Funds Increase Long Cattle Position

Large commodity index funds, called managed money by traders, increased their marginal collective net long live cattle futures position in the week ended Tuesday, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday showed that managed money had a net long cattle position of 4,464 contracts, up 2,658, or 147.2%, from 1,806 a week earlier.  It was their largest net long position since Feb. 25 when it was long by 11,962 contracts.

At the same time, the hedgers who own the cattle, called commercial traders, expanded their collective net short live cattle futures position to 98,118 contracts, up 4,869, or 5.22%, from 93,249 the week before.  It was their largest net short position since March 3 when it was 103,220 contracts.

CFTC data showed that managed money arrived at their new net long position by adding 241 long positions, covering 2,417 short positions and unwinding 431 spread positions.  This left their net position representing 14.5% of total long open interest, 12.8% of total short open interest and 13.9% of total spread open interest.

The CFTC also said commercials got to where they were by liquidating 1,770 long positions and adding 3,099 short positions, leaving them in charge of 14.8% of total long open interest and 51.6% of total short open interest.

CME Group data showed total live cattle open interest as of Tuesday at 266,919 contracts, up 1,475, or 0.56%, from 265,444 a week earlier.

CME data also showed that the most-active Jun futures contract inched higher in the CFTC reporting week to close Tuesday at $84.70 per cwt, compared with $84.07 a week earlier.  In the interim, the contract dipped to a low of $80.30 on Friday before bouncing to Tuesday’s high.

 

FUNDS SLIGHTLY SHORTER CORN

 

Meanwhile, managed money extended their collective net short Chicago corn futures position to 160,645 contracts from 160,025 a week earlier, a gain of 620, or 0.39%.

Commercials, though, continued to liquidate short corn positions, going to a collective net short position of 62,825 contracts from 73,593 a week earlier, a decline of 10,768, or 14.6%.

The CFTC said managed money got to its new position by adding 693 long positions and 1,313 short positions while unwinding 9,605 spread positions.  This meant their net short corn position held 8.9% of total long open interest, 20.2% of total short open interest and 12.3% of total spread open interest.

Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 21,648 long positions and covering 32,416 short positions, leaving them in charge of 36.4% of total long open interest and 40.8% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total corn open interest as of Tuesday was 1.424 million contracts, down 46,324, or 3.15%, from 1.470 million a week earlier.

The most-active Jul contract declined in value to $3.12 a bushel from $3.17 ¼ a week earlier.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

Cattle traded last week at $94 to $105 per cwt on a live basis, steady to down $1 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trade took place at $150 per cwt, versus $148 to $160.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was up $9.89 per cwt at $377.45, while select was up $6.97 at $357.13.  The choice/select spread widened to $20.32 from $17.40 with 51 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

There were 13 steer contracts tendered for delivery against the Apr futures contract on Friday.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $119.39 per cwt, up $0.65.  This compares with Friday’s May contract settlement of $117.82, up $0.72.