Funds Go Long Cattle, Short Corn  

Managed money, or large investment funds, raised their net long live cattle futures position during the week ended Tuesday, while commercial traders boosted their net short position.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Friday announced in its weekly Commitments of Traders report that managed money’s new net long live cattle position was 94,694 contracts, up 2,711, or 2.95%, from the previous week’s 91,983.

Commercial traders, those who actually handle or own the cattle and are generally hedgers, increased their net short position by 1,194 contracts, or 0.76%, to 158,738 contracts from 157,544.

Swap dealers, those who facilitate cash and over-the-counter transactions, had a new net long position of 84,029 contracts, down 3,362, or 3.85%, from 87,391 the previous week.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long position by adding 2,486 new long positions and covering 225 shorts while adding 281 spread positions.  This left them representing 30.8% of total long open interest and 3.7% of total short open interest.

Commercials got to their new position by adding 1,367 long positions and 2,561 short positions to leave them in control of 7.5% of total long open interest and 52.9% of total short open interest.

Swap dealers liquidated 2,369 long positions, covered seven short positions and added 727 spreads to leave them holding 25.6% of total long open interest and 1.3% of total short open interest.

Total live cattle open interest for the week rose to 350,015 contracts from 338,965, the CME Group reported, a gain of 11,050, or 3.16%.

During the CFTC week, the most-active Apr futures contract rose to close at $116.32 per cwt from $115.35 the previous week.  In between, it rose to a high of $118.42 on Monday.

 

FUNDS GO SHORT CORN

 

Managed money took on a net short corn futures position during the CFTC reporting week, moving to a net short position of 27,352 contracts from a net long position of 87,020 the previous week, the CFTC said.

At the same time, commercial traders reduced their net short position by 97,279 contracts, or 23.2%, to 321,807 contracts from 419,086.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position by liquidating 66,430 long positions and adding 47,942 short positions while accumulating 4,376 more spread positions.  This left them representing 15.4% of total long positions and 17.4% of total short positions.

Commercials arrived at their new position by adding 45,352 long positions and covering 51,927 shorts, to leave them in control of 22.7% of total long open interest and 46.1% of total short open interest.

Total corn open interest during the week rose 2,872 contracts, or 0.21%, to 1.377 million from 1.374 million, the CME Group reported.

During the week, the most-active May contract fell to a one-month low of $3.60 a bushel on Tuesday from a close of $3.76 before rebounding for the rest of the week.

 

CASH CATTLE QUIET

 

Cash cattle was quiet but last week traded in the Plains at $125 to $131.50 per cwt, mostly $127 to $130, up $3 to $5 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trading was mostly at $210, up $8 to $10.

Average fed cattle exchange auction prices Wednesday were $4.63 per cwt higher at $128.31, versus $123.68 a week earlier.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $1.07 per cwt at $223.43, while select was up $0.61 at $214.48.  The choice/select spread widened to $8.95 from $8.49 with 74 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $129.27 per cwt, up $1.05.  This compares with Friday’s Mar settlement of $131.32, up $0.77.