For the second straight week, large commodity investment funds, called managed money, cut their net long live cattle positions as commercial traders covered their short positions.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Friday reported the outstanding positions of various traders as of Tuesday, revealing the latest moves of those two trader groups.
Managed money’s new net long live cattle position was 26,623 contracts, down 6,221, or 18.9%, from 32,844 the previous week. This takes them to their lowest net long position since the week ended March 8 when it was 25,686 contracts.
Commercial traders, those who theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, adjusted their new net short position to 71,771 contracts, down 6,277, or 8.04%, from 78,048 the previous week. This was their lowest net short position since the week ended March 8 when it was 65,343 contracts.
The CFTC reported that managed money arrived at its new position by liquidating 1,692 long positions and adding 4,529 short positions while unwinding 4,544 spread positions. This left them representing 21.2% of total long open interest and 11.8% of total short open interest.
Commercial traders got to their new net short position by adding 2,833 long positions and covering 3,444 short positions, leaving them in control of 18.1% of total long open interest and 43.5% of total short open interest.
Total live cattle open interest for the week declined 11,104 contracts, or 3.77%, to 283,260 from 294,364, according to CME Group statistics.
During the latest CFTC week, the most-active Jun contract dropped and made a new swing low at $130.20 per cwt on Tuesday, April 5. Daily closes dropped $4.18, or 3.10%, to $130.67 from $134.85 as the contract continued its slide from the March 17 high of $141.90.
MANAGED MONEY, COMMERCIALS SWAP CORN POSITIONS
Managed money and commercial traders swapped net corn positions in the week ended Tuesday with managed money now being more short than commercials.
Managed money’s new net short corn position was 175,604 contracts, up 59,102, or 50.7%, from 116,502.
Commercial traders’ new net short corn position was 150,960, down 62,283, or 29.2%, from 213,243 the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net short position by liquidating 14,467 long positions and adding 44,635 short positions while adding 16,376 spread positions. This left them representing 10.3% of total long open interest and 22.5% of total short open interest.
Commercial traders arrived at their new net short position by adding 59,083 new long positions and covering 3,200 short positions, leaving them in control of 27.1% of total long open interest and 37.5% of total short open interest.
Total open interest during the week rose to 1.440 million contracts from 1.329 million, a gain of 111,420, or 8.38%.
During the latest reporting week, the most-active May contract set a new swing high and low, beginning with the March 29 close of $3.73 a bushel, rising to the swing high of $3.74 on March 30 and dropping to the swing low of $3.47 ¼ on April 1. It closed at $3.56 ¾ on Apr. 5.
CASH CATTLE TRADE HIGHER
Cash cattle business was reported in the Plains last week at $132 per cwt up to $136 on a live basis with most around $133 to $134, steady to up $2. In dressed markets, cattle traded at a steady $214 to $216.
The USDA’s choice cutout price Friday was up $0.18 per cwt at $214.80, and select was off $0.54 at $205.25. The choice/select spread widened to $9.55 from $8.98 as 92 loads of fabricated product were sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $158.48 per cwt, down $0.14. This compares with the Apr CME settlement Friday of $155.90, up $1.75.