Funds Cut Long Cattle Position Again

Managed money, a proxy for large commodity investment funds, made further cuts to their net long live cattle position in the week ended Tuesday, while commercial traders made a minor extension to their net short position.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday for the week ended Tuesday said that managed money’s new net long live cattle position was 119,965 contracts, down 3,122 contracts, or 2.54%, from 123,087 the previous week.  It was the third straight week of declines.

Commercial traders, those who own cattle at some point in the production process and who primarily are hedgers, increased their net short live cattle position to 210,285 contracts from 210,006 the previous week, a gain of only 279 contracts, or 0.13%.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new cattle position by liquidating 2,886 long positions, adding 236 short positions and unwinding 2,674 short positions.  This left them representing 34.1% of total long open interest, 2.4% of total short open interest and 8.3% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to their new cattle position by adding 2,747 long positions and 3,026 short positions, leaving them in control of 7.2% of total long open interest and 62.7% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest on Tuesday was 379,847 contracts, down 1,033, or 0.27%, from 380,880 the previous week.

CME Group data also show that the most-active Feb live cattle contract rose $1.62 per cwt, or 1.31%, during the CFTC reporting week to $125.67 from $124.05.  The contract has since risen to a swing high and then fallen sharply on Thursday and Friday.




Meanwhile, managed money trimmed its net short CBOT corn position for the second straight week during the week ended Tuesday as commercials extended theirs.

The CFTC said managed money’s net short corn position was 194,020 contracts, down 57,048, or 41.6%, from 136,972 the previous week.

Commercial traders’ new short corn position was 155,779 contracts, up 18,807, or 13.7%, from 136,972 the previous week.

Swap dealers raised their net long corn position to 239,083 contracts from 223,210 the previous week, their largest position since the week ended March 21 when it was 254,224.

CFTC data said managed money arrived at its new corn position by liquidating 2,761 long positions, covering 21,020 short positions and unwinding 1,703 spreads.  This left them with 13.8% of total long open interest, 26.1% of total short open interest and 8.9% of total spread open interest.

Commercials liquidated 43,605 long positions and covered 24,798 short positions to leave them with 27.6% of total long open interest and 37.5% of total short open interest.

CME Group statistics said total corn open interest during the week fell to 1.574 million contracts from 1.685 million the previous week.  This was a decline of 111,365 contracts, or 6.61%.




No trading took place on the Livestock Exchange video auction Wednesday.  Cash trade was reported later in the week at $119 to $121 per cwt on a live basis, up $2 to $4 from the previous week and at $189 to mostly $190 dressed, steady with the previous week.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $1.35 per cwt at $205.99, while select was off $0.60 at $183.61.  The choice/select spread widened to $22.38 from $20.43 with 85 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $157.20 per cwt, up $0.28.  This compares with Friday’s Jan settlement at $150.32 per cwt, down $3.85.