The hog option contract has served as a risk management tool for the pork industry for more than 20 years. However, very limited information exists about how this market behaves and how it was affected by the contract redesign of 1996. This paper evaluates the efficiency of hog options markets comparing its pricing function during the live hog contract period to the lean hog contract period. Trading returns are computed and adjusted for risk using the Sharpe ratio and the Capital Asset Pricing Model. When the whole sample period is analyzed, results indicate that no profits can be made by taking either side of the hog options markets. However, analyzing the live and the lean hog contracts separately, some evidence suggest that opportunities for speculative profits existed during the live hog contract period. These conclusions are not driven by the extreme price movements in the futures price occurred during late 1998. Further research should investigate whether general futures price movements are responsible for these large returns.


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