Large commodity investment funds, known collectively as managed money, increased their net long live cattle futures position to its largest in more than a year as hedgers lifted their net short position to its largest in at least the same period.
The data became available Friday in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report.
That report said managed money’s new net long position was 148,591 contracts, up 1,478, or 1.00%, from 147,113 the previous week. The position caps a long, general rise in net long positions by these investors that began the week ended Nov. 20.
During the latest CFTC reporting week, hedgers extended their net short live cattle position to 221,462 contracts, from 217,539, a gain of 3,923, or 1.80%. The new position also represents a long, general gain in a net short position that began the week ended Nov. 20.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long cattle position by adding 1,025 long positions, covering 453 short positions and putting on 2,932 new spread positions. This left their position representing 36.5% of total long open interest, 3.0% of total short open interest and 13.2% of total spread open interest.
Hedgers got to their new position by adding 862 long positions and 4,785 short positions, leaving them in control of 7.8% of total long open interest and 57.7% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest as of Tuesday was 443,789 contracts, up 3,335, or 0.73%, from 440,564 the previous Tuesday.
CME data also showed that the most-active Jun live cattle contract had a net gain through the week ended Tuesday, settling at $120.35 per cwt, up from $119.65.
FUNDS GET SHORTER CORN
Meanwhile, managed money took on an even shorter position during the week ended Tuesday to its largest in more than a year. The new net short position of these traders Tuesday totaled 289,859 contracts, up from 263,768 the previous Tuesday. This was a gain of 26,091, or 9.89%.
Hedgers got less short during the week, ending with a net short position of 53,618 contracts, down 22,756, or 29.8%, from 76,374. It was their smallest net short position in more than a year.
Managed money arrived at their new net short corn position by liquidating 2,497 long positions, adding 23,594 short positions and unwinding 21,875 spread positions. This left them representing 10.4% of total long open interest, 27.0% of total short open interest and 13.8% of total spread open interest.
Hedgers got to where they were by adding 23,868 long positions and 1,112 short positions, leaving them holding 31.3% of total long open interest and 34.4% of total short open interest.
Total open interest fell during the week to 1.749 million contracts from 1.824 million.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Cash cattle trading last week was reported at $124 to $128 per cwt on a live basis, steady to up $4 from the previous week, and at $204 to $205 dressed, steady to up $1 from the bulk of the previous week’s trade.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was up $0.01 per cwt at $228.84, while select was up $1.07 at $221.02. The choice/select spread narrowed to $7.82 from $8.83 with 90 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
There were 20 tenders Friday for heifer deliveries against the Apr futures contract and no steer tenders. There also were 30 heifer retenders at one.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday, was $142.78 per cwt, down $0.57. This compares with Friday’s Apr contract settlement of $145.42, unchanged.