Managed Money Adds Long Cattle Positions

Large commodity investment funds added to their collective net long live cattle futures position in the week ended Tuesday, as hedgers boosted their net short position, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Friday.

The raw data was contained in the CFTC’s weekly Commitments of Traders report.

 

FUNDS TAKE LARGER LONG CATTLE POSITION

 

Those large investment funds, known as managed money, Tuesday had a total net long live cattle position of 64,336 contracts, up 18,344, or 39.9%, from 45,992 a week earlier.  It was their largest net long cattle position since Jan. 4 when it totaled 69,462 contracts.

Hedgers, generally called commercial traders because they own, or could own, the cattle, Tuesday had a collective net short position totaling 139,192 contracts, up 14,087, or 11.3%, from 125,105 a week earlier.  It was their largest net short position since Jan. 18 when it was 140,729 contracts.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new cattle position by adding 7,812 long positions, covering 10,532 short positions and unwinding 3,767 spread positions.  This left them in charge of 27.6% of total long open interest, 8.4% of total short open interest and 12.0% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to where they were Tuesday by liquidating 3,732 long positions and adding 10,355 short positions, leaving them with 11.8% of total long open interest and 53.4% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said live cattle open interest Tuesday totaled 334,255 contracts, down 1,375, or 0.41%, from 335,630 a week earlier.

CME Group data also showed that the most-active Apr contract rose during the CFTC reporting week to settle Tuesday at $145.37 per cwt, up from $140.10 a week earlier.  The contract then continued to move up through Thursday.

 

FUNDS GET LONGER CORN

 

Meanwhile, managed money raised their collective net long Chicago corn position to 368,829 contracts, up 8,705, or 2.42%, from 360,124 a week earlier.  It was their largest corn position since March 20, 2021, when it was 380,083 contracts.

Commercial traders Tuesday had a total net short position of 697,422 contracts, up 5,075, or 0.73%, from 692,347 a week earlier.  It was their largest short position since May 11, 2021, when it was 723,411 contracts.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new position by adding 11,154 long positions, 2,449 short positions and unwinding 4,156 spread positions.  This left them with 25.6% of total long open interest, 2.1% of total short open interest and 7.3% of total spread open interest.

Commercials added 12,792 long positions and 17,867 short positions to end with 22.7% of total long open interest and 67.1% of total short open interest.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers last week ranged from $136.90 to $138.57 per cwt, compared with the previous week’s range of $136.74 to $139.41.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $214.07 to $217.14 per cwt, versus $213.43 to $218.04.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $1.65 per cwt at $279.81, while select was off $0.42 at $276.05.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $3.76 from $4.99 with 71 loads of fabricated product and 16 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported that basis bids for corn from feeders in the Southern Plains were steady at $1.40 to $1.55 a bushel over the Mar futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.20 over Mar, which settled at $6.20 1/2 a bushel, up $0.03 3/4.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $160.17 per cwt up $0.92.  This compares with Friday’s Mar contract settlement of $166.10 per cwt, down $0.62.