Managed money, a proxy for large commodity investment firms, cut their collective net short live cattle futures positions in the week ended Tuesday, almost coming back to a net-zero position, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data in the weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday.
The new position for managed money Tuesday was short by a net 3,826 contracts, down 1,510, or 28.3%, from 5,336 a week earlier. The move keeps managed money’s position near zero where it has been for five weeks now.
The other large-volume traders are those who own the cattle and primarily come to the futures market as hedgers. These traders, known as commercial traders, had a collective net short position Tuesday amounting to 86,040 contracts, up 1,681, or 1.99%, from 84,359 the week before.
CFTC data shows that managed money arrived at its new short cattle position by liquidating 3,984 long positions, covering 5,494 short positions and unwinding 384 spread positions. This left they net position representing 14.4% of total long open interest, 15.9% of total short open interest and 11.3% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to their new short cattle position by liquidating 2,748 long positions and covering 1,067 short positions, leaving them in charge of 18.5% of total long open interest and 51.1% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest as of Tuesday stood at 264,547 contracts, down from 275,694 a week earlier. This was a loss of 11,147 contracts, or 4.04%.
CME data also showed that the most-active Jun live cattle contract fell during the CFTC reporting week, settling Tuesday at $92.07 per cwt, down $4.95, or 5.10%, from $97.02 the previous Tuesday.
FUNDS GET LESS SHORT CORN
At the same time, managed money took on less of a net short position in Chicago corn futures. CFTC data showed the net short position of these traders came to 99,925 contracts, down 12,300, or 11.0%, from 112,225 the week before.
Commercials, also took a less-short position in Chicago corn futures, ending Tuesday at 143,993 contracts, down 20,055, or 12.2%, from 164,048 a week before. It was their smallest net short position since May 14, 2019, when it was 21,856 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net short corn position by liquidating 15,017 long positions, covering 27,317 short positions and putting on 1,375 spread positions. This left them holding 8.8% of total long open interest, 16.0% of total short open interest and 12.9% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to their new position by adding 25,745 long positions and 5,690 short positions, leaving them with 33.5% of total long open interest and 43.9% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total corn open interest on Tuesday was 1.389 million contracts, up 7,098, or 0.51%, from 1.382 million a week earlier.
The most-active May contract fell $0.06 ½ a bushel, or 1.87%, to $3.40 ¾ from $3.47 ¼.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Cash cattle traded in the Plains last week at $112 to $113 per cwt on a live basis, down $6 to $7 from the previous week. Dressed-basis trade took place at $178 to $180, down $10.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $2.20 per cwt at $230.44, while select was down $6.28 at $215.84. The choice/select spread widened to $14.60 from $10.52 with 50 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $121.07 per cwt, down $5.02. This compares with Friday’s Apr contract settlement of $108.25, down $2.42.