Live Cattle Options Explained

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Contents

Live Cattle Jun 20 (LC=F)

Pre. Settlement N/A
Settlement Date 2020-06-30
Open 100.500
Bid 91.050
Last Price 92.825
Day’s Range 83.075 – 87.250
Volume 20,513
Ask 91.050

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Live Cattle Options Explained

Live Cattle options are option contracts in which the underlying asset is a live cattle futures contract.

The holder of a live cattle option possesses the right (but not the obligation) to assume a long position (in the case of a call option) or a short position (in the case of a put option) in the underlying live cattle futures at the strike price.

This right will cease to exist when the option expire after market close on expiration date.

Live Cattle Option Exchanges

Live Cattle option contracts are available for trading at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

CME Live Cattle option prices are quoted in dollars and cents per pound and their underlying futures are traded in lots of 40000 pounds (18 metric tons) of live cattle.

Exchange & Product Name Underlying Contract Size Exercise Style Option Price Quotes
CME Live Cattle Options 40000 lb
(Full Contract Specs)
American N.A.

Call and Put Options

Options are divided into two classes – calls and puts. Live Cattle call options are purchased by traders who are bullish about live cattle prices. Traders who believe that live cattle prices will fall can buy live cattle put options instead.

Buying calls or puts is not the only way to trade options. Option selling is a popular strategy used by many professional option traders. More complex option trading strategies, also known as spreads, can also be constructed by simultaneously buying and selling options.

Live Cattle Options vs. Live Cattle Futures

Additional Leverage

Limit Potential Losses

As live cattle options only grant the right but not the obligation to assume the underlying live cattle futures position, potential losses are limited to only the premium paid to purchase the option.

Flexibility

Using options alone, or in combination with futures, a wide range of strategies can be implemented to cater to specific risk profile, investment time horizon, cost consideration and outlook on underlying volatility.

Time Decay

Options have a limited lifespan and are subjected to the effects of time decay. The value of a live cattle option, specifically the time value, gets eroded away as time passes. However, since trading is a zero sum game, time decay can be turned into an ally if one choose to be a seller of options instead of buying them.

Learn More About Live Cattle Futures & Options Trading

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Writing Puts to Purchase Stocks

If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount. [Read on. ]

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Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

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As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative. [Read on. ]

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Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

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Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading. [Read on. ]

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Understanding Put-Call Parity

Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa. [Read on. ]

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In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as “the greeks”. [Read on. ]

Valuing Common Stock using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow. [Read on. ]

Cattle Trade Compendium – Everything You Need To Know In 2020

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Last Updated on March 26, 2020

Why Are Live Cattle Valuable?

Live cattle are full-grown cattle that have reached the necessary weight for slaughter. Cattle typically get slaughtered for meat and other by-products when they reach a weight of between 1,200 and 1,400 pounds, but this can vary.

For example, in 2020, the average, live federally inspected slaughter weight in the United States was approximately 1,384 pounds.

The beef industry is a global industry with an economic impact in the trillions of dollars. Beef production creates millions of jobs including suppliers, distributors and retailers. Ultimately, live cattle produce the beef and by-products consumed around the globe.

What is the Difference Between Feeder Cattle and Live Cattle?

Livestock traders distinguish between two types of cattle – feeder cattle and live cattle. The difference between these two commodities is the stage of the production cycle.

Feeder cattle are weaned calves that have reached a weight of between 600 and 800 pounds. At this point, feeder cattle are put in a feedlot where they consume a high-energy feed diet consisting mainly of corn and other grains. Feeder cattle typically need to gain more than 500 pounds before they reach slaughter weights, so corn prices have a big impact on feeder cattle prices.

Live cattle, on the other hand, are ‘finished’ products that are ready for sale to slaughterhouses. Supply and demand factors for beef typically play the biggest role in determining live cattle prices.

How Do Ranchers Produce Live Cattle?

Production of live cattle begins with breeding cows (females) with bulls (males) either naturally or with artificial insemination (A.I.). Cows bred in the summer will produce calves in the spring.

A natural breeding process generally requires one bull for each 20 to 25 cows. Many producers prefer A.I. because they can better control the genetics of the calves.

Ranchers allocate a certain amount of acres of pasture or grazing land for each cow and its calf offspring. This is known as the stocking rate, and it varies from region to region based on weather conditions and maintenance procedures.

In the United States –the top cattle-producing nation in the world – the stocking rate can be as low as five acres per cow-calf pair in high precipitation regions of the East to 150 acres in dry, arid regions of the West and Southwest.

Cows Grazing – Image via Pixabay

A group of cows on a ranch is called a herd. Each cow generally gives birth to one calf, although some may occasionally produce twins. Not all cows conceive; weather, disease and nutrition can all affect conception rates.

