Managed money, or large commodity index funds, increased their collective net long live cattle futures position in the week ended Tuesday, Dec. 29, as hedgers trimmed their net overall short position slightly.
The data came from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report.
FUNDS SLIGHTLY LONGER CATTLE
As of Tuesday, Dec. 29, the collective net long position of managed money stood at 46,925 contracts, up 1,148, or 2.51%, from 45,777 a week earlier. It was their largest long position since Oct. 13 when it was 54,322 contracts.
The latest collective net short position of those hedgers, known as commercial traders, was 118,191 contracts, down 757, or 0.64%, from 118,948 a week earlier.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new long cattle position by liquidating 938 long positions, covering 2,086 short positions and putting on 1,955 spread positions. This left their net position representing 23.7% of total long open interest, 7.6% of total short open interest and 12.4% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders got to their new position by adding 2,053 long positions and 1,296 short positions, resulting in them holding 13.9% of total long open interest and 54.6% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest as of Tuesday, Dec. 29, was 290,645 contracts, up 3,837, or 1.34%, from 286,808 a week earlier.
CME Group data also showed that the most-active Feb futures contract rose slightly during the CFTC reporting week to close at $114.57 per cwt, up from $113.45. In between, it hit a swing high of $116.30 per cwt on Monday, Dec. 28.
FUNDS BUY MORE CORN
Managed money took on a larger net long position in Chicago corn futures during the week ended Tuesday, Dec. 29, clocking in at 309,163 contracts, up 62,055, or 25.1%, from 247,108 a week earlier. It was their largest net long position in more than a year.
Meanwhile, commercials extended their net short position to 733,818 contracts, up 68,505, or 10.3%, from 665,313 a week earlier. It was their largest net short position in more than a year, as well.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new long corn position by adding 57,531 long positions, covering 4,524 short positions and unwinding 6,192 spread positions. The moves left them holding 22.2% of total long open interest, 4.3% of total short open interest and 8.7% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 16,074 long positions and adding 52,431 short positions, leaving them with 22.9% of total long open interest and 65.5% of total short open interest.
Total corn open interest was 1.722 million contracts, compared with 1.689 million a week earlier.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Fed cattle trading was reported in the Plains last week at $111 to $112 per cwt up $1 to $2 from the previous week. Dressed-basis trading was reported at $176 per cwt, up $4.
The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was down $3.97 per cwt at $205.90, while select was off $0.04 at $196.49. The choice/select spread narrowed to $9.41 from $13.34 with 160 loads of fabricated product and 44 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.
The USDA reported Tuesday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.21 a bushel over the Mar CBOT futures contract, which settled at $4.91 3/4 a bushel, up $0.08.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $135.13 per cwt, down $1.42. This compares with Tuesday’s Jan contract settlement of $136.80 per cwt, up $1.85.