During the week ended Tuesday, managed money, a term for large commodity investment funds, raised its net long position in live cattle futures while commercial traders, those who own the cattle, extended their net short positions.
Both positions were the largest in more than a year.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday said that managed money’s new net long position was 114,814 contracts, up 10,700, or 10.3%, from 104,114 the week before.
Commercial traders’ new net short cattle position was 182,467 contracts, up 12,914, or 7.62%, from 169,553 the previous week.
Swap dealers, those who facilitate cash and over-the-counter transactions, increased their net long cattle position by 4,809 contracts, or 5.39%, to 94,099 from 89,290 the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long live cattle position by adding 10,931 long positions against 231 short positions while unwinding 100 spread positions. This left them representing 32.6% of total long open interest and 3.1% of total short open interest.
Commercial traders got to where they were by liquidating 487 long positions and adding 12,427 short positions, leaving them in control of 6.6% of total long open interest and 53.6% of total short open interest.
Swap dealers added 4,812 long positions and three short positions while unwinding 388 spread positions, to leave them with 25.4% of total long open interest and 1.1% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest for the week ended Tuesday was 388,759 contracts, up 20,922, or 5.69%, from 367,837.
During the week, the most-active Jun contract rose from the previous Tuesday’s close of $111.05 per cwt to a contract high of $114.20, before falling back to close at $111.60.
FUNDS SHORTING CORN
Meanwhile, managed money continued to short corn futures, increasing their net short position to 151,798 contracts from 84,118 the previous week, a gain of 67,680, or 80.5%.
Managed money’s new short corn position is very close to that of commercial traders, who were net short by 165,322 contracts as of Tuesday, a decline of 115,106, or 41.0%, from the previous Tuesday’s 280,428.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new corn position by liquidating 14,636 long positions and adding 43,044 shorts while unwinding 1,973 spreads. This left them representing 13.6% of total long open interest and 24.2% of total short open interest.
Commercial traders got to their new position by adding 33,386 long positions and covering 81,720 shorts to leave them in control of 24.6% of total long open interest and 36.1% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total corn open interest during the week rose 15,843 contracts, or 1.12%, to 1.433 million contracts from 1.418 million.
During the week, the most-active May contract declined from $3.61 ¼ a bushel to a swing low of $3.54 ¼ on Monday before closing Tuesday at $3.57 ¾.
CASH CATTLE QUIET
Only a little follow-up trade was reported in cash cattle markets Friday. For the week, cash markets ranged from $126 to $128 per cwt on a live basis and from $208 to $210 on a dressed basis.
Average fed cattle exchange auction prices Wednesday were $2.34 per cwt lower at $130.97, versus $133.31 a week earlier.
The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was down $1.09 per cwt at $214.12, while select was off $4.05 at $204.00. The choice/select spread widened to $10.12 from $7.16 with 101 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $132.77 per cwt, down $0.08. This compares with the Apr settlement of $133.95, up $1.40.