Managed Money Boosts Net Long Cattle Position

Large commodity index funds, known as managed money, increased their collective net long live cattle futures position in the week ended Tuesday as hedgers boosted their total net short position.

That was according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday.

 

FUNDS GO LONG CATTLE

 

Managed money had a total net long live cattle position Tuesday of 77,587 contracts, up 13,251, or 20.6%, from 64,336 a week earlier.  It was their largest net long position since Dec. 14 when it was 78,881 contracts.

Hedgers, often called commercial traders, had a collective net short position Tuesday of 150,733 contracts, up 11,541, or 8.29%, from 139,192 a week earlier.  It was their largest net short position since Aug. 31 when it was 160,142 contracts.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new cattle position by adding 9,580 long positions, covering 3,671 short positions and putting on 1,414 new spread positions.  This left them with 29.5% of total long open interest, 7.1% of total short open interest and 12.0% of total spread open interest.

Commercials got to where they were Tuesday by liquidating 1,713 long positions and adding 9,828 short positions, leaving them with 10.89% of total long open interest and 54.5% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest Tuesday was 345,457 contracts, up 11,202, or 3.35%, from 334,255 a week earlier.

CME data also showed the most-active Apr futures contract moved up during the CFTC week to settle at $146.17 per cwt, compared with $145.37 a week earlier.

 

FUNDS GET SHORTER CORN

 

Meanwhile, managed money took on a smaller collective net long position in Chicago corn, moving to 334,450 contracts by Tuesday, down 34,379, or 9.32%, from 368,829 a week earlier.

Commercial traders moved to a smaller total net short position by Tuesday, coming in at 674,037 contracts, down 23,385, or 3.35%, from 697,422 a week earlier.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new corn position by liquidating 27,285 long positions, adding 7,094 short positions and unwinding 3,853 spread positions.  This left them with 23.8% of total long open interest, 2.6% of total short open interest and 7.0% of total spread open interest.

Commercials got to where they were by adding 11,608 long positions and covering 11.777 short positions, leaving them with 23.3% of total long open interest and 66.1% of total spread open interest.

Most-active Mar rose during the week to close at $6.32 ¼ a bushel, versus $6.34 ¾.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers last week ranged from $139.02 to $141.83 per cwt, compared with the previous week’s range of $136.90 to $138.57.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $216.43 to $220.53 per cwt, versus $214.07 to $217.14.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $0.30 per cwt at $274.52, while select was off $1.12 at $267.83.  The choice/select spread widened to $6.69 from $3.87 with 48 loads of fabricated product and 13 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 $1.50 a bushel over the Mar futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.20 over Mar, which settled at $6.51 a bushel, up $0.09 1/4.

No new contracts were retendered for delivery against Feb on Friday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $162.64 per cwt down $0.09.  This compares with Friday’s Mar contract settlement of $166.22 per cwt, down $0.50.