Livestock Market Enhancements

CME Group is taking a number of steps designed to further enhance its livestock markets.

Latest Updates

May 2018: Amendments to the Feeder Cattle Futures and Options Contracts - Inclusion of Commented Cattle in the CME Feeder Cattle Index and Temporary Listing Delay of the May 2019 Feeder Cattle Futures and Options Contract

Effective Friday, May 25, 2018, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. ("CME" or "Exchange") will amend the Rule 10203.A.1. ("The Sample") of the Feeder Cattle Futures contract (CME Rulebook Chapter 102; CME Globex Code GF; Clearing Code: 62) to include commented cattle in the calculation of the Feeder Cattle Index ("Index") price. Rule 10203.A.1. shall no longer exclude cattle identified on USDA-AMS reports as being fancy, thin, fleshy, gaunt or full. CME Rule 10203.A.1 is provided below in blackline format. Amendments to Rule 10203.A.1. shall be effective with the May 2019 contract and all subsequent contract months.



March 2018: Industry Survey Regarding Amendments to the Calculation of the CME Feeder Cattle Index and the Feeder Cattle Futures Contract

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. ("CME" or "Exchange") is soliciting feedback from market participants regarding amendments to the calculation of the CME Feeder Cattle Index® (the "Index") in connection with the Feeder Cattle Futures contract (Rulebook Chapter 102; CME Globex Code: GF/Clearing Code: 62) (the "Contract"). The deadline for the Exchange to receive such feedback is Monday, April 9, 2018. Specifically, the Exchange is in the process of determining the potential benefits of including fancy, thin, fleshy, gaunt, or fill feeder cattle from the sample of transactions used to calculate the Index.


Feeder Cattle Index Survey

March 2018: Live Cattle Futures - Interactive Delivery Map

View the location and contact information for all CME-approved Live Cattle stockyards and slaughter plants.


Livestock Delivery Map

January 2018: U.S. Government Shutdown Livestock and Dairy Futures and Options Contingency Plans

In the event of a U.S. federal government shutdown in January 2018 and in an effort to ensure orderly markets, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) is advising market participants of its contingency plans in connection with a number of livestock and dairy products.



November 2017: Live Cattle Delivery Manual

General outline of the procedures for delivery of live cattle against the Live Cattle futures contract at CME.


Live Cattle Delivery Manual

August 2017: Amendment to the Single Month Position Limits for Lean Hog Futures and Option Contracts

Pending Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC" or "Commission") approval, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. ("CME" or "Exchange") will implement an increase in the single month speculative position limit from 4,575 contracts to 6,000 contracts for Lean Hog Futures and Options on Lean Hog Futures (Rule Chapters 152 and 152A, Commodity Code LN) effective on trade date Monday, October 16, 2017 and commencing with the December 2017 contract month and beyond. The spot month limit of 950 contracts remains unchanged.


SER-7987 (Amended August 29, 2017)

August 2017: Livestock Daily Price Limits Survey

CME Group is soliciting feedback from a wide range of market participants on the potential for changing price limits in CME Live Cattle, Feeder Cattle, and Lean Hog futures. If you wish to voice your opinion on this topic, please complete the following survey no later than Friday, August 25, 2017.


CME Livestock Daily Price Limits Survey

June 2017: Amendments to Live Cattle Futures and Options Contract Specifications

Based on its May request for industry feedback, CME Group notified customers of plans to amend Live Cattle futures and options contract specifications.


SER-7915RR (Amended September 5, 2017) – amends live-graded delivery and times associated with tender, demand, retender and assignment of Certificates of Delivery.

SER-7937R – resumes regular contract listing schedule, amends quality and grade specifications for Live Cattle, and clarifies penalty for failure to pre-sort cattle for live-graded delivery.

May 2017: Planned Changes to Live Cattle Futures Contract Specifications

Based on discussions with market participants and the USDA, CME Group recent requested industry feedback regarding plans to implement possible changes to Live Cattle futures that expand delivery capacity, update the choice/select spread, revise the penalty structure, and return to a normal contract listing cycle. Click below for more information and to comment.


Planned Changes to Live Cattle Futures Contract Specifications

September 2016: Listing of December 2017 CME Live Cattle Contracts

Based on feedback from customers, CME Group will list the December 2017 Live Cattle futures and options contract months effective Monday, October 3, pending all relevant regulatory periods.


Customer Letter, Sept. 20, 2016

SER 7747

August 2016: New Steps to Enhance Cattle Futures Markets

Based on continued collaboration with the cattle industry and results from an independent study conducted by Informa Economics, CME Group recently announced it will take additional actions to enhance Live Cattle futures markets and address cattle market performance.


News Release: CME Group Announces New Steps to Enhance Live Cattle Futures Markets

Informa Economics study

Customer Letter, Aug. 5, 2016

SER 7716

Seasonal Discount to Worthing, South Dakota Delivery Point

Based on extensive customer feedback, internal review and Informa’s independent research, CME Group will add a seasonal discount of $1.50 per hundredweight on live cattle tendered to its Worthing, South Dakota delivery location for the October contract only. The new discount will be effective with the October 2017 contract, which will be listed for trading on Monday, August 22, 2016, pending CFTC review. The extensive research supporting this decision concluded that this discount would better align delivery values with cash market prices and maintain compliance with CFTC’s policy on location price differentials, while resulting in little or no impact on local cash cattle prices.

Revised Grading and Quality Specifications

Based on industry feedback and increasing quality grades seen in all major fed cattle regions, CME Group will update par quality grades for both live and carcass-graded deliveries to 60 percent choice and 40 percent select, from 55 percent and 45 percent respectively. Pending regulatory reviews, these changes will be effective with the October 2017 contract month.

Delayed Listing of Additional Contracts

CME Group applauds the efforts of the industry to create additional market transparency, particularly through efforts like the recently introduced cash cattle auctions.Transparent negotiated or auction-based cash markets are a prerequisite for effective futures markets, particularly those with physical delivery. However, only approximately 20 percent of cattle sales are negotiated in cash markets across the U.S. today with less than five percent in major producing states like Texas and Oklahoma. As a result, CME Group will delay listing any additional contract months beyond October 2017 as we continue working with the industry to evaluate ways to improve cash market transparency, review cash market developments and consider the introduction of cash-settled products if transparency does not improve.  

February 2016: Reduction of CME Livestock Trading Hours

Based on customer requests, CME Livestock futures and options trading hours were reduced to align with the period of greatest liquidity in these markets. During 2015, roughly 87% of daily Livestock futures and options trades occurred during the proposed hours.

Effective Monday, 29 February, the proposed trading hours for Live Cattle, Feeder Cattle and Lean Hog futures and options were as follows:

  • CME Globex futures and options: 8:30 a.m. to 1:05 p.m. Central Time (CT) Monday to Friday
  • Open outcry options: 8:30 a.m. to 1:02 p.m. CT Monday to Friday

The daily settlement period and procedures for CME Livestock contracts remain unchanged.

February 2016: Formation of cattle market joint working group

CME Group formed a working group with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to discuss other possible enhancements to its cattle markets, including, but not limited to, circuit breakers and other measures to further heighten market quality.

Other Resources

Contact Us

Sarah Calhoun
Director, Agricultural Products
+1 312-338-2888

Jim Sullivan
Manager, Commodity Research & Product Development
+1 312 930 2308