Each year ranchers typically cull about 15 to 25% of the cows in their herd and send them to slaughter. The most common reasons for culling a cow include:

  1. Failure to reproduce
  2. Advanced age
  3. Bad teeth
  4. Drought conditions
  5. High feed costs

Once the calves are born, a certain number of females are held back to replace the cows that are culled. The remaining calves are raised for eventual slaughter. The timeline for raising cattle is as follows:

  1. First six months: Calves remain with the cow and receive their initial nutrition from nursing. Over time, ranchers supplement this nutrition with grass feeding and eventually with grain.
  2. Six to eight months of age: Calves typically weight 500 to 600 pounds at this stage. Ranchers wean the calf from the cow. Some very heavy calves go directly into feedlots, but most pass through stocker operations.
  3. Stocker operations: Calves get fed on summer grass, winter wheat or some other roughage until they reach the weight of 600 to 800 pounds, which is when they become feeder cattle. This phase generally lasts between six to 10 months.
  4. Feedlot: A rancher then has three options:
    1. Continue to raise the cattle on the rancher’s property until they reach the designated weight for slaughter
    2. Send the cattle to a commercial feedlot. A rancher would retain ownership of the cattle while the commercial feedlot feeds them.
    3. Sell the feeder cattle to another rancher or feedlot operation.

Feeder cattle receive high-energy feed to promote weight gain. They are usually either steers (castrated males) or heifers (females that have not given birth). Cows (females that have given birth) and bulls (sexually intact males) generally are kept for production and not placed in feedlots.

Once the cattle reach slaughter weight, they are sold as live cows either directly to a packer or through an auction. Packers slaughter the live cows and sell all of the meat and by-products from the animals.

Feeder Cattle Options Explained

Feeder Cattle options are option contracts in which the underlying asset is a feeder cattle futures contract.

The holder of a feeder cattle option possesses the right (but not the obligation) to assume a long position (in the case of a call option) or a short position (in the case of a put option) in the underlying feeder cattle futures at the strike price.

This right will cease to exist when the option expire after market close on expiration date.

Feeder Cattle Option Exchanges

Feeder Cattle option contracts are available for trading at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

CME Feeder Cattle option prices are quoted in dollars and cents per pound and their underlying futures are traded in lots of 50000 pounds (23 metric tons) of feeder cattle.

Exchange & Product Name Underlying Contract Size Exercise Style Option Price Quotes
CME Feeder Cattle Options 50000 lb
(Full Contract Specs)
American N.A.

Call and Put Options

Options are divided into two classes – calls and puts. Feeder Cattle call options are purchased by traders who are bullish about feeder cattle prices. Traders who believe that feeder cattle prices will fall can buy feeder cattle put options instead.

Buying calls or puts is not the only way to trade options. Option selling is a popular strategy used by many professional option traders. More complex option trading strategies, also known as spreads, can also be constructed by simultaneously buying and selling options.

Feeder Cattle Options vs. Feeder Cattle Futures

Additional Leverage

Limit Potential Losses

As feeder cattle options only grant the right but not the obligation to assume the underlying feeder cattle futures position, potential losses are limited to only the premium paid to purchase the option.

Flexibility

Using options alone, or in combination with futures, a wide range of strategies can be implemented to cater to specific risk profile, investment time horizon, cost consideration and outlook on underlying volatility.

Time Decay

Options have a limited lifespan and are subjected to the effects of time decay. The value of a feeder cattle option, specifically the time value, gets eroded away as time passes. However, since trading is a zero sum game, time decay can be turned into an ally if one choose to be a seller of options instead of buying them.

Learn More About Feeder Cattle Futures & Options Trading

You May Also Like

Continue Reading.

Buying Straddles into Earnings

Buying straddles is a great way to play earnings. Many a times, stock price gap up or down following the quarterly earnings report but often, the direction of the movement can be unpredictable. For instance, a sell off can occur even though the earnings report is good if investors had expected great results. [Read on. ]

Writing Puts to Purchase Stocks

If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount. [Read on. ]

What are Binary Options and How to Trade Them?

Also known as digital options, binary options belong to a special class of exotic options in which the option trader speculate purely on the direction of the underlying within a relatively short period of time. [Read on. ]

Investing in Growth Stocks using LEAPS® options

If you are investing the Peter Lynch style, trying to predict the next multi-bagger, then you would want to find out more about LEAPS® and why I consider them to be a great option for investing in the next Microsoft®. [Read on. ]

Effect of Dividends on Option Pricing

Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Bull Call Spread: An Alternative to the Covered Call

As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative. [Read on. ]

Dividend Capture using Covered Calls

Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Leverage using Calls, Not Margin Calls

To achieve higher returns in the stock market, besides doing more homework on the companies you wish to buy, it is often necessary to take on higher risk. A most common way to do that is to buy stocks on margin. [Read on. ]

Day Trading using Options

Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading. [Read on. ]

