Managed Money Expands Net Long Cattle Position

Managed money, or large commodity funds, expanded their net long live cattle futures positions for the ninth straight week to the largest position in more than a year in the week ended last Tuesday.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Friday issued its weekly Commitments of Traders report showing the increase on Friday.  The report also showed that commercial traders, or those who theoretically could make or take delivery of a futures contract, expanded their net short position for the ninth straight week to its largest point in more than a year.

Managed money’s new net long position was 95,463 contracts, up 5,130, or 5.68%, from 90,333 the week before.  For the nine-week run of advances in their net long position, managed money advanced their position by 60,701 contracts, or 174.6%, from 34,762 the week ended Nov. 8.

Commercial traders raised their net short position to 141,388 contracts from 132,532 the week before, a gain of 8,856, or 6.68%.  For the nine-weeks, total commercial net short positions, rose 75,526 contracts, or 114.7%, from 65,862.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position by adding 5,231 long positions, 101 short positions and 3,057 spread positions.  This left them representing 32.9% of total long open interest and only 3.4% of total short open interest.

Commercials got to their new positions by liquidating 962 long positions and adding $7,894 short positions, leaving them in control of 8.8% of total long open interest and 52.5% of total short positions.

During the latest CFTC reporting week, the most-active Feb contract rose to an 11-month high of $118.57 per cwt, the highest point since March 18, 2016, when it hit $120.50, the start of a long-term decline that bottomed at $97.25 on Oct. 13.

 

FUNDS TRIM NET SHORT CORN POSITIONS

 

During the latest CFTC reporting week, managed money trimmed their net short corn position by 16,556 contracts, or 17.6%, to 77,478 from 94,034 the previous week.

Meanwhile, commercials advanced their net short position by 9,189, or 3.89%, to 245,608 contracts from 236,419.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position by adding 10,788 long positions and covering 5,768 shorts while adding 2,509 spread positions.  This left them representing 15.0% of total long open interest and 21.2% of total short open interest.

Commercial traders got to their new positions by liquidating 17,068 long positions and covering 7,879 short positions, leaving them in control of 23.7% of total long open interest and 43.3% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total corn open interest increased 16,679 contracts, or 5.43%, during the CFTC week to 324,062 contracts from 307,383.

During the latest reporting week, the most-active Mar contract rose to a swing high of $3.62 ¾ a bushel in its climb to a close of $3.58 ½ from the previous Tuesday’s close of $3.55 ¾, the CME Group said.

 

CASH CATTLE TRADE QUIET

 

Average fed exchange auction prices Wednesday were $2.38 per cwt higher at $119.17, versus $116.79 a week earlier.  Cash cattle then traded at $118 to $120 on a live basis, steady to up $2.50.  Only a few dressed-basis trades were reported at $186 against last week’s $188.

The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was up $0.59 per cwt at $191.39 per cwt, while select was up $0.92 at $187.46.  The choice/select spread widened to $3.93 from $2.55 with 76 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $132.03 per cwt, down $0.57.  This compares with Friday’s Jan settlement of $130.45, up $0.12.