Large commodity index firms, known as managed money, extended their collective net long live cattle position during the week ended Tuesday but maintained a net position that is very close to even.
That conclusion was drawn from the weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Managed money’s new net long cattle position Tuesday amounted to 10,618 contracts, up 7,896, or 290.1%, from 2,722 a week earlier. Even at the new relatively low net long position, it was their largest long position since Feb. 25 when it was long by 11,962 contracts.
At the same time, those who own the cattle and tend to trade as hedgers, known as commercial traders, pared their collective net short live cattle position to 102,568 contracts from 102,643, a decline of only 75, or 0.07%.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new position in live cattle futures by liquidating 94 long positions, covering 7,990 short positions and unwinding 2,145 spread positions. This left them in charge of 14.3% of total long open interest, 10.2% of total short open interest and 13.5% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 4,582 long positions and covering 4,657 short positions, leaving them holding 13.5% of total long open interest and 52.8% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest as of Tuesday was 260,595 contracts, down 12,580, or 4.61%, from 273,175 a week earlier.
The CME Group also showed that the most-active Aug contract rose in value during the CFTC week to settle Tuesday at $101.70 per cwt, up from $92.45. In the process, it left a gap on daily bar charts from Wednesday’s high of $95.45 to Thursday’s low of $97.07. This was filled partially by a dip on Thursday, May 14, to $96.12.
FUNDS GET SHORTER CORN
Meanwhile, managed money continued to sell Chicago corn futures during the week ended Tuesday, extending their collective net short position to its largest point in a year. Their new net short position Tuesday was 214,679 contracts, up 24,938, or 13.1%, from 189,741 a week earlier.
Commercials continued to cover their short positions, moving their collective net short position to 16,092 contracts, down 21,007, or 56.6%, from 37,099 a week earlier and their smallest net short position in a year.
The CFTC said managed money got to its new net short corn position by liquidating 3,684 long positions, adding 21,254 short positions and putting on 10,667 spread positions. This left their position representing 8.0% of total long open interest, 23.1% of total short open interest and 12.8% of total spread open interest.
The CME Group said total corn open interest as of Tuesday was 1.421 million contracts, up 23,453, or 1.68%, from 1.398 million a week earlier.
The CME Group also said the most-active Jul corn futures contract rose during the week to settle at $3.22 ¼ a bushel from $3.17.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Fed cattle trade was reported last week at $110 to $120 per cwt on a live basis, up $5 to $15 from last week. Dressed-basis trading was seen at $170 to $190 per cwt, up $5 to $25.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $16.60 per cwt at $434.32, while select was off $18.34 at $419.06. The choice/select spread widened to $15.26 from $13.52 with 64 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $124.80 per cwt, up $0.85. This compares with Friday’s May contract settlement of $124.72, up $0.92.