Managed Money Takes Longer Cattle Position

Large commodity index funds, known as managed money, took on a larger collective net long live cattle futures position in the week ended Tuesday while hedgers advanced their total net short position.

The information came from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday.

 

MANAGED MONEY BUYS CATTLE

 

As of Tuesday, managed money had a collective net long live cattle futures position of 39,572 contracts, up 9,556, or 31.8%, from 30,016 a week earlier.  It was their largest net long position since Nov. 7 when it was 56,354 contracts.

At the same time, hedgers, often grouped under the heading of commercial traders, had a total net short position of 94,501 contracts, up 11,003, or 13.2%, from 83,498 a week earlier.  It was their largest net short position since Nov. 7 when it was 101,401 contracts.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new cattle position by adding 6,466 long positions, covering 3,090 short positions and unwinding 1,300 spread positions.  The moves left them with 21.5% of total long open interest, 7.3% of total short open interest and 14.9% of total spread open interest.

Commercial traders got to where they were by liquidating 1,814 long positions and adding 9,189 short positions leaving them holding 18.9% of total long open interest and 52.7% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total live cattle open interest Tuesday stood at 281,048 contracts, up 4,923, or 1.78%, from 276,125 a week earlier.

CME data also showed that the most-active live cattle contract rose in value during the CFTC-reporting week to settle Tuesday at $186.07 per cwt, versus $181.75 a week earlier.

 

FUNDS GET SHORTER ON CORN

 

Tuesday, managed money had a collective net short Chicago corn position of 293,678 contracts, up 14,130, or 5.05%, from 279,548 a week earlier.  It was their largest short position in more than two years.

Conversely, commercials had a total net long position of 10,285 contracts, up 5,683, or 123.5%, from 4,602 a week earlier.

The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new corn position by adding 4,531 long positions and 18,661 short positions while unwinding 1,248 spread positions.  This left them with 10.5% of total long open interest, 28.7% of total short open interest and 15.1% of total spread open interest.

Commercials got to where they were by liquidating 488 long positions and covering 6,171 short positions, leaving them with 28.6% of total long open interest and 28.0% of total short open interest.

The CME Group said total corn open interest Tuesday was 1.629 million contracts, up from 1.602 million a week earlier.

The most-active Mar contract settled at $4.38 ¾ a bushel, versus $4.47 ¾.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers last week ranged from $175.15 per cwt to $180.00, compared with the previous week’s range of $172.98 to $178.85 per cwt.  FOB dressed steers, and heifers went for $275.52 per cwt to $284.64, compared with $272.94 to $280.41.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $0.97 per cwt at $294.04 while select was up $0.96 at $285.08.   The choice/select spread narrowed to $8.96 from $10.89 with 70 loads of fabricated product and 35 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA said basis bids for corn from feeders in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.35 to $1.45 a bushel over the Mar corn contract, which settled at $4.29 a bushel, down $0.04 1/4.

No delivery intentions were posted Friday for the Feb live cattle contract.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $242.95 per cwt, up $0.84.  This compares with Friday’s Mar contract settlement of $247.15, up $0.30.