Managed money, or large commodity funds, continued their run of expanding their net long live cattle positions during the week ended Tuesday while commercial traders worked to grow their net short positions.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday said managed money’s new net long live cattle position was 101,395 contracts, up 5,932, or 6.21%, from 95,463 the week before. It also was the 10th straight week of advances and took them to their largest net long position in more than a year.
Commercial traders, those who actually handle the cattle at some point, took their net short position to a new high for the year during the same week and also was the 10th straight week of increases. The latest net short position for these traders was 149,365 contracts, up 3,977, or 5.64%, from 141,388 the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new live cattle position by adding 5,693 long positions and covering 239 shorts while putting on 8,468 spreads. This left them representing 33.3% of total long open interest and 3.2% of total short open interest.
Commercials got to their new live cattle position by adding 202 long positions and 8,179 short positions, leaving them in control of 8.6% of total long open interest and 53.0% of total short open interest.
The CME Group reported that total live cattle open interest during the week rose 12,425 contracts, or 3.83%, to 336,487 contracts from 324,062.
During the CFTC reporting week, the most-active Apr contract declined to close at $117.92 per cwt from $118.67. It has since risen to a 10-month high of $120.32.
MANAGED MONEY COVERS MORE SHORTS
During the same CFTC week, managed money covered more short positions, taking them to the lowest net short position since the week ended Nov. 22.
Managed money’s new net short position was 53,768 contracts, down 23,710, or 30.6%, from 77,478 the previous week.
At the same time, commercial traders extended their net short position by 41,300, or 16.8%, to 286,908 contracts from 245,608.
Managed money arrived at its new net short position by adding 14,663 long positions and covering 9,047 while putting on 7,398 spread positions. This left them representing 15.3% of total long open interest and 19.4% of total short open interest.
Commercials got to their new net short position by adding 7,270 long positions and 48,570 short positions, leaving them in control of 23.0% of total long open interest and 44.7% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total corn open interest during the CFTC week rose 70,297 contracts, or 5.62%, to 1.322 million contracts from 1.251 million.
The most-active Mar corn contract rose during the week to $3.65 ½ a bushel from $3.58 ¼, a $0.07 ¼, or 2.02%, gain.
CASH CATTLE TRADE HIGHER
Average fed exchange auction prices Wednesday were $1.35 per cwt higher at $120.52, versus $119.17 a week earlier.
Cash cattle then traded lightly at $120 to $121.25 on a live basis, steady to up $1.25 to $2. More trade was reported Thursday from $121 to $123, mostly $122, up $3.00.
Dressed-basis trades were reported at $193 to $194 per cwt, a gain of $7 to $8.
The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was down $1.18 per cwt at $190.42 per cwt, while select was off $0.85 at $186.64. The choice/select spread narrowed to $3.78 from $4.11 with 65 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $133.28 per cwt, up $1.03. This compares with Friday’s Jan settlement of $133.10, up $1.15.