Large commodity investment funds, known as managed money, cut their collective net long live cattle futures position for the second straight week, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The CFTC released the data for the week ended last Tuesday in its weekly Commitments of Traders report Monday. The report was delayed from its usual Friday release date by the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.
Managed money’s new net long live cattle position was 123,087 contracts, down 8,283, or 0.63%, from 131,370 the previous week. It was the second straight week of decline in managed money’s net long cattle position.
At the same time, commercial traders, those who own the cattle at some point and are mostly hedgers, trimmed their net short position by 3,518 contracts, or 1.65%, to 210,006 from the previous week’s high of 213,524.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long position by liquidating 9,415 long positions and covering 1,132 short positions while unwinding 1,284 spread positions. This left them representing 34.8% of total long open interest, 2.4% of total short open interest and 9.0% of total spread open interest.
CFTC data also showed that commercial traders got to where they were by adding 688 long positions and covering 2,830 short positions, leaving them in control of 6.4% of total long open interest and 61.7% of total short open interest.
The CME group reported that total live cattle open interest as of last Tuesday was 380,880 contracts, down from 386,583 the previous week. This was a decline of 5,703 contracts, or 1.48%.
During the CFTC reporting week, the most-active Feb live cattle futures contract fell to $124.05 per cwt from $125.15 the previous Tuesday, a decline of $1.10, or 0.88%.
FUNDS LESS SHORT CORN
Meanwhile, managed money reduced its net short CBOT corn position for the first time in seven weeks during the week ended Tuesday, the CFTC said. The new position was short by 212,279 contracts, down 30,605, or 12.6%, from 242,884 the previous week.
At the same time, producers extended their net short corn position by 39,860 contracts, or 41.0%, to 136,972 from 97,112 the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new corn position by adding 14,583 long positions, covering 16,022 short positions and placing 163 new spread positions. This left them representing 13.0% of total long open interest, 25.7% of total short open interest and 8.5% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders got to where they were by liquidating 22,154 long positions and adding 17,706 short positions, leaving them in control of 28.4% of total long open interest and 36.5% of total short open interest.
The CME group said total corn open interest during the week fell to 1.685 million contracts from 1.705 million, a drop of 19,897, or 1.17%.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Cash cattle trading began last week at $118 per cwt on a live basis, down $1 from the bulk of last week’s action. However, more trade came late at $120 to $120.50, up $1 to $1.50. Dressed-basis trading was at mostly $189, up to $190, steady to up $1.
The USDA’s choice cutout Monday was down $1.42 per cwt at $209.57, while select was off $0.57 at $187.28. The choice/select spread narrowed to $22.29 from $23.14 with 73 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Friday was $155.26 per cwt, down $0.32. This compares with Monday’s Jan settlement at $154.45 per cwt, up $1.15.