The Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed Friday that large commodity investment firms, known as managed money, slashed their holdings of live cattle futures as hedgers covered their short positions during the week ended last Tuesday, April 20.
The data came in the CFTC’s weekly Commitments of Traders report, which showed that managed money and hedgers, otherwise known as commercial traders, took their combined net short position to their lowest points in nearly three months.
FUNDS SELL CATTLE
As of last Tuesday, managed money’s combined net long position in live cattle futures came to 66,819 contracts, down 16,039, or 19.4%, from 82,858 a week earlier and the smallest net long position since Jan. 26 when it was 66,678 contracts.
Commercial traders, those who own, or will own, the cattle at some point, cut their collective net short position to 153,090 contracts, down from 166,433 a week earlier. It was their smallest net short position since Feb. 2 when it was 148,148 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new long cattle position by liquidating 10,263 long positions, adding 5,776 short positions and unwinding 311 spread positions. This left their position representing 28.0% of total long open interest, 7.7% of total short open interest and 11.7% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were last Tuesday by adding 108 long positions and covering 13,235 short positions, leaving them in control of 8.5% of total long open interest and 55.0% of total short open interest.
The CME Group marked total live cattle open interest last Tuesday at 325,048 contracts, down 10,556, or 3.15%, from 335,604 a week earlier.
CME Group data also showed that the most-active Jun live cattle contract price moved lower during the CFTC reporting week to settle last Tuesday at $119.20 per cwt, down from $120.92.
FUNDS SHORTER CORN LAST TUESDAY
Last Tuesday, managed money had a collective net shorter position in corn futures than they did a week earlier. Their new net long position was 380,083 contracts, down 17,148, or 4.32%, from 397,231 a week earlier.
At the same time, commercials’ new net short position was 754,360 contracts, down 3,497, or 0.46%, from 757,857 a week earlier.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position last Tuesday by liquidating 15,597 long positions, adding 1,551 short positions and unwinding 596 spread positions. This left them in charge of 22.4% of total long open interest, 1.4% of total short open interest and 8.6% of total spread open interest.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Fed cattle traded last week at $119 to $124 per cwt on a live basis, down $1 to $2 from the previous week. Dressed-basis trading was at $195 per cwt, down $1 to up $2.
The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $1.43 per cwt at $285.20, while select was up $2.22 at $274.35. The choice/select spread narrowed to $10.85 from $11.64 with 69 loads of fabricated product and 17 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 down $0.01 to up $0.02 a bushel at $1.04 to $1.18 over the May CBOT futures contract, which settled at $6.80 1/2 a bushel, up $0.25.
There were no delivery intentions posted against the Apr live cattle futures contract Friday. None were retendered, and none were demanded or reclaimed.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $136.36 per cwt down $1.17. This compares with Friday’s Apr contract settlement of $133.85 per cwt, up $1.60 and May’s $137.67, up $0.65.