Managed money continued to liquidate long positions in live cattle futures during the week ended Tuesday, taking their net long position to the lowest in more than a year and below that of swap dealers.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders Report showed managed money with a net long position of 62,751 contracts as of Tuesday, down 7,568, or 10.8%, from 70,319 the previous week.
By comparison, swap dealers held a net long position of 65,274 contracts, a decline of 861 from 66,135 a week earlier, which also was their lowest net long position in more than a year.
The disaggregated commitments report showed that managed money liquidated 4,908 long live cattle positions while adding 2,660 short positions. As of Tuesday, their long positions accounted for 28.3% of total open interest of 247,017 contracts.
Meanwhile, cattle producers covered short positions during the latest reporting week, ending with a net short position of 103,133 contracts, 6,882, or 6.26%, fewer than the 110,015 of the previous week.
The disaggregated report showed that producers covered 4,179 short positions while adding 2,703 long positions. As of Tuesday, their short positions accounted for 54.2% of total open interest, and their long positions 12.5% of total open interest.
During the latest reporting week, the Apr live cattle futures contract fell to a swing low of $148.37 per cwt on Monday, Jan. 26, before bouncing. The contract settled the previous Tuesday, Jan. 20, at $153.05.
However, despite the managed money liquidation during the latest reporting week, total open interest actually rose 9,538 contracts, or 3.86%.
MANAGED MONEY LIQUIDATES LONG CORN POSITIONS
Amid what traders said was a general long liquidation of commodities, managed money cut its net long position in corn futures as well.
The CFTC reported that during the week ended Tuesday, these speculators ended with a net long position of 152,415 contracts, down 32,733, or 17.7%, from 185,148 the previous week and the lowest since the week ended Oct. 28.
The CFTC’s weekly disaggregated commitments of traders report showed that managed money liquidated 22,272 long positions during the latest reporting week, while adding 10,461 short positions. At the end of the week, their long holdings represented 19.7% of total open interest.
Producers, meanwhile, ended the latest CFTC week with a net short position of 284,700 contracts, down 24,284, or 7.86%, from 308,984 the previous week. This left them with the smallest net short position since the week ended Oct. 21 when they held a net short position of 269,178 contracts.
During the latest reporting week, the Mar futures contract moved in a narrow range but declined overall to settle at $3.81 ¼ per bushel from $3.90 ¼ the previous week, a loss of $0.09, or 2.31%.
Total open interest declined 4,506 contracts, or 0.34%, during the latest CFTC week to 1.302 million contracts from 1.306 million.
CATTLE TRADE STEADY/HIGHER
Led by rising futures prices, cash cattle traded steady to $1.00 per cwt higher in the Plains last week at $159 to $160.50 per cwt on a live basis. In Nebraska’s dressed market, however, cattle traded lightly at mostly $252, down $4 to $5.
However, beef prices worked lower all week, with the choice cutout ending Friday at $242.44 per cwt, down $2.15 for the day and down $11.30, or 4.45%, from $253.74 the previous week. The select cutout ended at $235.74, down $2.60 from Thursday and down $11.49, or 4.65%, from $247.23 a week earlier.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $211.69, down $2.21 from the previous day.