 pounds (

23 metric tons)
The minimum price fluctuation is 0.025 ($12.50 per contract).

Maximum Daily Price Fluctuation is 150 points or 1.5cents/lb.

Contract Expiration: Request Free Demo to gain access to our web-based trading platform. From within the web-based platform you will have access to view complete contract specifications, including First Notice and Last Trading day.

Margin requirements are subject to change, and are required for open futures positions.

The Feeder Cattle contract is available for trade on the CME Globex platform. Open outcry trading is conducted from 7:05AM PT through 11:00AM PT. Electronic trading is conducted from 5:00PM PT through 4:00AM PT the next day.

Trading example: If you purchase 1 contract of FC at 97.500 and the next day it moves to 98.500, you have a profit of $500. Inversely, if the price dropped to 96.500 the next day, you would have a loss of $500.

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– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – To make sense of the information provided and learn how to trade futures please read through our futures education.
This information is from sources believed to be reliable, but Expo Futures will not be held responsible for either its accuracy or completeness. Please note that all times posted are in Pacific Standard Time and are subject to change.
For information on a particular contract not listed, please feel free to contact us.

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Feeder Cattle Futures

The world cattle population is well over 1 billion head, and in many cultures, such as in parts of Africa, having many cattle is a good signal of wealth. In order to be transferred to the feedlot and fattened for slaughter, feeder cattle must be between 1-2 years of age. The steer and cows that are chosen to become feeder cattle have usually been culled from a main herd because they are superfluous to breeding needs.

Feeder Cattle Futures Contract Specifications
Contract Size 50,000 pounds (˜23 metric tons)
Price Quotation Cents per pound
Trading Hours Monday 9:05 a.m. Central Time/CT-Opening. At 4:00 p.m. CT on Monday- Thursday, the markets halt and restart at 8:00 a.m. CT on the next morning. Friday 1:55 p.m. CT-Close
Minimum Price Fluctuation $.00025 per pound ($12.50 per contract)
Product Code CME Globex: GF
CME ClearPort: 62
Clearing: 62
TAS: GFT
Listed Contracts January (F), March (H), April (J), May (K), August (Q), September (U), October (V) & November (X)
Settlement Method Financially Settled
Last Trade Date Last Thursday of the contract month with exceptions for November and other months, 12:00 p.m.
Trade At Marker Or Trade At Settlement Rules (TAS) Trading at settlement is available for first 2 listed futures contract months, a calendar spread between the first and second contract month, and are subject to the existing TAS rules. The Last Trade Date for CME Livestock TAS products will be the second to last business day in the month prior to the named contract month.

Trading in all CME Livestock TAS products will be 9:05-13:00 Chicago time on Mondays or on the Tuesdays that follow a Monday holiday, and Tuesday through Friday 8:00-13:00, Chicago time.

TAS products will trade a total of four ticks above and below the settlement price in ticks of the corresponding futures contract (0.00025), off of a “Base Price” of 0 to create a differential (plus or minus 4 ticks) versus settlement in the underlying product on a 1 to 1 basis. A trade done at the Base Price of 0 will correspond to a “traditional” TAS trade which will clear exactly at the final settlement price of the day.

Settlement Procedures Livestock Futures Settlement Procedures
Exchange Rules These contracts are listed with, and subject to, the rules and regulations of CME.
Source: CME Group

Feeder Cattle Facts

Most feeder cattle are bred in the summer to ensure that their calves are born in the spring season because of both the temped climate and the abundance of pasture to feed on. Around 8 months of age, cattle are weaned from their mothers and sent to stocker operations in order to encourage growth to a substantial size (600-800 lbs.). After reaching this weight, feeder cattle are then sent to a feed lot where they are fed a certain diet to inhibit a quick weight gain. When feeder cattle mature to 1,200 lbs., they are sold to meat packers to be butchered. The U.S. exports over 2 billion pounds of beef every year.

Feeder cattle futures allow traders to be a part of an all-encompassing market that includes price demand for feed grain and the cattle themselves. It can also allow traders to address price risk among those involved in the trade of feeder cattle and to assess supply and demand of cattle, feed, and for both the current and future outlook.

Last updated October 2020

Additional Info

Recent Posts on Feeder Cattle

  • Beyond the Spotlight: Natural Gas, Beans, & Cattle – January 28, 2020 (1/28/2020) – Beyond the Spotlight for the week of January 28, 2020 covers the Natural Gas, Soybeans, and Feeder Cattle markets. Watch now to look ahead with us, while potentially creating additional trading opportunities for yourself.
  • Reversal Price Action in Feeder Cattle…Time To Go To Work. (12/18/2020) – We are seeing some reversal price action this morning in feeder cattle
  • The Cullen Outlook – 5 Markets You Should Be Trading Right NOW! (8/22/2020) – August will soon be over and I released my latest guide on markets to trade heading into the end of summer. get your complimentary copy today!

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Live Cattle vs Feeder Cattle

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