Large commodity investment funds, better known as managed money, cut their collective net long position in live cattle futures for the sixth straight time in the week ended Tuesday.
Hedgers also cut their collective net short position in the same week.
The data came from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday.
FUNDS GET SHORTER CATTLE
Managed money’s net long cattle position Tuesday totaled 21,787 contracts, down 5,111, or 19%, from 26,898 a week earlier. It was their smallest net long position since Nov, 3, 2020, when it totaled 14,300 contracts.
Hedgers, better known as commercial traders because they own, or will own, the cattle at some point, had a total net short position Tuesday of 114,320 contracts, down from 119,611 a week earlier. It was their smallest net short position since Dec, 15, 2020, when it was 113,225 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new net long cattle position by adding 103 long positions, 5,214 short positions and unwinding 1,212 spread positions. This left them holding 22.4% of total long open interest, 14.9% of total short open interest and 10.1% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to where they were by adding 4,186 long positions and covering 1,105 short positions, leaving them with 13.5% of total long open interest and 52.9% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said live cattle open interest Tuesday totaled 284,720 contracts, down 9,399, or 3.20%, from 294,119 a week earlier.
CME Group data also showed the most-active Dec live cattle contract decreased slightly in value over the CFTC reporting week, settling Tuesday at $127.32 per cwt, versus $127.50 a week earlier. In between, it hit a cycle low of $125.00 on Friday.
FUNDS BUILD ON LONG CORN POSITION
Managed money had a net long Chicago corn position Tuesday of 243,597 contracts, up 8,553, or 3.64%, from 235,044 a week earlier.
Meanwhile, commercials’ net short corn position Tuesday totaled 475,669 contracts, up 11,137, or 2.40%, from 464,532 a week earlier.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new corn position by adding 13,901 long positions, 5,348 short positions and unwinding 7,586 spread positions. This left them in charge of 20.2% of total long open interest, 2.8% of total short open interest and 8.1% of total spread open interest.
Commercials got to their new corn position by liquidating 7,633 long positions and adding 3,504 short positions, leaving them with 27.5% of total long open interest and 61.5% 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 $123.39 to $125.00 per cwt, compared with the previous week’s range of $123.68 to $125.06. FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $193.61 to $196.03 per cwt, versus $194.31 to $196.10.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $2.03 per cwt at $283.27, while select was off $1.70 at $262.74. The choice/select spread narrowed to $20.53 from $20.86 with 64 loads of fabricated product and 40 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.
The USDA reported Friday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.15 to $1.30 a bushel over the Dec futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.40 over Dec, which settled at $5.30 1/2 a bushel, down $0.03 1/2.
No contracts were tendered for delivery Friday against the Oct live cattle contract.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $154.57 per cwt up $0.77. This compares with Friday’s Oct contract settlement of $159.47 per cwt, down $0.87.