Funds Boost Net Long Cattle Position

Managed money, or large commodity funds, boosted their net long position in live cattle futures during the week ended Tuesday for the second straight week.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday that for the week ended Tuesday, managed money held a net long position of 39,096 contracts, up 9,371, or 31.5%, from the previous week total of 29,725.

The CFTC also said that commercial traders, those who theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, increased their net short position to 67,937 contracts, up 5,624, or 9.03%, from 62,313 the previous week.  It also was the second straight week of an increased short position for these traders.

Managed money arrived at its new net long cattle position by adding 436 long positions and covering 8,935 shorts while taking on 2,327 new spread positions.  This left them representing 29.2% of total long open interest and 14.9% of total short open interest.

Commercials got to their new net short position by adding 370 long positions and 5,994 shorts.  This left them in control of 15.4% of total long open interest and 40.1% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest rose during the CFTC week to 275,436 contracts from 273,453, a gain of 1,983, or 0.73%.

During the CFTC reporting week, the most-active Dec futures contract was in a consolidation zone, rising only $0.97, or 0.93%, to $105.37 from $104.40.  The contract has since fallen away.




Meanwhile, managed money was indecisive on where to go with corn futures, reducing their net short position by 7,885 contracts, or 13.0%, to 52,761 contracts from 60,646 the previous week.  The reduction came after a similar rise the previous week.

Commercials, however, increased their net short position 281,223 contracts from 259,596 during the week, the CFTC said.  This was an increase of 21,627, or 8.33%.

Managed money arrived at its new corn position by adding 6,129 long positions and covering 1,756 short positions while unwinding 5,435 spreads.  This left them representing 15.1% of total long open interest and 19.0% of total short open interest.

Commercials got to their new net short position by adding 3,294 long positions and 24,921 new short positions, leaving them in control of 23.1% of total long open interest and 44.0% of total short open interest.

Total corn open interest during the CFTC reporting week rose to 1.346 million contracts from 1.336 million, for a gain of 10,444, or 0.78%, the CME Group said.

During the CFTC week, the most-active Dec corn futures contract also was caught in a sideways pattern, hitting a high of $3.58 ½ a bushel on Wednesday before dropping back to close Tuesday at $3.46 ¼.




Cash cattle markets Friday were steady with Wednesday at $104 to $106, mostly $105.  Dressed-market action ranged from $162 to $164, with much of this action coming later in the week.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was $0.04 per cwt lower at $188.70, while select was off $0.84 at $173.03.  The choice/select spread widened to $15.67 from $14.87 with 85 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The USDA said values were steady on choice chucks, rounds, while loins were steady to weak.  Choice ribs were firm while select were weak.  Trimmings were traded thinly.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $126.03 per cwt, up $0.06.  This compares with Friday’s Nov settlement at $125.62, down $0.22.