Managed money and commercial traders cut their respective long or short cattle futures positions to the lowest point in more than a year during the week ended last Tuesday as the price outlook dimmed.
Managed money, or large speculators, cut their net long positions 2,708 contracts, or 15.1%, to 15,230 from 17,938 the previous week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday.
Commercial traders, or those who potentially could make or take delivery of futures contracts, cut their net short positions by 5,696 contracts, or 10.1%, to 50,766 from 56,462.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position by liquidating only 98 long positions but adding 2,610 short positions and 1,221 spread positions. This left them representing 23.9% of total long open interest and 17.7% of total short open interest.
Commercial cattle traders arrived at their new net short position by adding 4,497 long positions and covering 1,199 short positions. The final result was that they were left representing 16.4% of total long open interest and 36.0% of total short open interest.
Total open interest in live cattle futures rose 5,846 contracts, or 2.42%, to 246,981 from 241,135 the previous week, according to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
During the latest reporting week, live cattle tried to rally but ended lower. The most-active Oct delivery month settled Tuesday at $141.32 per cwt, down $2.35 from a settlement the previous Tuesday of $143.67. However, on the intervening Friday, it hit a top of $146.52. Prices since were flatter but showed a weakening tendency.
MANAGED MONEY ADDS CORN LENGTH
During the same reporting week, the CFTC said managed money firms added to their net long corn positions for the second week, moving up 2,705 contracts, or 3.40%, to 82,303 from 79,598.
At the same time, commercial corn traders nudged their net short positions a little higher, ending a five-week decline and going to 302,131 contracts from 299,161, an increase of 2,970, or 0.99%.
The CFTC said managed money traders arrived at their new net corn position by selling 4,282 long positions and covering 6,987 short positions and neutralizing 6,628 spread positions. This left them representing 19.3% of total long open interest and 12.6% of total short open interest.
Commercial corn traders arrived at their new net short positions by selling 52,501 long positions and covering 49,531 short positions. This left them representing 21.9% of total long open interest and 46.8% of total short open interest.
Total open interest during the week declined 84,758 contracts, or 6.53%, to 1.213 million contracts from 1.298 million, the CME Group said.
During the latest CFTC reporting week, the most-active Dec contract gave up a rally attempt and declined $0.09 1/2, or 2.60%, to settled at $3.56 a bushel from $3.65 ½. The previous Tuesday also saw a spike high of $3.75.
CASH FED CATTLE TRADE STEADY TO LOWER
Cash fed cattle markets last week traded lower with live-basis trades ranging from $140 to $143 per cwt and dressed-basis transactions at $220 to $223. This compares with trades the previous week of $143 to $147 live and $228 dressed.
The USDA reported lower boxed beef prices Friday with its choice cutout down $0.74 per cwt at $240.07 and select off $0.05 at $228.39 with 99 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
For the week, the choice cutout was down $3.15, or 1.30%, from $243.22, and the select cutout was down $4.56, or 1.96%, from $232.95.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $207.82, up $0.11. This compares with the Sep settlement Friday of $201.35, down $1.20.