As of last Tuesday, managed money, a proxy for large commodity investment funds, had raised their collective net long position in live cattle futures for the third straight week.
The data came from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Monday. The report, delayed from its usual Friday release date by the Thanksgiving Day holiday, also said hedgers increased their collective net short position for the third straight week.
FUNDS BOOST CATTLE POSITION
Managed money’s net long position last Tuesday totaled 63,907 contracts, up 15,832, or 32.9%, from 48,075 a week earlier. It was their largest net long position since Sep. 7 when it was 65,040 contracts.
At the same time, commercial traders, those who own, or will own, the cattle and primarily are hedgers in the futures market, increased their collective net short position 10,800 contracts, or 8.51%, to 137,703 contracts from 126,903 a week earlier. It was their largest net short position since Sep. 7 when it was 148,429 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new cattle position by adding 8,996 long positions, covering 6,836 short positions and unwinding 1,673 spread positions. This left them with 28.1% of total long open interest, 7.4% of total short open interest and 11.6% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were Tuesday by adding 361 long positions and 11,161 short positions, leaving them with 9.1% of total long open interest and 53.5% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said live cattle open interest Tuesday totaled 309,670 contracts, up 9,102, or 3.03%, from 300,568 a week earlier.
CME data also showed that the most-active Feb live cattle contract rose in value during the week ended Tuesday to settle at $139.42 per cwt, compared with $136.10.
FUNDS GET LONGER CORN
Meanwhile, managed money also took on a larger net long corn position during the CFTC week, going to 362,009 contracts from 335,273, a gain of 26,736, or 7.97%. It was their largest net long position since April 27 when it was 362,238 contracts.
Commercials’ new net short position Tuesday was 616,510 contracts, up 24,641, or 4.16%, from 591,869 a week earlier. It was their largest net short position since June 8 when it was 640,094 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new net long corn position by adding 23,895 long positions, covering 2,841 short positions and unwinding 1,780 spread positions.
Commercials liquidated 1,136 long positions and added 23,505 short positions.
Total corn open interest was 1.612 million contracts, versus 1.599 million a week earlier.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $138.98 to $139.93 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $131.81 to $135.75. FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $217.12 to $217.32 per cwt, versus $205.64 to $209.84.
The USDA choice cutout Monday was down $2.43 per cwt at $277.58, while select was off $0.26 at $262.02. The choice/select spread narrowed to $15.56 from $17.73 with 70 loads of fabricated product and 12 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.
The USDA reported Monday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.35 to $1.45 a bushel over the Dec futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.40 over Dec, which settled at $5.81 a bushel, down $0.05 3/4.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $161.29 per cwt up $3.34. This compares with Monday’s Jan contract settlement of $165.72 per cwt, down $1.42.