Funds Increase Long Cattle Positions

Managed money, or large commodity investment firms increased their collective net long live cattle futures position in the week ended last Tuesday as hedgers boosted their net short position.

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




Managed money’s new net long cattle position Tuesday totaled 87,219 contracts, up 8,568, or 10.9%, from 78,651 a week earlier.  It was their second straight week of expanding net long positions and was the largest in more than a year.

Those hedgers, traders who own, or will own, the cattle at some point and are known as commercial traders, advanced their collective net short position to 169,146 contracts last Tuesday, up 8,641, or 5.38%, from 160,505 a week earlier.  It also was their largest net position in more than a year.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new cattle position by adding 9,670 long positions, 1,102 short positions and unwinding 412 spread positions.  This left their net position representing 31.1% of total long open interest 5.7% of total short open interest and 11.0% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to where they were by liquidating 2,164 long positions and adding 6,477 short positions, leaving them holding 9.3% of total long open interest and 58.5% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest last Tuesday stood at 343,764 contracts, up 6,452, or 1.91%, from 337,312 a week earlier.

CME data also showed the most-active Jun live cattle contract rose during the week ended last Tuesday, settling at $124.62 per cwt, compared with $122.22 a week earlier.  The contract since has gone up to a contract high of $125.62 on Thursday before dropping sharply on Friday and Monday.




Last Tuesday, managed money had a net long Chicago corn position of 379,642 contracts, down 8,056, or 2.08%, from 387,698 a week earlier.

Also as of last Tuesday, commercials’ net short position totaled 747,627 contracts, down 13,507, or 1.77%, from 761,134 a week earlier.  It was their lowest short position since Dec 29 when it was 733,818 contracts.

The CFTC said managed money reached their new net long position by liquidating 12,156 long positions, covering 4,100 short positions and putting on 1,347 spread positions.  This left them in control of 22.9% of total long open interest, 1.4% of total short open interest and 9.0% of total spread open interest.




Fed cattle trading last week was reported in the Plains at $120 to $123 per cwt on a live basis, up $2.50 to $4 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trading was at $195 to $196 per cwt, up $6 to $11.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was down $0.76 per cwt at $271.41, while select was up $2.09 at $266.16.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $5.25 from $8.10 with 78 loads of fabricated product and 34 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Monday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.15 to $1.20 a bushel over the May CBOT futures contract, which settled at $5.69 a bushel, down $0.08 1/4.

There were no delivery intentions posted against the Apr live cattle futures contract Monday.  None were retendered, and none were demanded or reclaimed.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $143.36 per cwt up $1.62.  This compares with Monday’s Apr contract settlement of $144.50 per cwt, down $0.25.