Large commodity investment funds, known as managed money, and hedge traders took their respective net long and net short live cattle futures positions to their largest points in more than a year during the week ended Tuesday.
The data came from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday, which summarized position changes for the week ended Tuesday.
FUNDS GROW LONG CATTLE POSITION
The data showed that managed money’s new long cattle position Tuesday was at 70,527 contracts, up 3,849, or 5.77%, from 66,678 a week earlier.
Those hedgers, known as commercial traders, are those who own the cattle, or will want to own them at some point, and, thus, can either make or take delivery of a futures contract, had a net short position Tuesday of 148,140 contracts, up from 143,853 a week earlier. This was a change of 4,287 contracts, or 2.98%.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new net long cattle position by adding 2,967 long positions, covering 882 short positions and unwinding 6,915 spread positions. This left them holding 27.3% of total long open interest, 5.7% of total short open interest and 11.4% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders got to where they were Tuesday by liquidating 1,214 long positions and adding 3,073 short positions, leaving them in control of 11.8% of total long open interest and 57.1% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest Tuesday stood at 326,830 contracts, down 3,340, or 1.01%, from 330,170 a week earlier.
CME Group data also showed that the most-active Apr futures contract declined in value during the week ended Tuesday to settle at $122.52 per cwt from $123.10.
FUNDS GET SHORTER CORN
As of Tuesday, managed money had a net long position in Chicago corn of 323,309 contracts, down 17,869, or 5.24%, from 341,178 a week earlier. It was their smallest net long position in more than a month.
At the same time, commercials had a net short position of 768,729 contracts, down 10,744, or 1.38%, from 779,473 a week earlier.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new corn position by liquidating 22,682 long positions, covering 3,813 short positions and unwinding 5,409 spread positions. This left them holding 17.9% of total long open interest, 1.3% of total short open interest and 10.4% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by adding 18,119 long positions and 7,375 short positions, leaving them in charge of 27.4% of total long open interest and 66.8% of total short open interest.
Total open interest Tuesday was 1.952 million contracts, compared with 1.924 million a week earlier.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Fed cattle trading was reported last week at $112 to mostly $114 per cwt on a live basis, down $1 to up $1 from last week, and at $178 to $180 on a dressed basis, up $1 to $2.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was up $0.03 per cwt at $234.58, while select was up $0.35 at $220.79. The choice/select spread narrowed to $13.79 from $13.81 with 64 loads of fabricated product and 36 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 $5.48 1/2 a bushel, down $0.01 1/2.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $135.65 per cwt, down $0.62. This compares with Friday’s Mar contract settlement of $138.27 per cwt, down $1.22.