Large commodity investment firms, called managed money in the trade, sold more of their collective live cattle futures positions during the week ended Tuesday, taking them to 27,524 contracts, their lowest net long position since June 26, 2018, when it was 27,190 contracts.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday had the new data, which stated that managed money’s new net long live cattle position was down 7,902 contracts, or 22.3%, from 35,426 contracts a week earlier and the ninth straight weekly decline.
Commercial traders, those who own the cattle and theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, reduced their collective net short live cattle futures position during the CFTC week to 131,406 contracts from 137,979 a week earlier, a decline of 6,573, or 4.76%. This also was their ninth straight reduction in their net position and took them to their lowest position since Sep. 11 when it was 129,006 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new cattle position by liquidating 4,701 long positions, adding 3,201 short positions and putting on 884 new spread positions. This left their position representing 19.3% of total long open interest, 11.4% of total short open interest and 18.6% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders got to where they were by adding 762 long positions and covering 5,811 short positions, leaving them in control of 11.5% of total long open interest and 48.9% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest as of Tuesday totaled 350,710 contracts, down 1,542, or 0.44%, from 352,252 a week earlier.
The CME Group also said the most-active live cattle contract declined during the CFTC reporting week to settle at $103.25 per cwt from $105.55.
FUNDS BUY MORE CORN
Amid fears of lower planted acres this year, managed money lengthened their net long Chicago corn futures position during the CFTC reporting week to 178,583 contracts from 155,030 the previous week and their largest since May 22, 2018, when it was 180,790 contracts. Their new position was up 23,553 contracts, or 15.2%, from a week earlier.
At the same time, commercials lengthened their own net short position by 48,589 contracts, or 13.7%, to 353,674 contracts from 305,085 a week earlier. It was their largest net short position since June 12, 2018, when it was 395,567 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new corn position by adding 7,592 long positions, covering 15,961 short positions and putting on 1,561 spread positions. This left them holding 15.8% of total long open interest, 5.7% of total short open interest and 12.1% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 28,247 long positions and adding 7,534 short positions, leaving them in control of 28.5% of total long open interest and 56.0% of total short open interest.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Cash cattle trading was reported last week at $109 to $111.50 per cwt on a live basis down $1 to up $1.50 from the previous week, and at $180 on a dressed basis, down $2 to $3.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was up $0.63 per cwt at $219.66, while select was down $1.34 at $195.56. The choice/select spread widened to $24.10 from $22.13 with 105 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
No contract delivery notices were served for the Jun live cattle futures contract Friday.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $133.12 per cwt, up $1.25 from the previous day. This compares with Friday’s Aug contract settlement of $136.85, up $1.05.