Large commodity investment firms, called managed money, extended to five weeks the advancement of their net long live cattle futures position in the week ended Tuesday.
The data came from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday.
The same report showed that hedgers pushed their collective net short position out to its largest point in more than a year.
FUNDS GET LONGER CATTLE
As of Tuesday, managed money’s collective net long position in live cattle futures totaled 87,113 contracts, up 5,085, or 6.20%, from 82,028 a week earlier. It was their largest net long position in more than a year.
At the same time, those hedgers, the ones who theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, called commercial traders, had a collective net short position of 166,735 contracts, up 4,355, or 2.68%, from 162,380 a week earlier.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new net long position by adding 5,950 long positions, 865 short positions and 2,665 spread positions. This left their position representing 30.9% of total long open interest, 5.0% of total short open interest and 10.8% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 2,356 long positions and adding 1,999 short positions, leaving them in charge of 10.2% of total long open interest and 59.9% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest Tuesday was 335,438 contracts, up 7,454, or 2.27%, from 327,984 a week earlier.
The CME also said the most-active Apr futures contract rose during the week to settle Tuesday at $125.80 per cwt, up from $123.82.
FUNDS BUY CORN
Meanwhile, managed money bought more Chicago corn futures, pushing their collective net long position to 348,491 contracts, up 8,115, or 2.38%, from 340,376 a week earlier.
Commercials, though, trimmed their collective net short position by 12,198 contracts, or 1.59%, to 767,355 contracts from 779,553 a week earlier, keeping their net position roughly steady since the first week of January.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new long position by adding 8,876 long positions, 761 short positions and unwinding 8,926 spread positions. This left them holding 19.3% of total long open interest, 1.4% of total short open interest and 8.9% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were Tuesday by liquidating 12,891 long positions and covering 25,089 short positions, leaving them in charge of 26.5% of total long open interest and 65.9% of total short open interest.
The CME said open interest Tuesday was 1.949 million, compared with 1.973 million a week earlier.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Fed cattle trading was reported in the Plains last week at $113 to $116 per cwt, steady to up $1 to $1.50 from the previous week. Dressed-basis trading was at $180 to $182 per cwt, steady to up $2.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was up $0.38 per cwt at $239.23, while select was up $0.43 at $227.90. The choice/select spread narrowed to $11.33 from $11.38 with 62 loads of fabricated product and 28 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.
The USDA reported Friday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.00 to $1.25 a bushel over the Mar CBOT futures contract, which settled at $5.42 3/4 a bushel, down $0.07 1/2.
Twenty-five heifer contracts were tendered Friday for delivery against the Feb live cattle contract.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $138.11 per cwt, up $1.82. This compares with Friday’s Mar contract settlement of $139.12 per cwt, up $0.92.