Funds Get Longer Live Cattle; Hedgers Get Shorter

Managed money, a proxy for large commodity investment firms, expanded their collective net long live cattle futures position during the week ended Tuesday as hedgers grew their combined net short position.

Both were the largest positions each class of traders had for more than a year.

The data came from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday.




Managed money’s new net long position in live cattle futures Tuesday was 82,028 contracts, up 11,501, or 16.3%, from 70,527 a week earlier.  It was the fourth straight week of advances in their net position.

Conversely, those hedgers, the ones who own or will own the cattle and are called commercial traders, had a new net short position of 162,380 contracts, up 14,240, or 9.61%, from 148,140 a week earlier.  It was their fifth straight week of increases in their net position.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new long cattle position by adding 8,697 long positions, covering 2,804 short positions and unwinding 3,743 spread positions.  This left their net position representing 29.8% of total long open interest, 4.8% of total short open interest and 10.2% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to where they were Tuesday by liquidating 1,804 long positions and adding 12,436 short positions.  This left them in charge of 11.2% of total long open interest and 60.7% of total short open interest.

CME Group data showed total live cattle open interest Tuesday was 327,784 contracts, up 954, or 0.29%, from 326,830 a week earlier.

The CME also said the most-active Apr live cattle contract rose during the week to settle Tuesday at $123.82 per cwt, up from $122.52 a week earlier.




Managed money Tuesday showed an increase in their net long Chicago corn position that cancelled the previous week’s decline and kept their position near steady with the previous two weeks.  Their new corn position was long by 340,376 contracts, up 18,067, or 5.61%, from 322,309 a week earlier.

Commercials’ new short position Tuesday totaled 779,553 contracts, up 10,824, or 1.41%, from 768,729 a week earlier.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new long corn position by adding 18,764 long positions, 697 short positions and unwinding 21,812 spread positions.  This left them in charge of 18.6% of total long open interest, 1.4% of total short open interest and 9.2% of total spread open interest.

Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 4,076 long positions and adding 5,748 short positions, leaving them with 26.9% of long open interest and 66.4% of short open interest.




Fed cattle trading was reported in the Plains last week at $113 to $114.50 per cwt on a live basis, steady to up $0.50 to $1 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trading was at $180 per cwt, steady to up $2.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $0.59 per cwt at $232.37, while select was up $0.64 at $220.93.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $11.44 from $12.67 with 71 loads of fabricated product and 54 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 $5.38 3/4 a bushel, down $0.02 1/4.

Forty-one heifer and 14 steer tenders for delivery were posted Friday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $135.34 per cwt, down $0.15.  This compares with Friday’s Mar contract settlement of $140.85 per cwt, up $1.70.