Live cattle is a type of futures contract that can be used to hedge and to speculate on fed cattle prices. Cattle producers, feedlot operators, and merchant exporters can hedge future selling prices for cattle through trading live cattle futures, and such trading is a common part of a producer's price risk management program. Conversely, meat packers, and merchant importers can hedge future buying prices for cattle. Producers and buyers of live cattle can also enter into production and marketing contracts for delivering live cattle in cash or spot markets that include futures prices as part of a reference price formula. Businesses that purchase beef as an input could also hedge beef price risk by purchasing live cattle futures contracts.