Managed money, a term for large commodity investment funds, advanced their collective net long live cattle futures position for the 14th straight week during the week ended Tuesday, Feb. 26, taking them to their largest long position in more than a year.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission made the data known in its Commitments of Traders report Tuesday. These reports usually come out weekly on Friday, but the CFTC was put behind by the partial government shutdown and has been putting out two reports a week to catch up.
Managed money’s new net long cattle position was 122,576 contracts, up 7,124, or 6.17%, from 115,452 the week before.
Commercial traders, primarily hedgers who might be able to make or take delivery of a futures contract, had a new net short position of 193,728 contracts, up 5,998, or 3.20%, from 187,730 the previous week. It also was their 14th straight week of larger net short positions and put them at their largest such position in more than a year.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long position by adding 7,812 long positions, 688 short positions and unwinding 991 spread positions. This left their position representing 34.3% of total long open interest, 3.9% of total short open interest and 14.0% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 24 long positions and adding 5,974 short positions, leaving them in control of 6.9% of total long open interest and 55.0% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest as of Feb. 26 was 403,439 contracts, up 11,025, or 2.81%, from 392,414 the previous week.
CME Group data also showed that the most-active Apr futures contract rose during the CTC reporting week to settle at $129.92 per cwt, compared with $128.45 a week earlier.
FUNDS, COMMERCIALS SHORT CORN
Meanwhile, managed money and commercial traders increased their net short CBOT corn futures positions during the week ended Dec. 26.
Managed money’s new corn position was short by 117,947 contracts, up 14,288, or 13.8%, from 103,659 the previous week. It was their fifth straight week of selling corn and was their largest net short position since Sep. 25 when it was short by 124,855 contracts.
Commercial traders increased their net short position to 187,020 contracts from 180,601 the week before, a gain of 6,419, or 3.55%.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new short corn position by adding 12,946 long positions, 27,234 short positions and unwinding 31,609 spread positions. This left their position representing 13.2% of total long open interest, 20.3% of total short open interest and 13.1% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 59,100 long positions and covering 52,681 short positions, leaving them with 28.6% of total long open interest and 39.9% of total short open interest.
Total corn open interest on Feb. 26 was 1.663 million contracts, down 123,549, or 6.91%, from 1.787 million the previous week.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Cash cattle trade was reported at $128.50 per cwt on a live basis this week and at $203 to mostly $205 dressed versus $128 and $205 last week.
The USDA choice cutout Wednesday was up $0.89 per cwt at $224.93, while select was up $0.58 at $218.37. The choice/select spread widened to $6.56 from $6.25 with 86 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Tuesday, was $139.59 per cwt, down $0.04. This compares with Wednesday’s Mar contract settlement of $140.65, down $0.22.