Live Cattle Futures


This article refers to the specific commodity. For beef prices in general, see the article on Beef Prices.

Live Cattle refers to cattle (cows) that have reached the requisite weight for slaughter. This is different from feeder cattle, which are the younger animals that are still in the process of being fed into fished "fed" cattle.

Live Cattle futures are traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange under ticker symbol LC in cents per pound. For electronic trading sessions, the symbol LE is used.[1]

The chart at left shows Front Month Live Cattle Futures prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in cents per pound.

Delivery Dates

Live Cattle futures are delivered every year in February, April, June, August, October, and December[1]

The following is a table with Live Cattle futures delivery dates and resultant tickers for 2009. For an explanation on commodity tickers see commodity ticker construction.

Delivery Month Full Ticker Symbol Thomson-Reuters Symbol
February, 2009LCG9LC/G9-CM
April, 2009LCJ9LC/J9-CM
June, 2009LCM9LC/M9-CM
August, 2009LCQ9LC/Q9-CM
October, 2009LCV9LC/Q9-CM
December, 2009LCZ9LC/Z9-CM

Contract Specifications

Contract Size

One Live Cattle futures contract on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is 40,000 pounds.[1]

Daily Price Limit

$0.03 per pound above or below the previous day's settlement price. [1]

Trading Hours

  • On the CME Globex electronic platform: Monday 9:05 AM through Friday 1:55 PM with daily trading halts from 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM, US Central Time.[1]
  • Open Outcry (pit session): Monday through Friday, 9:05 AM to 1:00 PM.[1]

Last Trading Day

Trading of Live Cattle futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ends on the last Thursday of the contract month with exceptions for November and other months, 12:00 p.m.[1]

Deliverable Grades

Deliverable Live Cattle grades for futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are: 55% Choice, 45% Select, Yield Grade 3 live steers.[1]

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