Large Traders Hold Net Positions Near Steady

Managed money held its net live cattle long position near steady during the week ended Tuesday, even though the nearby futures contract left a gap lower on daily charts because of the transition from the Oct to the Dec contract.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission reported Friday that for the latest reporting week, managed money held a net long position of 106,844 contracts, down only 1,960, or 1.80%, from 108,804 a week earlier/

Producers also held their net short positions near steady at 143,255 contracts, down 3,723, or 2.53%, from 146,978 positions the prior week, according to CFTC figures.

To arrive at their new positions, managed money reduced its total long positions by 1,438 contracts while increasing its short positions by 522 contracts.  Producers cut their long positions by 1,808 contracts and their short positions by 5,531.

Live cattle open interest during the latest reporting week declined by 5,822 contracts to 308,329, a dip of 1.85% from 314,151 contracts a week earlier.

The Dec live cattle futures contract that week traded in a narrow, declining channel to a settlement of $167.05 per cwt from $167.82 the previous week.  The contract also dipped below some major moving averages and remains on the defensive.

Cash prices last week faded about $1 per cwt to mostly $167 on a live basis from mostly $168 the previous week, and the Dec futures contract last week tested and succumbed to moving-average resistance, hinting at more long liquidation




Managed money covered short positions actively during the latest reporting week, increasing its net long position by 21,106 contracts, or 15.2%, to 160,170 contracts from 139,064 the previous week.  This was the highest net long position since the week ended June 3 when it was 182,669 contracts.

At the same time, producers increased their short positions to leave them with a net short position of 312,794 contracts, an increase of 16,446, or 5.95%, from 296,348 contracts the previous week.  This was the largest net short position for producers since the week ended June 10, when it was 314,901 contracts.

Active harvesting of a record crop, prompted many to hedge their harvest in order to take advantage of what they believed would be further declines as the harvest got larger.

During the latest CFTC week, the price of Dec corn made a swing high of $3.78 a bushel on Friday, Oct. 31, and then declined into Tuesday.  The contract has declined even more from there to set last week’s low of $3.59 a bushel on Wednesday.

Total open interest during the latest reporting week rose to 1.304 million contracts from 1.276 million, a gain of 28,000 contracts, or 2.19%.




Cash cattle traded last week $1.00 per cwt lower on a live basis at $167 per cwt and at mostly $262 on a dressed basis.  Boxed beef prices were slightly softer  last week, giving packers a little more leverage in price negotiations.

The USDA reported mixed results for Friday with choice beef down $1.41 per cwt at $249.11 and select up $0.82 at $238.07.  For the week, choice was down $2.09 from $251.20 the previous Friday, and select was off $0.56.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $240.54, up $0.18 from Wednesday, above the nearby Nov contract’s Friday settlement of $238.52.