Live Cattle Futures

What are live cattle futures?


Live cattle futures are the most widely traded livestock futures contract in the U.S. Live cattle futures contracts represent the delivery of full-grown cattle that are ready to be sold to meat processors.

How to trade live cattle futures

Live cattle futures can be traded nearly 24 hours a day on the thinkorswim® trading platforms.

Live cattle futures contract specifications

Considering trading live cattle futures? Here are the live cattle futures contract specifications.

Live cattle futures contract specifications.
Exchange, Symbol Chicago Mercantile Exchange, /LE
Minimum Tick Size and Value 0.025 = $10.00
Trading Hours 9:30 am – 2:05 pm ET, Monday - Friday

At Schwab, you also get access to advanced trading platforms and education, where you can take advantage of market research, real-time live cattle futures quotes, and other specialized tools.

Why trade live cattle?

Investors can use agricultural products like live cattle futures to hedge or diversify their portfolio using investments that have a low correlation with their financial assets.

Traders can use live cattle futures to speculate on the price of market-ready cattle, which can be affected by a number of factors including overall demand for animal protein which is closely tied to consumer incomes, the change in price of commodities used to feed the animals like corn and soybeans, changing trends in consumer diets, and even the strength of the U.S. dollar. Options on live cattle futures are also available.

It is important to understand the benefits and risks involved with live cattle futures before placing a futures trade. With live cattle futures you can trade outside of the traditional market hours associated with equities and take advantage of potential trading opportunities regardless of market direction. Live cattle futures also provide the ability to trade with greater leverage and can allow a more efficient use of trading capital. However, trading leveraged products like live cattle futures is not suitable for all investors. It involves risks that greater losses can occur with smaller market movements, and more than your initial investment can be lost.

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