Managed Money Cuts Cattle Position

Managed money last week reduced its net long live cattle position 2.19% to 71,982 contracts from 73,593 the previous week as futures prices attempted to rally but fell to a double bottom near $155.10 per cwt.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released the data Friday for the week ended Tuesday and said the drop in net long commitments ends a six-week rise in positions for managed money.

Commercial traders cut net short positions by 1,934 contracts, or 1.54%, to 123,783 from 125,717, ending a four-week run to larger positions.

During the latest reporting week, Jun live cattle futures rose to a high of $161.77 per cwt on Thursday, Apr 16, from the previous Tuesday’s low of $158.07 before plunging to the weekly low of $155.02 on Tuesday, a double bottom with Monday’s low of $155.05.

The CFTC data showed managed money arrived at its latest net long position by selling 2,354 long positions and covering 743 short positions along with trimming 253 spread positions.  The end result was that their long contracts represented 31.6% of total long open interest, while short positions represented 5.2% of total short open interest.

During the latest reporting week, commercials covered 1,907 short positions while adding just 27 longs.  This left them representing 55.4% of total short open interest and 9.9% of total long open interest.

Total open interest during the week fell 3,999 contracts, or 1.45%, to 271,496 from 275,495.




During the week, managed money extended its net short corn position to 79,737 contracts from 63,138 the previous week, a 16,599-contract, or 26.3%, move.  This is their largest net short position in more than a year.

At the same time, commercials, cut their net short positions to 145,509 contracts from 165,725 the previous week, a decline of 20,216, or 12.2%, taking them to their lowest net short position in more than a year.

The CFTC said managed money sold a net 10,978 longs while adding 5,621 short contracts and cutting 17,851 spread positions.  This left them representing 11.5% of total long open interest and 17.3% of total short open interest.

Commercials, meanwhile, sold 7,822 long positions and covered 28,038 short positions, leaving them representing 24.7% of total long open interest and 35.3% of total short open interest.

Total open interest declined 37,896 contracts, or 2.76%, to 1.372 million from 1.410 million during the week.

At the same time, Jul futures failed a rally attempt, starting with a close on Tuesday, Apr. 14, of $3.73 ½ a bushel, rising to a high of $3.81 3/4 on Monday and then working lower.




Private sources reported cash cattle markets last week traded lower to a range of $157.50 to mostly $158 and up to $160.50 per cwt on a live basis and at $252 to mostly $253 up to $254 on a dressed basis.  These prices were $3 to $6 below the full range of last week’s trades at mostly $160 to $161 live and $256 to $260 dressed.

The USDA’s beef cutout value Friday was down sharply with the choice cutout at $256.99 per cwt, down $3.02 from Thursday and select at $247.62, down $3.42.  Volume was active with 104 loads of fabricated product being sold into the spot market.

For the week, the choice cutout was down $0.80, and select was down $3.35.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $212.97 per cwt, down $2.60 on the day and $1.88 below the Apr settlement of $214.85.