Managed Money Goes Long Cattle

Managed money, or large speculators, went long cattle during the week ended Tuesday as nearby futures prices moved sideways and total open interest rose.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its latest report for the week ended Tuesday that managed money boosted its net long position to 84,797 contracts from 79,351 the previous week, a gain of 5,446, or 6.86%.  It was the second straight week of gains.

During the same week, commercial traders, those who handle the actual cattle, increased their net short positions for the third straight week to 135,606 contracts from 131,277 in the previous week, for a gain of 4,329, or 3.30%.

Also during that week, the nearby Jun futures contract rose only $0.02 to $151.47 from $151.45.  The high, however, fell to $151.65 per cwt from $152.05, while the low rose to $149.60 from $149.07 the previous week.

On a chart of daily price ranges, the market for the week appeared to be in an uptrend begun after the Jun contract assumed the role of nearby spot contract.  The market resumed the push to higher ground late last week, after the CFTC’s reporting week ended.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position by adding a net 3,759 long positions, covering 1,687 shorts and closing out 1,127 spread positions.  Their new position left their positions representing 33.4% of open long positions and 3.9% of total short positions.

At the same time, commercials sold a net 1,560 long positions and added 2,760 short positions, leaving them representing 7.6% of total long open interest and 54.7% of total shorts.




During the latest CFTC reporting week, managed money added to its net short position in corn along with commercial traders.

Managed money’s new net short position in live cattle futures was 135,960 contracts, compared with 136,191 the previous week.

At the same time, commercial traders added to their net short positions, going to 117,932 contracts from 102,022, for a gain of 15,910, or 15.6%.

Jul futures prices were volatile that week but in the end trended lower, with the settlement prices going to $3.57 a bushel from $3.61 ¼ for a decline of $0.04 ¼, or 1.18%.  In the days following the CFTC reporting week, the Jul contract turned higher.

Total corn open interest during the latest CFTC reporting week rose 15,017 contracts, or 1.13%, to 1.341 million from 1.326 million.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new position by adding 14,890 long positions and 14,659 short positions while liquidating 9,506 spread positions.  Their new net short position left them representing 15.0% of total open interest and 25.1% of total short open interest.

Commercials were less balanced in their trading approach, adding only 22 long positions while covering 15,932 short positions. This left them representing 23.4% of total long open interest and 32.2% of total short open interest.




Last week’s cash cattle markets finally traded Friday afternoon at basically steady money.  Sources report moderately active trade at $161 per cwt on a live basis and at $256 to $257 on a dressed basis.

Last week, cattle traded at mostly $161 up to $162 live and $256 to $257 dressed.

Beef prices Friday were lower after being up for the week.  The USDA reported its choice cutout at $261.93 per cwt, down $2.81, and the select cutout at $251.10, off $0.21.

For the week, the choice cutout was up $3.81 per cwt from $258.12 a week earlier, while the select cutout was up $4.28.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $220.40 per cwt, up $0.72, compared with the May futures settlement Friday of $219.00.