# FUTURES TRADING OF LIVE BEEF CATTLE (HEDGING) by Clarence C. Bowen

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1 ESM 481 FUTURES TRADING OF LIVE BEEF CATTLE (HEDGING) by Clarence C. Bowen Cooperative Extension Service Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology The Ohio State University September, 1972

4 LIVE CATTLE FUTURES BY WEEKS Cash Price--Omaha (Choice) \$/cwt Cash Dec Feb Aprn Aug Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct

6 Price per cwt. Return per animal Cash Mkt. Future Mkt. October 1 buys 500 lb. Puts on 500 lb. gain Total cost at 1,000 lb. selling wt. Break even selling price \$ \$ October 1 sells June futures for 1,000 lb. choice steers June 15 sells 1,000 lb. steers at local market June 15 buys back contract Gain or loss per head Gain or loss on 1 contract 40,000 lbs. Less costs comm. \$ \$12.00 int. Net gain or loss on contract , Net gain on feeding operation (1, ) = \$1, The preceding table is similar to the one previous, as the "break even" selling price is \$32.88 per cwt. Also in this case he sells them on the June futures market for \$36.00 per cwt. Under normal conditions he would be insuring himself a gross profit of \$3.12 per hundred which is \$31.20 per 1,000 lb. animal (not shown in table). This amounts to \$1, gross profit for 40 steers weighing 1,000 lbs. each or 1 futures contract. However, when the June market period arrives the cash price is \$37.00 per cwt. instead of the \$36.00 per hundred he sold them at on the futures market. He sells them locally for \$37.00 per cwt. and buys a contract on the futures market for the same price thus eliminating him of making a costly delivery to a distant market. His futures or hedging has resulted in him receiving a total of \$ less in his feeding operation than if he had not contracted. But it must be understood he had a net return of \$1, on 40 steers each weighing 1,000 lbs. or 1 contract. It should be understood the previous examples are for illustrative purpose. Actual conditions will vary to some extent. The following page is for your use in working out a hedging problem using your own situation and data.

7 My Example of Fixing Sales Price Against A Price Change Date ---- buys lb. Price per cwt. \$ Return per animal Cash Mkt. Future Mkt. \$ Puts on lb. gain Total cost at lb. selling wt. Break even selling price Date sells futures for lb steers Date sells lb. steers at local market Date buys back contract Gain or loss per head Gain or loss on Less costs Net gain or loss on contract Net gain on feeding operation

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