Funds Go Long Cattle As Producers Go Short

Managed money, or large investment funds, again expanded their net long live cattle futures position to its largest in more than a year during the week ended Tuesday while commercial traders were the shortest they have been in more than a year.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released the information in its weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday, saying managed money’s new net long position was 118,408 contracts, up 2,618, or 2.26%, from 115,790 the previous week.

Commercial traders, those who actually own or handle the cattle at some point, took their net short live cattle position to 195,100 contracts from 185,573, a gain of 9,827, or 5.30%.

Swap dealers, those who facilitate cash and over-the-counter trading, also have their largest net long position in more than a year at 98,721 contracts, up 1,296, or 1.33%, from 97,425 a week earlier.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new live cattle position by adding 951 long positions and covering 1,667 shorts, while unwinding 1,092 spread positions.  This left them representing 32.9% of total long positions, 2.8% of total short positions and 6.7% of total spread positions.

Commercial traders got to their new position by adding 2,344 long positions and 11,871 short positions to leave them in control of 7.5% of total long open interest and 56.9% of total short open interest.

Swap dealers’ new position came after adding 422 long positions, covering 974 shorts and unwinding 637 spreads to leave them holding 26.0% of total long open interest, 1.0% of total short open interest and 0.4% of total spread open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest during the CFTC reporting week rose 3,614 contracts, or 0.92%, to 394,404 from 390,790.

During the week, the most-active Jun contract rose $4.40, or 4.03%, to close at $113.70 per cwt from $109.30, setting a swing low of $108.67 on Wednesday in the process.

 

FUNDS REASSERT SHORT CORN POSITION

 

Managed money reasserted its net short corn position during the CFTC week after a one-week decline, moving up 5,484 contracts, or 3.87%, to 147,243 contracts from 141,759.

Commercial traders, expanded their net short corn position during the week, rising to 177,407 contracts from 174,607 a week earlier.  This was a gain of 2,800, or 1.60%.

Managed money arrived at its new position by adding 8,373 long positions and 13,857 short positions while unwinding 5,711 spread positions.  This left them with 13.7% of total long open interest, 23.8% of total short positions, and 7.4% of total spread positions.

Commercials got to their new position by adding 10,294 long positions and 13,094 short positions, leaving them in control of 26.3% of total long open interest and 38.4% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total open interest barely declined for the week, dropping only 50 contracts to stay at a rounded 1.455 million.

 

CASH CATTLE QUIET

 

Only 120 head of Nebraska cattle traded on the fed cattle exchange auction Wednesday at $120 per cwt on a live basis.

Cattle traded last week in a range from $128 to $130 per cwt on a live basis, up $2, and $205 to $208 dressed, up $2 to $3.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $1.41 per cwt at $212.08, while select was up $0.72 at $199.48.  The choice/select spread widened to $12.60 from $11.91 with 90 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $134.21 per cwt, up $0.36.  This compares with the Apr settlement Thursday of $137.80, up $0.30.