Funds Cut Cattle Holdings

Managed money cut its net long live cattle futures position for the fourth straight week while commercial traders trimmed their net short position during the week ended Tuesday, said the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Friday.

In its weekly Commitments of Traders report, the CFTC said managed money, a proxy for large commodity investment funds, had a net long live cattle futures position of 116,073 contracts as of Tuesday, down 3,892, or 3.24%, from 119,965 the previous week.  This was down 15,612 contracts, or 11.9%, from the latest high of 131,685 contracts for the week ended Nov. 7.

Commercial traders, those who own the cattle at some point and theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, had a net short position as of Tuesday of 206,581 contracts, down 3,704, or 1.76%, from 210,285 the previous week and down 6,943, or 3.25%, from the most recent high of 213,524 the week ended Nov. 14.

The CFTC further said managed money arrived at its new long cattle position by liquidating 3,415 long positions, adding 477 short positions and unwinding 6,075 spread positions.  This left them representing 34.8% of total long open interest, 2.7% of total short open interest and 7.0% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to their new position by liquidating 978 long positions and covering 4,682 short positions, leaving them in control of 7.3% of total long open interest and 64.5% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest Tuesday was 361,892 contracts, down 17,955, or 4.73%, from 379,847 the previous week.

During the CFTC reporting week, the most-active Feb futures contract fell to $120.52 per cwt after rising to its latest high of $126.77 from the previous Tuesday’s close of $125.67.

 

FUNDS NOW LESS SHORT CORN THAN COMMERCIALS

 

Managed money became less short live cattle futures than commercial traders in the week ended Tuesday.  The CFTC said managed money’s new net short position was 155,061 contracts, down 38,959, or 20.1%, from 194,020 the previous week and down 87,823, or 36.2%, from the most recent high of 242,884 the week ended Nov. 14.

Commercial traders’ new net short position of 193,946 contracts was up 38,167, or 24.5%, from 155,779 the previous week and up 96,834, or 99.7%, from the most recent low of 97,112 set the week ended Nov. 14.

Managed money arrived at its new corn position by adding 14,504 long positions, covering 24,455 short positions and putting on 400 more spreads.  This left them representing 15.6% of total long open interest, 26.0% of total short open interest and 9.5% of total spread open interest.

Commercials liquidated 63,116 long positions and covered 24,949 short positions, leaving them with 25.0% of total long open interest and 38.0% of total short open interest.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

Scattered trade came Tuesday in Nebraska at $117.50 to $118.50 per cwt on a live basis, down $1.50 to $3 from the previous week with more Wednesday at $118 and at $188 on a dressed basis, down $1 to $2.  However, more trade came Thursday at $117 live and $187 dressed, down $2 and down $2 to $3.

No trading took place on the Livestock Exchange video auction Wednesday.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $0.51 per cwt at $205.59, while select was up $2.14 at $185.97.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $19.62 from $21.25 with 130 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $154.40 per cwt, down $0.61.  This compares with Friday’s Jan settlement at $145.22 per cwt, down $1.10.