Funds Extend Long Cattle Position

Large commodity investment funds, called managed money, extended their collective net long live cattle futures position during the week ended Tuesday to its highest level in more than three months.

According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday, managed money’s net long cattle position as of Tuesday was 33,177 contracts, up 1,843, or 5.88%, from 31,334 the previous week.  It was their largest long position since April 3 when it was 34,940 contracts.

During the same week, commercial traders, those who own the cattle at some point in their lives and therefore are hedgers primarily, expanded their net short cattle position to 115,252 contracts, up 15,815, or 15.9%, from 99,437 the previous week.  It was their largest net short position since April 17 when it was 118,955.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long cattle position by adding 1,321 long positions, covering 522 shorts and unwinding 1,192 spread positions.  This left them representing 24.3% of total long open interest, 13.9% of total short positions and 12.3% of total spread positions.

CFTC data also showed that commercial traders got to their new position by liquidating 326 long positions and adding 15,489 shorts, leaving them in control of 12.3% of total long positions and 48.2% of total short positions.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest was 321,469 contracts, down from 323,617 a week earlier, a decline of 2,148, or 0.66%.

CME Group data also showed that the most-active Aug futures contract fell $2.28 per cwt, or 2.07%, to close Tuesday at $107.82 from $110.10.  In between, it set a 4 ½-month high at $111.52 on Friday.




Meanwhile, managed money got even shorter CBOT corn futures, dropping to its largest short position in 5 ½ months.

Managed money’s new corn position was short by 140,944 contracts, up 33,638, or 31.3%, from 107,306 the previous Tuesday.  It was their largest short position since Jan. 23 when it was short by 217,057 contracts.

The new position for commercial traders was short by 249,890 contracts, down 39,704, or 13.7%, from 289,594, the previous Tuesday.  It was their smallest short position since Jan. 23 when it was short by 163,068 contracts.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net short corn position by liquidating 11,442 long positions, adding 22,106 short positions and placing 4,530 new spread positions.  This left them in control of 14.5% of total long open interest, 22.2% of total short open interest and 8.5% of total spread open interest.

Commercials reached their new net short position by adding 15,915 new long positions and covering 23,789 short positions, leaving them representing 27.5% of total long open interest and 41.3% of total short open interest.

Total open interest fell 12,075, or 0.66%.




No cattle traded on the Livestock Exchange Video Auction Wednesday.  Fed cattle sold two weeks previous at $106 per cwt, down $4 from the prior Wednesday.

Cash trade was reported last week at $110 to $111 per cwt on a live basis, steady to up $1 from the previous week and at a steady $173 to $175 per cwt on a dressed basis.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $2.44 per cwt at $204.14, while select was off $1.64 at $196.37.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $7.77 from $9.57 with 65 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday, was $148.16 per cwt, up $1.00.  This compares with Friday’s Aug settlement of $150.72, down $0.30.