Managed Money Trims Live Cattle Positions

Managed money liquidated live cattle long positions during the latest reporting week and now holds its lowest net long position since the week ended Tuesday, Sep. 9.

In its latest weekly disaggregated Commitments of Traders report, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said that as of the week ended Tuesday, managed money held a net long cattle position of 104,391 contracts, the lowest since the 103,924 contracts of the September week.

But while managed money’s net long position is down to a two-month low, a chart of the weekly positions shows managed money is holding a nearly steady position.  The new position is down 2,453 contracts, or 2.30%, from 106,844 the week before.

During the same week, producers increased their net short positions slightly to 144,160 contracts from 143,255.  They also are holding a relatively flat futures position.

During the latest reporting week, Feb15 live cattle futures made a swing low and resumed its move to higher ground.  The low or $166.47 per cwt came on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at $164.90 per cwt and culminated with the Tuesday, Nov. 11, high of $168.07.  Since then, futures have risen to new highs, and Friday’s cash cattle trades up to $172 point to even higher futures prices this week.

Total live cattle open interest during the latest reporting week rose to 309,702 contracts from 308,329 the week before, a gain of only 1,373, or 0.45%.




While managed money was holding its live cattle position near flat, investment in corn futures continued to climb.  The CFTC reported a net long position for these large investors at 185,260 contracts during the week ended Tuesday, a gain of 25,090 contracts, or 15.7%, from 160,170 contracts the previous week.

The new position is the largest net long position managed money has held since the week ended Tuesday, May 27, when it was 187,602 contracts.

Producers continued to expand their net short positions during the latest reporting week, the CFTC said.  Producer short positions expanded to 336,621 contracts, from 312,794 the previous week, a gain of 23,827 positions, or 7.62%.

That move by producers puts them at their largest net short position since the week ended Tuesday, June 3, when it was 340,361 contracts.

During the latest reporting week, Dec14 corn futures touched a daily low of $3.59 a bushel, ending a flag on daily charts and resuming a march to higher ground.  Investors wished to take part in the gains with new long positions, while producers sought to hedged stored inventories from a bumper crop.

Since Tuesday, Dec corn hit another nearby peak of $3.89 a bushel on Thursday.  However, it declined on Friday and continues lower in overnight trading.

Total corn open interest rose, 23,590 contracts, or 1.81%, during the week to 1.33 million from 1.30 million.




Cash cattle prices in the Plains last week rose $3 to $4 per cwt on a live basis to $170 to $172.  On a dressed basis, cattle prices rose $2 to $5 to mostly $267.  These kinds of gains were unexpected by many and may support further gains in futures.

Boxed-beef prices were up last week, which choice reported Friday afternoon at $252.16 per cwt and select at $238.29.  For the week, choice was up $3.05 while select was down $0.37.

Spot volume Friday was good with 152 loads of fabricated product sold.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $239.83, down $0.55 from Wednesday, below the nearby Nov contract’s Friday settlement of $240.00.