Large commodity investment firms, called managed money, increased their net long live cattle futures position for the 15th straight week during the week ended last Tuesday, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The CFTC made the data known Friday in its weekly Commitments of Traders report. The report catches the CFTC up on its release of Commitments of Traders data after the partial government shutdown.
Managed money’s new net long live cattle position last Tuesday totaled 129,163 contracts, up 6,587, or 5.37%, from 122,576 the previous Tuesday. In addition to the new position being the 15th net gain, it was the largest net long position for managed money in more than a year.
At the same time, commercial traders, those who own the cattle and theoretically could make or take delivery on a futures contract, had a new net short position of 201,734 contracts, up 8,006, or 4.13%, from 193,728 a week earlier. This also was their 15th straight increase in their net short position and took them out to their largest net short position in more than a year.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new long cattle position by adding 9,041 long positions, 2,454 short positions and putting on 2,174 new spread positions. This left their position representing 34.7% of total long open interest, 4.2% of total short open interest and 13.8% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders got to their new short cattle position by liquidating 31 long positions and adding 7,975 short positions, leaving them in control of 6.6% of total long open interest and 54.2% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest in the latest CFTC reporting week rose to 424,228 contracts, up 20,821, or 5.16%, from 403,407.
The most-active Apr cattle futures contract had a net increase during the CFTC week settling on Tuesday at $119.85 per cwt, compared with $119.37 the week before. However, it set a new high on Monday of $120.80 before dropping to a low of $119.35 the same day.
FUNDS SHORTER CORN THAN COMMERCIALS
During the same week, the collective net short position of managed money dropped below the net short position of commercial traders.
Managed money’s new short corn position Tuesday was 192,847 contracts, up 74,900, or 63.5%, from 117,947 the previous week. It was their largest net short position in more than a year.
Meanwhile, commercials’ new short position was 127,702 contracts, down 59,318, or 31.7%, from 187,020 the previous week. It was their smallest net short position in more than a year.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new short corn position by liquidating 7,898 long positions, adding 67,002 short positions and putting on 7,264 new spread positions. This left them in control of 12.7% of total long open interest, 24.2% of total short open interest and 13.5% of total spread open interest.
Commercials liquidated 5,704 long positions and covered 65,022 short positions, leaving them with 28.2% of long open interest and 35.9% of short open interest.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Cash cattle trade last week was reported at $128 to $128.50 per cwt on a live basis and at $203 to mostly $205 dressed versus $128 and $205, respectively, last week.
The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $1.23 per cwt at $227.36, while select was up $0.85 at $219.63. The choice/select spread widened to $7.73 from $7.35 with 59 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Friday, was $139.29 per cwt, down $0.74. This compares with Monday’s Mar contract settlement of $142.30, down $1.62.