Funds Trim Live Cattle Positions

Managed money, a proxy for large investors, trimmed its net long live cattle positions while commercial traders continued to ease their net short positions.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Friday that for the week ended Tuesday, managed money had reduced its net long position in live cattle futures to 25,105 contracts from 26,623 the previous week.  This was the third straight week of declines, although this was the smallest yet, dropping 1,518 contracts, or 5.70%, and taking it to its lowest point since the week ended March 1 when it was 22,197 contracts.

At the same time, commercial traders, those who theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, reduced their net total net short position to 67,657 contracts, down 4,114, or 5.73%, from 71,771 the previous week.

The CFTC reported that managed money arrived at its new net long position by adding 296 long positions and 1,814 short positions while boosting their spread positions by 1,591.  This left them representing 20.9% of total long open interest and 12.2% of total short open interest.

Commercial traders got to their new net short position by adding 177 long positions and covering 3.937 short positions to leave them in control of 17.8% of total long open interest and 41.2% of total short open interest.

Total live cattle open interest during the latest CFTC reporting week grew 5,699 contracts, or 2.01%, to 288,959 contracts from 283,260 the previous week.

During the latest reporting week, the most-active Jun contract rose from the Tuesday, April 5, bottom of $130.20 per cwt to a peak of $135.22 on Monday, April 11, before beginning a lower-trending cycle with the Tuesday, April 12 close of $133.52.




During the latest CFTC reporting week, commercial traders and managed money again swapped net short corn positions with commercials becoming more net short than the funds.  This swapping of total net short positions has been ongoing since mid-January.

Managed money’s net net short corn position is 146,384 contracts, down 29,220, or 16.6%, from 175,604 the previous week.

Commercials, however, increased their net short positions by 25,980 contracts, or 17.2%, to 176,940 contracts from 150,960.

The CFTC reported that managed money arrived at its new net short corn position by adding 7,384 long positions and covering 21,936 short positions while adding 13,841 new spread positions.  This left them representing 10.6% of total long open interest and 20.6% of total short open interest.

Commercial traders got to their new net short position by adding 12,345 new long positions and 38,325 new short positions, leaving them in control of 27.4% of total long open interest and 39.5% of total short open interest.

Total open interest during the week rose 24,971 contracts, or 1.73%, to 1.465 million from 1.440 million, the CME Group said.

The most-active Jul contract rose during the week to $3.62 ¾ a bushel from $$3.56 3/4, the CME Group said.  The contract has since continued to climb.




Cash cattle markets traded Friday at mostly $135 per cwt on a live basis and at $214 to $216 dressed.  Business the previous week was at $132 to $136 live with most around $133 to $134, steady to up $2 ant at $214 to $216 dressed.

The USDA’s choice cutout price Friday was up $0.70 per cwt at $225.13, and select was up $0.90 at $215.73.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $9.40 from $9.60 as 104 loads of fabricated product were sold into the spot market.

For the week, the choice cutout rose $10.33, or 4.81%, from $214.80, while select rose $10.48, or 5.11%.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $156.57 per cwt, down $0.44.  This compares with the Apr CME settlement Friday of $155.07, up $0.15.