What is the Put Call Ratio and How to Use It

Learn about the put call ratio, the way it is derived and how it can be used as a contrarian indicator. [Read on. ]

Understanding Put-Call Parity

Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa. [Read on. ]

Understanding the Greeks

In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as “the greeks”. [Read on. ]

Valuing Common Stock using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow. [Read on. ]

Live Cattle Jun ’20 (LEM20)

Live Cattle Futures Market News and Commentary

Cattle futures closed the expanded limits lower on Thursday. April options expire today, with a huge range of pin candidates in play. Feeder futures were down the expanded limits of $6.75 on Thursday. The April 1 CME Feeder Cattle Index was $126.09, down by $3.73. There were no cash trades reported on Thursday, this week’s cash market has had limited activity around $112 – $113. Beef sales for the week ending March 26 were 18,231 MT. Accumulated beef exports total 210,579 MT through the first 13 week’s which was 28.9% ahead of last year’s pace. February beef exports from Census were 257 million lbs, which was a record for Feb, and 4.9% above Jan shipments. Afternoon boxed beef prices were lower again on Thursday. Choice boxes were down by $2.53 to $232.64 cwt. and Select boxes were $222.12 cwt., down by $3.01. Federally Inspected cattle slaughter through Thursday was estimated at 467,000 head. That was 17,000 head behind last week and 15,000 head behind the same week last year.

meats Futures News

Tfm Intelligence Solutions – Total Farm Marketing Fri Apr 3, 5:39AM CDT

Grains mixed overnight with a lot to digest for traders

John Walsh – Walsh Trading Thu Apr 2, 8:29PM CDT

Overview of the Livestock market highlighting feeder cattle, live cattle and hogs.

Allendale Inc – Allendale, Inc Thu Apr 2, 8:04AM CDT

Traders Hope for Strong World Demand

Tfm Intelligence Solutions – Total Farm Marketing Thu Apr 2, 5:46AM CDT

Mixed grains overnight look for boost from Weekly Exports

Ben Dicostanzo – Walsh Trading, Inc. Wed Apr 1, 6:44PM CDT

John Walsh – Walsh Trading Wed Apr 1, 4:37PM CDT

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Views

Most data tables can be analyzed using “Views.” A View simply presents the symbols on the page with a different set of columns. Site members can also display the page using Custom Views. (Simply create a free account, log in, then create and save Custom Views to be used on any data table.)

Each View has a “Links” column on the far right to access a symbol’s Quote Overview, Chart, Options Quotes (when available), Barchart Opinion, and Technical Analysis page. Standard Views found throughout the site include:

    Main View: Symbol, Name, Last Price, Change, Percent Change, High, Low, Volume, and Time of Last Trade.

Technical View: Symbol, Name, Last Price, Today’s Opinion, 20-Day Relative Strength, 20-Day Historic Volatility, 20-Day Average Volume, 52-Week High and 52-Week Low.

Performance View: Symbol, Name, Last Price, Weighted Alpha, YTD Percent Change, 1-Month, 3-Month and 1-Year Percent Change.

  • Fundamental View: Available only on equity pages, shows Symbol, Name, Weighted Alpha, Market Cap, P/E Ratio. Earnings Per Share, Beta, Return on Equity, and Price/Sales
  • Data Table Expand

    Unique to Barchart.com, data tables contain an “expand” option. Click the “+” icon in the first column (on the left) to “expand” the table for the selected symbol. Scroll through widgets of the different content available for the symbol. Click on any of the widgets to go to the full page.

    Horizontal Scroll on Wide Tables

    Especially when using a custom view, you may find that the number of columns chosen exceeds the available space to show all the data. In this case, the table must be horizontally scrolled (left to right) to view all of the information. To do this, you can either scroll to the bottom of the table and use the table’s scrollbar, or you can scroll the table using your browser’s built-in scroll:

    • Left-click with your mouse anywhere on the table.
    • Use your keyboard’s left and right arrows to scroll the table.
    • Repeat this anywhere as you move through the table to enable horizontal scrolling.
    FlipCharts

    Also unique to Barchart, FlipCharts allow you to scroll through all the symbols on the table in a chart view. While viewing FlipCharts, you can apply a custom Chart Template, further customizing the way you can analyze the symbols. FlipCharts are a free tool available to Site Members.

    Download

    Download is a free tool available to Site Members. This tool will download a .csv file for the View being displayed. For dynamically-generated tables (such as a Stock or ETF Screener) where you see more than 1000 rows of data, the download will be limited to only the first 1000 records on the table. For other static pages (such as the Russell 3000 Components list) all rows will be downloaded.

    Free members are limited to 5 downloads per day, while Barchart Premier Members may download up to 100 .csv files per day.

    Should you require more than 100 downloads per day, please contact Barchart Sales at 866-333-7587 or email [email protected] for more information or additional options about historical market data.

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