Meat Futures and Options Trading
Lean Hog Futures Trading:
- Most hog production occurs in the Midwest.
- The largest hog producing states are Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota and Illinois.
- The U.S. is the world's largest pork exporter.
Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle Futures Trading:
There are two types of cattle traded at the CME: Live cattle and feeder cattle, so we have to differentiate the two.
Live cattle are considered cattle from the calf stage to the point when they reach about 600 to 800, which take about six to ten months. At this point, they are transferred to feedlots and they will be considered feeder cattle at this point. They remain on the feedlots for about another five months where they will put on about another 500 pounds.
The seven major cattle producing states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas.
Cattle are generally fed corn, Milo and even wheat if the price is cheap enough. The protein end of their diet is soybeans and roughage like hay and alfalfa.
Additionally, weather can be a factor in cattle prices. Very hot weather can result in cattle not gaining normal weight as they tend to eat less. Also, extremely cold weather causes cattle to become stressed and burn more energy to stay warm, which means less weight gain and lower prices.