Q:

Where can you find information for cattle futures trading?

A:

Quick Answer

Data on cattle futures trading is available at CMEGroup.com, a website operated by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, and at Options Express, the website of Charles Schwab affiliate Options Express. More information is available at DanielsTrading.com and AGWeb.com.

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Full Answer

Cattle futures trading involves feeder cattle futures contracts and live cattle futures contracts, explains Daniels Trading. "Feeder cattle" refers to weaned calves weighing between 600 pounds and 800 pounds, while "live cattle" refers to livestock, typically weighing 1,000 pounds to 3,000 pounds, that is mature enough for slaughter.

Feeder cattle sell both through the open outcry system and the electronic trading system, notes Daniels Trading. Sellers organize contract sizes come in weights of 50,000 pounds, while minimum tick sizes are $0.00025 cents per pound, as of 2015. Feeder cattle sales occur only in January, March, April, May, and August through November.

Live cattle sell both through the electronic trading system and the pit trading system, Daniels Trading reports. Tick sizes are $.00025 cents per pound, with contract sizes at 40,000 pounds. Live cattle sales occur only in February, April, June, August, October and December.

As far as cattle futures trading goes, one of the most important sources of data is the Cattle on Feed report published by the United States Department of Agriculture, according to Daniels Trading. The publication is available for download from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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