Major players in the live cattle futures market held their net long or short positions relatively steady in the week ended Tuesday, said the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Large commodity investment funds, called managed money, extended their net long live cattle futures position in the week, remaining near the top of their recent high volume, according to the CFTC’s weekly Commitments of Traders report. Managed money had a net long live cattle futures position of 128,924 contracts, up 2,097, or 1.65%, from 126,827 the previous week, but just off the 130,554 of the week ended May 30.
Commercial traders, those who actually own the cattle, had a net short position of 212,032 contracts in the week ended Tuesday, down only 1,321, or 0.62%, from 213,353 the previous week.
At the same time, swap dealers, those who facilitate over-the-counter or cash trades, had a net long position of 99,485 contracts, down only 355 from the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long position by adding 233 long positions, covering 1,864 shorts and building 2,248 new spread positions. This left them representing 34.3% of total long open interest, 3.1% of total short open interest and 11.1% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders got to their new position by liquidating 1,663 long positions and covering 2,984 short positions, leaving them in control of 6.4% of total long open interest and 57.6% of total short open interest.
Swap dealers liquidated 257 long positions during the week while adding 98 shorts and 105 spreads to leave them holding 24.7% of total long open interest, 0.7% of total short open interest and 0.5% of total spread open interest.
The CME Group reported total live cattle open interest as of Tuesday at 413,639 contracts, down 1,072, or 0.26%, from 414,711 the week before.
The most-active Aug live cattle futures contract dropped $2.73 per cwt, or 2.21%, during the week to close at $120.87 from $123.60 the previous Tuesday. This was after it set a contract high of $127.65 on that previous Tuesday, June 6. The contract has since fallen to a one-month low of $116.97 on Thursday.
FUNDS NEARLY ERASE NET SHORT CORN POSITION
Managed money nearly erased its net short corn position during the week ended Tuesday, going to 4,015 contracts from 127,078 the previous week, a decline of 123,063 contracts, or 96.8%.
Commercial traders extended their net short position to 273,595 contracts from 127,078, a gain of 146,517, or 115.3%.
Managed money arrived at its new position by adding 18,730 long positions and covering 104,333 short positions and building 24,223 spread positions. This left them representing 18.4% of total long open interest, 18.6% of total short open interest and 8.1% of total spread open interest.
Commercials covered 39,059 long positions while adding 64,917 shorts, leaving them holding 20.3% of total long open interest and 39.2% of total short open interest.
CASH CATTLE QUIET
No trade was reported on the livestock exchange video auction amid more technical troubles. Cash cattle traded Tuesday at $132 to $133 per cwt on a live basis, down $4 to $5 from the bulk of last week’s action and at $215 dressed, down $3 to $5. Some reports have last week’s cattle being sold for the first week of July.
The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $0.10 per cwt at $249.84, while select was off $0.73 at $219.80. The choice/select spread widened to $30.04 from $29.21 with 68 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $151.07 per cwt, down $1.66. This compares with Friday’s Aug settlement at $147.87, up $0.80.