Large commodity investment funds, called managed money by the trade, increased their collective net long live cattle futures position during the week ended Monday, Dec. 24, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its Commitments of Traders report Friday.
The CFTC said prior to Friday’s report, the last Commitments of Traders report was done Friday, Dec. 21. They were halted by the partial government shutdown. The Commission said it planned to publish the intervening reports on Tuesdays and Fridays until it catches up.
The CFTC said managed money’s new net long live cattle futures position as of Dec. 24 was 84,381 contracts, up 420, or 0.50%, from 83,961 a week before. This was their largest net long position since March 13 when it was 86,701 contracts.
At the same time, commercial traders, those who own the cattle at some point and primarily are hedgers, had a collective net short position of 161,905 contracts, up 484, or 0.30%, from 161,421 the previous week. This was their largest net short position since March 20 when it was 164,291 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long cattle position by liquidating 934 long positions, covering 1,354 short positions and putting on 2,647 new spread positions. This left them representing 28.3% of total long open interest, 4.4% of total short open interest and 13.9% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by adding 239 long positions and 723 short positions, leaving them in control of 10.4% of total long open interest and 56.2% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest at the close of business Dec. 24 was 353,962 contracts, up 5,117, or 1.47%, from 348,845 the previous week.
CME Group data also said the most-active Apr futures contract rose during the week to settle Dec. 24 at $125.22, compared with $123.85 the week before.
FUNDS LIQUIDATE CORN
During the week ended Dec. 24, managed money liquidated corn futures contracts to a net long position of 90,880 contracts, down from 124,427 the previous week, a decline of 33,547, or 27.0%.
At the same time, commercials covered short corn positions aggressively, ending at 345,847 contracts, down 25,231, or 6.80%, from 371,078 the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long corn position by liquidating 21,331 long positions, adding 12,216 short positions and putting on 1,845 new spread positions. This left them representing 17.0% of total long open interest, 11.2% of total short open interest and 12.7% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to their new short position by liquidating 2,954 long positions and covering 28,185 short positions to leave them holding 27.3% of total long open interest and 49.2% of total short open interest.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
No fed cattle sold on the Fed Cattle Video Exchange Wednesday. Sixty-three head traded last week at $123 per cwt on a live basis.
Cash cattle traded last week at $123.50 to $124 per cwt on a live basis, up $1 to $1.50 from the previous week, and at $198 to $199 on a dressed basis, up $1 to $2.
The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $3.39 per cwt at $217.65, while select was up $0.26 at $213.41. The choice/select spread widened to $4.24 from $1.11 with 63 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Friday, was $141.01 per cwt, down $0.85. This compares with Monday’s Mar contract settlement of $144.22, up $1.70.