Large commodity investment funds, known collectively as managed money, continued to liquidate their net long live cattle futures position during the week ended Tuesday, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The CFTC said in its weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday that managed money’s new live cattle position was long by 34,940 contracts, down from 48,890 the previous week and the sixth straight week of declines. The new total was down by 13,950 contracts, or 28.5%.
Meanwhile, commercial traders, those who own the cattle at some point in their lives and are mostly hedgers, cut their net short live cattle position by 11,406 contracts, or 7.56%, to 139,372 contracts from 150,778 the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long live cattle position by adding 3,740 long positions and 17,690 short positions while unwinding 3,138 spread positions. This left them in control of 23.7% of total long open interest, 13.9% of total short open interest and 10.0% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders reached their new net short position by adding 714 long positions and covering 10,692 short positions, leaving them representing 9.8% of total long open interest and 48.9% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest dipped during the CFTC reporting week to 356,975 contracts from 357,264, a decline of 289 contracts, or 0.08%.
During the CFTC reporting week, the most-active Jun live cattle futures contract fell to close on Tuesday at $99.62 per cwt from $105.25 the previous Tuesday. It has since set a long-term low of $97.07 on Wednesday only to rebound, to Thursday’s high of $105.17 and fall to Friday’s close of $102.32.
FUNDS REVERSE CORN POSITION
At the same time, managed money reversed course on their corn futures position during the week ended Tuesday and expanded their net long holdings.
The CFTC said managed money’s new net long corn futures position on Tuesday was 138,245 contracts, up 29,406, or 27.0%, from 108,839 the previous week.
At the same time, commercial traders, those who own the corn at some point, also reversed course and grew their collective net short position by 54,742 contracts, or 11.4%, to 534,368 contracts from 479,626 the previous week.
CFTC data showed that managed money arrived at its new corn position by adding 11,849 long positions, covering 17,557 short positions and placing 5,680 new spread positions. This left them representing 17.1% of total long open interest, 9.7% of total short open interest and 8.0% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to their new position by liquidating 21,772 long positions and adding 32,970 short positions, leaving them with 22.8% of total long open interest and 51.5% of total short open interest.
CME Group data showed that total corn open interest grew during the week to 1.866 million contracts from 1.852 million, a bump of 14,007, or 0.76%.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Cattle sold Wednesday on the Livestock Exchange Video Auction at $117 per cwt, down $8.63 from two weeks earlier.
Cash trade was seen last week from $115 to $118 per cwt on a live basis, down $3.50 to $4 from the previous week. Dressed-basis trading was light at $188 to $190, down $2 to $4.
The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was down $0.78 per cwt at $214.31, while select was off $0.71 at $205.60. The choice/select spread narrowed to $8.71 from $8.78 with 123 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday, was $135.41 per cwt, up $0.10. This compares with Friday’s Apr settlement of $135.32, down $2.15.