Managed Money Boosts Net Long Cattle Position

Managed money, or large investors, increased its net long live cattle futures position during the week ended Tuesday, even though the nearby Jun contract moved sideways.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report showed managed money increasing its net long position by 8,259 contracts, or 11.7%, to 79,351 from 71,092 the previous week.

At the same time, commercial traders increased their net short positions by 5,186 contracts, or 4.11%, to 131,277 from 126,091.

The CFTC showed managed money arrived at its new position by buying 256 long positions and covering 605.  These traders also boosted spread positions by 1,229.  Their new position had them representing 32.8% of long open interest and 4.6% of short open interest.

Commercials, meanwhile, liquidated 1,353 long positions while selling 3,833 short positions.  This left them representing 8.4% of long open interest and 54.9% of short open interest.

Total open interest during the week rose 4,857 contracts, or 1.75%, to 281,895 from 277,038.

During the latest reporting week, Jun live cattle moved sideways in a narrow channel in what some analysts attributed to position evening ahead of Tuesday’s USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Jun live cattle settled Tuesday at $151.45 per cwt, compared with $151.12 the previous week.  In between, it traded down to a low of $148.20 on Thursday.




During the latest reporting week, managed money and commercial traders swapped net positions in corn futures, although both are net short.

Managed money held a net short position of 136,191 contracts, versus the commercial net short position of 102,022.  The managed money position increased 24,199 contracts, or 21.6%, from 111,992, while the net short position of commercials fell 20,868 contracts, or 17.0%, from 122,890.

Total open interest during the week rose to 281,895 contracts from 277,038, a gain of 4,857, or 1.75%.  The CFTC said managed money’s long positions rose 14,858 contracts.  At the end of the reporting week, these traders’ long positions represented 14.0% of total longs.  At the same time, funds added 39,057 short positions, leaving them representing 24.3% of total short open interest.

Commercial traders arrived at their new net short position by adding 18,252 long positions and covering 2,616 short positions.  This left them representing 23.7% of total long open interest and 31.4% of total shorts.

The nearby May contract rose during the week to a high of $215.75 per cwt on Tuesday from a low the previous Tuesday of $212.20.




Cash cattle markets Friday traded higher, although some of the action took place after the futures market had closed, suggesting follow-through buying may be in order early today.

Cattle last week traded at mostly $161 per cwt up to $162 on a live basis, up $1 from the previous week.  In Nebraska’s dressed market, cattle traded at mostly $257, up about $2.

Volume at the higher prices, however, was light, indicating slaughter this week may be trimmed.  Last week, slaughter was estimated at 559,000 head, unchanged from the previous week but down from 589,000 a year earlier.

Beef prices Friday were higher again, capping a week of generally higher product prices.  The USDA reported its choice cutout at $258.12 per cwt, up $0.54 for the day and up $3.48 for the week.  The select cutout was $246.82, up $0.98 from Thursday and up $3.60 for the week.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was down $0.60 per cwt, at $214.81.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was down $0.60 per cwt, at $214.81. compared with Friday’s May contract settlement of $215.97.