Large commodity investment funds, called managed money by the trade, increased their collective net long live cattle futures position during the week ended Monday, Dec. 31, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its Commitments of Traders report Tuesday.
The CFTC said the report was halted by the partial government shutdown and said it planned to publish the intervening reports on Tuesdays and Fridays until it catches up.
The CFTC said managed money’s new net long live cattle futures position as of Dec. 31 was 92,945 contracts, up 8,564, or 10.1%, from 84,381 a week before. This was their largest net long position since March 6 when it was 95,747 contracts.
At the same time, commercial traders, those who own the cattle at some point and primarily are hedgers, had a collective net short position of 169,155 contracts, up 7,250, or 4.48%, from 161,905 the previous week. This was their largest net short position since March 13 when it was 178,986 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long cattle position by adding 8,031 long positions, covering 533 short positions and putting on 3,256 new spread positions. This left them representing 28.7% of total long open interest, 4.0% of total short open interest and 13.9% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by adding 1,950 long positions and 9,200 short positions, leaving them in control of 10.3% of total long open interest and 55.2% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest at the close of business Dec. 31 was 376,468 contracts, up 22,506, or 6.36%, from 353,962 the previous week.
CME Group data also said the most-active Apr futures contract rose during the week to settle Dec. 31 at $126.25, compared with $125.22 the week before.
FUNDS LIQUIDATE CORN
During the week ended Dec. 31, managed money liquidated corn futures contracts to a net long position of 49,188 contracts, down from 90,880 the previous week, a decline of 41,692, or 45.9%.
At the same time, commercials covered short corn positions, ending at 329,987 contracts, down 15,860, or 4.59%, from 345,847 the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long corn position by liquidating 15,673 long positions, adding 26,019 short positions and putting on 4,655 new spread positions. This left them representing 15.8% of total long open interest, 12.8% of total short open interest and 12.9% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to their new short position by liquidating 392 long positions and covering 16,252 short positions to leave them holding 27.0% of total long open interest and 47.8% of total short open interest.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
No fed cattle sold on the Fed Cattle Video Exchange Wednesday. Sixty-three head traded last week at $123 per cwt on a live basis.
Cash cattle have traded lightly this week at $197 to $200 per cwt on a dressed basis, down $1 to up $1 from last week.
Cash cattle traded last week at $123.50 to $124 per cwt on a live basis, up $1 to $1.50 from the previous week.
The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was down $0.63 per cwt at $217.02, while select was down $0.31 at $213.10. The choice/select spread narrowed to $3.92 from $4.24 with 93 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
There were 20 heifer and five steer contracts tendered for delivery.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Monday, was $141.54 per cwt, up $0.53. This compares with Tuesday’s Mar contract settlement of $143.82, down $0.40.