Managed money, or large commodity index funds, actively sold live cattle futures in the week ended last Tuesday as hedgers covered short positions, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday.
FUNDS SELL LIVE CATTLE
As of last Tuesday, managed money had a collective net long live cattle futures position of 65,040 contracts, down 15,167, or 18.9%, from 80,207 a week earlier. It was their second straight decline in net long cattle.
Also as of last Tuesday, hedgers, better known as commercial traders, those who own the cattle at some point, had a collective net short live cattle position of 148,429 contracts, down 11,713, or 7.31%, from 160,142 a week earlier. It also was their second straight week of a smaller net position.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new live cattle position by liquidating 12,495 long positions, adding 2,672 short positions and putting on 5,244 spread positions. This left their position representing 26.6% of total long open interest, 5.7% of total short open interest and 11.9% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders got to where they were last Tuesday by adding 3,071 long positions and covering 8,642 short positions, leaving them holding 8.3% of total long open interest and 55.8% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest last Tuesday totaled 299,163 contracts, down 15,052, or 4.79%, from 314,215 a week earlier.
CME data also showed that the most-active Dec contract declined during the CFTC reporting week to settle last Tuesday at $129.55 per cwt, compared with $133.47.
FUNDS SELL CORN
Managed money also sold long corn positions in the week ended last Tuesday, coming in with a collective total of 202,202 contracts, down 43,548, or 17.7%, from 245,750 a week earlier. It was their smallest net long corn position since Oct. 13, 2020, when it was 156,928 contracts.
Commercials last Tuesday held a collective net short corn position of 457,266 contracts, down 34,478, or 7.01%, from 491,744 a week earlier. It was their smallest net short position since Oct. 13 when it was 385,281 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new corn position by liquidating 24,718 long positions, adding 18,830 short positions and putting on 1,837 spread positions. This left them with 18.6% of total long open interest, 3.9% of total short open interest and 9.7% of total spread open interest.
Commercials added 22,837 long positions and covering 11,641 short positions, leaving them with 28.1% of total long open interest and 61.2% of total short open interest.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $122.43 to $127.40 per cwt, compared with last week’s weekly range of $127.40 to $128.11. FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $192.44 to $203.38 per cwt, versus $202.27 to $203.18.
The USDA choice cutout Monday was down $1.29 per cwt at $325.93, while select was down $1.21 at $292.16. The choice/select spread narrowed to $33.77 from $33.85 with 96 loads of fabricated product and 29 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 unchanged at $1.75 to $1.95 a bushel over the Dec futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.40 over Dec, which settled at $5.13 1/4 a bushel, down $0.04 1/4.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $155.09 per cwt up $0.09. This compares with Monday’s Sep contract settlement of $152.20 per cwt, down $2.05.