Large commodity investment funds, called managed money, gave up more of their collective net long live cattle futures position during the week ended Tuesday, taking their position to its lowest point in more than a year.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in its weekly Commitments of Traders report, also said commercial traders, those who own the cattle and primarily hedge a cash position, lowered their net short cattle position to its lowest in more than a year.
Managed money’s new live cattle position as of Tuesday was net long by 26,789 contracts, down 8,151, or 23.3%, from 34,940 the previous Tuesday. This was seventh straight week of declines in managed money’s net long position.
Commercials’ new net short cattle position Tuesday was 128,001 contracts, down11,371, or 8.16%, from 139,372 the previous week. This also was the seventh straight week of declines.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long live cattle position by liquidating 336 long positions, adding 7,815 short positions and unwinding 233 spread positions. This left them representing 24.2% of total long open interest, 16.5% of total short open interest and 10.2% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to their new position by adding 3,162 long positions and covering 8,209 short positions to leave them in control of 11.0% of total long open interest and 47.7% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest as of Tuesday was 348,645 contracts, down 8,330, or 2.33%, from 356,975 the previous Tuesday.
CME Group data show the most-active Jun live cattle contract had a net gain of $3.48 per cwt, or 2.49%, by closing Tuesday at $102.10 per cwt, versus the previous Tuesday’s close of $99.62. In between, it hit a contract low of $97.07 on Wednesday and a nearby top of $105.17 on Thursday.
FUNDS BUY CORN
As of Tuesday, managed money had a net long corn position of 169,785 contracts, up 31,540, or 22.8%, from 138,245 the previous week and the second straight week of gains, the CFTC said.
Commercials’ new net short position was 551,803 contracts, up from 534,368 the previous Tuesday.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new corn position by adding 3,388 long positions, covering 28,152 short positions and placing 17,019 new spread positions. This left them representing 17.2% of total long open interest, 8.1% of total short open interest and 8.8% of total spread open interest.
Commercials added 2,929 long positions and 20,364 short positions, leaving them with 22.8% of long open interest and 52.1% of short open interest.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
On the Livestock Exchange Video Auction Wednesday, 232 head of Nebraska cattle sold at $118 per cwt; 127 Kansas cattle sold at $117.59, and 59 head of Texas cattle sold at $114 with a 17- to 30-day delivery window. Cattle sold the previous Wednesday on the video auction at $117 per cwt.
Early week cash cattle were at $117 to $118 per cwt on a live basis, the top of last week’s $115 to $118 trade. On Friday, they were up to $118 to $120 in Kansas and $121 to $122 in Nebraska. Dressed-basis trading was at $190, steady to down $2 from the previous week.
The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $0.13 per cwt at $212.61, while select was off $0.76 at $199.91. The choice/select spread widened to $12.70 from $11.81 with 85 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday, was $136.42 per cwt, up $0.62. This compares with Friday’s Apr settlement of $139.37, up $0.50.