Funds Cut Long Cattle Position

During the week ended Tuesday, managed money, a proxy for large commodity investment funds, cut its net long live cattle futures position for the seventh straight week to its lowest point in 3 ½ months.

At the same time, commercial traders, those who theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, cut their net short cattle position for the fourth straight week to its lowest point since Oct. 17.

The data came from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders Report Friday.

Managed money’s new net long live cattle futures position was 82,738 contracts, down 7,081, or 7.88%, from 89,819 the previous week and the lowest since the week ended Sep. 12 when it was 79,532 contracts.

Commercial traders’ new net short live cattle position was 183,696 contracts, down 6,742, or 3.54%, from 190,438 the previous week and the lowest since the week ended Oct. 17 when it was 183,491 contracts.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new cattle position by liquidating 4,841 long positions while adding 2,240 short positions and placing 1,588 spread positions.  This left them representing 28.2% of total long open interest, 3.2% of total short open interest and 8.2% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to their new cattle position by adding 1,017 long positions and covering 5,725 short positions, leaving them in control of 8.3% of total long open interest and 63.7% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest during the CFTC reporting week declined to 332,083 contracts from 335,172, a decline of 3,089, or 0.92%.

During the CFTC week, Feb, the most active live cattle futures contract, declined to set a double bottom Friday at $118.25 per cwt from the previous Tuesday’s close of $120.45.  However, on Tuesday, it jumped to close at $121.47.

 

FUNDS CUT SHORT CORN POSITION

 

Meanwhile, managed money cut its net short corn futures position to 198,493 contracts from 223,405 the previous Tuesday, a decline of 24,912, or 11.2%.

Commercial corn traders added to their net short corn position during the week to reach 169,892 contracts, from 156,695, an increase of 13,197, or 8.42%.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new corn position by adding 2,213 long positions, covering 22,699 short positions and unwinding 11,508 spread positions.  This left them representing 13.7% of total long open interest, 26.5% of total short open interest and 9.1% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to their new corn position by adding 7,555 long positions and 20,752 short positions, leaving them in control of 26.9% of total long open interest and 37.9% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total corn open interest during the CFTC week went to 1.546 million contracts from 1.552 million, a decline of 5,643, or 0.36%.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

No fed cattle sold Wednesday on the Livestock Exchange video auction.  Friday, cash cattle sold at $123 per cwt on a live basis, up $3 from the previous week and at $193 to mostly $195 dressed, up $3 to $4.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $0.62 per cwt at $202.90, while select was up $2.07 at $192.98.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $9.92 from $11.37 with 70 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $146.51 per cwt, up $0.63.  This compares with Friday’s Jan settlement at $146.00 per cwt, up $0.40, and the Mar settlement of $142.67, up $0.45.