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Livestock Futures Markets And Rational Price Formation: Evidence For Live Cattle And Live Hogs


  • Koontz, Stephen R.
  • Hudson, Michael A.
  • Hughes, Matthew W.


The efficiency of livestock futures markets continues to receive attention, particularly with regard to their forward pricing or forecasting ability. The purpose of this paper is to present a more general theory that encompasses the forward pricing concept. It is argued that futures contract prices for competitively produced nonstorable commodities, such as live cattle and live hogs, follow a rational formation process. Futures contract prices reflect expected market conditions when contracts are sufficiently close to the delivery month that the supply of the underlying commodity cannot be changed. However, prior to the period when future supplies are relatively fixed, futures contract prices should adjust to reflect the competitive equilibrium, where output price equals average costs of production. Presented evidence suggests that live cattle and live hog futures markets support the rational price formation hypothesis: prices for distant contracts reflect average costs of feeding. Implications for risk management strategies are considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Koontz, Stephen R. & Hudson, Michael A. & Hughes, Matthew W., 1992. "Livestock Futures Markets And Rational Price Formation: Evidence For Live Cattle And Live Hogs," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(01), July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:sojoae:30384

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. T. S. Breusch & A. R. Pagan, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 239-253.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evans, Kevin J. & Streeter, Deborah H. & Hudson, Michael A., 1992. "An Integrated Approach to Modeling Price Volatility in the Live Cattle Futures Market," Staff Papers 121352, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    2. Unterschultz, James R., 2000. "New Instruments For Co-Ordination And Risk Sharing Within The Canadian Beef Industry," Project Report Series 24046, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.


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