Managed Money Holds Net Position Near Steady

Managed money held its net long live cattle futures position nearly steady during the week ended Tuesday, taking it to 92,553 positions from 91,551 the previous week and 92,046 the week before that.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report showed that the new position, as little changed as it was from the previous week, was the largest net long position for those large speculators since the week ended Dec. 16 when it was 94,612.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long position by adding 1,516 long positions to its portfolio while taking on 514 short positions and 2,024 spread positions.  The end result left them in control of 33.5% of the total long open interest for live cattle and 4.1% of total short positions.

During the same reporting week, commercial traders, those who actually handle the cattle at some point in their lives, also did very little to their net short positions, moving to 137,326 contracts from 139,263 the previous week.

Commercials arrived at their new net short position by adding 77 long contracts and covering 1,858 short positions, the CFTC said.  This left them representing 7.6% of total long open interest and 51.2% of total short open interest.

During the week, prices for the nearby Jun contract continued to rise slowly, although it seemed for a time that prices may try to break out to the upside.  It was the second breakout attempt in three weeks.  Since peaking last week, the contract has faded amid cash-market jitters.

Total live cattle open interest during the week rose to 314,825 contracts from 310,681, and Jun settled Tuesday at $153.30 per cwt, compared with $151.80 the previous week.




During the latest reporting week, managed money shaved its net short corn position to 157,993 contracts from 158,406 contracts the week before.  At the same time, commercial corn traders raised their net short position slightly to 108,235 contracts from 104,261 the week before.

The CFTC reported that managed money arrived at its new net short position by purchasing a net 2,902 long positions and adding 2,489 short positions along with 10,502 spread positions.  The new position left them representing 15.4% of total long open interest and 26.2% of total short open interest.

The CFTC also said commercials purchased 2,292 long positions while adding 6,266 short positions during the week, leaving their net positions representing 23.6% of total long open interest and 31.0% of total short open interest.

Total open interest for the week rose slightly to 1.455 million from 1.434 million, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange said.

The nearby Jul corn contract set a new low of $3.52 ¼ during the latest reporting week as planting and growing weather was ideal in most US growing areas.  Since bottoming, it has risen to a high of $3.67 ¼ on Thursday.




Only token cash cattle trading was reported last week.  Reported prices ranged from $157 per cwt on a live basis up to $158.  Most sellers preferred to stick with their $163 asking price.

Dressed-basis action also was limited with scattered trading at $256 to $260, up from $252 to $253 the previous week.

Beef prices Friday were lower, with the USDA choice cutout at $244.65 per cwt, down $3.83, and the select cutout at $237.57, off $2.94.  Volume was heavy with 126 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

Slaughter last week was well behind a year ago at 546,000 head, compared with 586,000 a year ago.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $224.48 per cwt, up $0.02, compared with the Aug futures settlement of $221.90, down $0.40.