Funds Trim Cattle Holdings

Large commodity investment funds, called managed money, lowered their collective net long live cattle futures position for the second straight week as of Tuesday as producer types cut their net short position.

The data came in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday for the week ended Tuesday.  In the report, the CFTC said managed money had a net long live cattle position of 95,747 contracts, down 6,802, or 6.32%, from 102,549 the previous Tuesday.

Commercial traders, those producer types who own the cattle at some point in their lives and primarily are hedgers, decreased their total net short cattle futures position by 7,049 contracts, or 3.60%, to 188,540 contracts from 195,589 the previous week.

The CFTC reported that managed money arrived at its new net long cattle position by liquidating 8,805 positions, covering 2,003 short positions and adding 2,147 spread positions.  This left them representing 28.9% of total long open interest, 3.1% of total short open interest and 10.8% of total spread open interest.

The CFTC also said commercial traders got to where they were during the week by adding 1,879 long positions and covering 5,170 short positions.  This left them representing 6.9% of total long open interest ant 57.6% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest declined during the CFTC reporting week to 372,574 contracts from 377,083, a drop of 4,509, or 1.20%.

During the week, the most-active Apr live cattle futures contract declined $1.43, or 1.15%, to close at $122.82 per cwt from $124.25.




During the same week, managed money advanced its net long corn position to 163,614 contracts, its longest position in more than a year.  The position was advanced from a net long 58,445 contracts the previous week for a gain of 105,169, or 179.9%.

Commercial traders took their net short position to a new high for at least a year as they moved to being short by 524,848 contracts from 420,115, a jump of 104,733, or 24.9%.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new long corn position by adding 61,735 long positions, covering 43,434 short positions and adding 1,622 spread positions.  This left them holding 19.7% of long open interest, 10.3% of short open interest and 8.5% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to where they were by adding 9,107 long positions and 113,840 short positions, leaving them in control of 22.9% of total long open interest and 53.0% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total corn open interest rose to 1.744 million contracts from 1.637 million during the week, a gain of 107,402, or 6.56%.

CME Group data show the most-active May corn contract rose during the week to close at $3.88 ¼ a bushel from $3.79 1/4, a gain of $0.09, or $2.37%.




Fed cattle sold Wednesday on the Livestock Exchange Video Auction at a steady $126 per cwt.

Cash sales last week were at $126 to $127 per cwt on a live basis, steady with last week.  Dressed-basis trading was reported at $204 to $204.50, steady to down $0.50.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $0.26 per cwt at $224.14, while select was up $0.48 at $217.26.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $6.88 from $7.10 with only 51 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday, was $144.18 per cwt, down $0.54.  This compares with Friday’s Mar settlement of $142.52, up $0.77.