Funds Trim Live Cattle Position

Managed money, or large commodity funds, trimmed their net long live cattle futures position in the week ended Tuesday, while commercial traders pruned their net short positions, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The CFTC’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday said managed money’s new net long position amounted to 91,983 contracts, down 1,633, or 1.74%, from 93,616 the previous week.  This is the lowest net long position since the week ended Jan. 3 when it was 90,333.

Commercial traders, those who theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, reduced their net short position slightly to 157,544 contracts from 158,088 the previous week, a decline of 544, or 0.34%.

Swap dealers, those who facilitate over-the-counter trades, have been keeping a larger-than-usual net long position lately, and last week were long 87,391 contracts, down 937, or 1.06%, from 88,328.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position by liquidating 476 long positions and adding 1,157 short positions while unwinding 603 spreads.  This left them representing 31.0% of total long open interest and 3.9% of total short open interest and 9.5% of open spreads.

Commercials got to their new positions by adding 345 long positions and covering 199 short positions, leaving them in control of 7.3% of total long open interest and 53.8% of total short open interest.

Swap dealers liquidated 955 long positions and covered 18 shorty positions while adding 867 spreads, leaving them holding 27.1% of total long open interest, 1.4% of total short open interest and 0.7% of spread positions.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest rose 3,817 contracts, or 1.14%, during the CFTC week to 338,965 contracts from 335,148.

The most-active Apr live cattle contract rose to a one-month high during the week only to finish lower.  A close the previous Tuesday of $117.92 let to the top of $118.95 on Wednesday and a close on Tuesday of $115.35 as it set a swing low on Tuesday of $114.90.

 

FUNDS ALSO TRIM CORN POSITION

 

Managed money also trimmed its net long position in CME corn futures during the CFTC week to 87,020 contracts, down 637, or 0.73%, from 87,657.

Commercial traders, meanwhile, cut their net short corn position to 419,086 contracts, down 108,592, or 20.6%, from 527,678.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position by adding 8,666 long positions, 90,303 short positions and 959 spread positions.  This left them representing 20.3% of total long open interest, 13.9% of total short open interest and 7.8% of total spreads.

Commercial traders got to their new position by liquidating 5,887 long positions and covering 14,479 short positions, leaving them in control of 19.4% of total long open interest and 50.0% of total short open interest.

Total open interest rose 12,198 contracts, or 0.90%, to 1.374 million from 1.362 million.

 

CASH CATTLE QUIET

 

Cash cattle traded last week $1 per cwt lower than the previous week at mostly $124 to $125 on a live basis.  However, some traded late at $126 to $127 in Nebraska, steady to up $1.  Dressed-basis trades came in at $200 to $202, versus $200 to $201 last week.

Average fed cattle exchange auction prices Wednesday were $1.31 per cwt lower at $123.68, versus $124.99 a week earlier.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $4.27 per cwt at $219.83, while select was up $1.99 at $210.99.  The choice/select spread widened to $8.84 from $6.56 with 47 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $127.22 per cwt, up $0.22.  This compares with Friday’s Mar settlement of $127.47, up $1.32.