Funds Cut Long Live Cattle Futures Position

Commodity investment funds, called managed money, reduced their net long live cattle futures position for the fourth straight week in the week ended Tuesday as commercial traders held their net short position almost flat.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission made the announcement in its weekly Commitments of Traders report on Friday.

The report said managed money had a net long live cattle futures position of 113,097 contracts as of Tuesday, down 1,496, or 1.31%, from 114,593 the previous week.  It was the fourth straight week of declines in managed money’s net long position.

Commercial traders, those who theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, had a net short position of 198,095 contracts, down 2,220, or 1.11%, from 200,315 the previous week.  It was the fourth straight week of declines in their net short position.

Swap dealers, those who facilitate over-the-counter trades, Tuesday had a net long live cattle position of 103,759 contract, up 531, or 0.51%, from 103,228 the previous week.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long position by liquidating 2,438 long positions, covering 942 short positions and unwinding 8,800 spread positions.  This left them representing 32.8% 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 position by adding 797 long positions and covering 1,423 shorts, leaving them in control of 6.7% of total long open interest and 60.0% of total short open interest.

Swap dealers added 1,850 long positions, 1,319 short positions while unwinding 714 spread positions.  This left them holding 28.9% of total long open interest, 0.9% of total short open interest and 0.4% of total spread open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest during the week fell 5,733 contracts, or 1.52%, to 372,055 from 377,788 the previous week.

Live cattle’s most-active contract, Aug, traded unevenly sideways during the week, ending at $114.82 per cwt, only marginally higher than the $114.75 settlement of the previous Tuesday.

 

FUNDS GO LONG CORN

 

Reversing the recent habit of being net short on CBOT corn futures, managed money moved into a net long position in the week ended Tuesday.  The new position is a plus 115,066 contracts, up from being net short by 37,607 the previous week.  It was the second straight week of either being less short of corn or being net long.

Commercial traders, meanwhile, extended their net short corn position for the second straight week, going up 133,255 contracts, or 56.9%, to 367,364 from 234,109.

Total corn open interest by Tuesday was 1.374 million, compared with 1.331 million the previous week.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

Only moderate fed cattle sales were seen on the livestock exchange video auction Wednesday, with trade in the north at $117.25 to $118.75 per cwt on a live basis, steady to up $1.50, some with extended pick-up.  In the South, cattle sold at $117.75 to $118.00, steady to up $1.00.

Cash cattle subsequently traded at $117 to $121 on a live basis, down $1 to up $2 from the bulk of last week’s action.  Dressed-basis sales were reported at $190 to $191, up $2 to $3.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was down $0.50 per cwt at $209.35, while select was off $1.84 at $195.42.  The choice/select spread widened to $13.93 from $12.59 with 129 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $149.74 per cwt, down $1.00.  This compares with Friday’s Aug settlement at $154.27, up $1.25.