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Alberta Moisture Buoys Cow Bids

– Scott Anderson,General Manager,Winnipeg LIVESTOCK SALES

“With the rain comes pasture and there is now demand for cows in that region.”

Marketi ngs of cattle in Manitoba during the week ended July 17 were once again confined to roughly three locations in the province as the summer slowdown remained in place. Values for feeder cattle in Manitoba were able to hold at steady levels while prices for cows were again higher.

The cont inued upward move in cow prices was said to reflect good demand for those animals from packers, with the cheaper cuts of meat attracting steady consumer interest.

“Helping to keep the cow bids up were ideas that Alberta producers were now holding on to animals, given the recent moisture improvement,” Scott Anderson, general manager with Winnipeg Livestock Sales said.

He also indicated that there may actually be a shortage of those animals in Alberta, as producers at one point were said to have been aggressive sellers of cows.

“With the rain comes pasture and there is now demand for cows in that region,” Anderson said.

Feeder cattle values also were fully steady, if not a bit better. Good local demand was a factor, but the buyers from the East, West and U. S. were a bit more hesitant to pick up animals, unless they were guaranteed to fill the transport trucks.

With the sparse numbers of cattle at the auction yards, Anderson said, picking up enough cattle to make the truckloads profitable was difficult at best.

“Truck weights into the U. S. are in the 52,000-pound range while (for) movement east or west, trucks are closer to 62,000 pounds.”

LOONIE ON REBOUND

Anderson said some of the price edge was taken off of the feeders and cows by the upward rebound in the value of the Canadian dollar, which went from around the US85-cent level back up to around US90 cents during the week.

George Davis, a currency analyst with RBC Capital in Toronto, predicted that the currency’s direction will largely depend on the trend in the North American equity sector and in which direction global crude oil futures move.

The Canadian unit could retrace its steps back to the US87.56-cent level, if crude oil is unable to hold above the US$60-per-barrel mark.

However, if the investor risk appetite remains against the U. S. currency, the Canadian dollar may make a move toward the US91.47-cent level. Depending on the momentum, the Canadian unit could also push as high as the US92.42-cent mark, Davis said.

Meanwhile, Anderson also warned producers that hay supplies in Manitoba could be in short supply this winter, as the crop in the province remains at least a month behind in most areas, with quantity and quality both looking pretty poor.

Some caution to producers was also urged given the extremely wet conditions in Manitoba. Foot rot was cited as an example of a problem with cattle standing in too much water.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note: All prices in Canadian dollars per hundredweight (cwt.). These prices also generally represent the top one-third of sales reported by the auction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart: Closed until mid-August.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The last sale was held July 7. Auctions will start again on Aug. 12.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: The next cattle auction was scheduled to be held July 22.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: There was no data available this week. Auctions will be held on Tuesdays only during the summer months.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 439 cattle sold at the sale held on July 15. Butcher steers brought $79-$81.75 while butcher heifers sold from $78 to $81. Ageverified/ young cows sold for $50-$55.50; D1-D2 cows, $46-$51; D3 cows, $40-$46; shelly cows, $32-$40; and mature bulls, $62-$68.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $88-$97; 800-900 lbs., $93-$102; 700-800 lbs., $98-$107; 600-700 lbs., $100-$112; 500-600 lbs., $103-$114; and 400-500 lbs., $105-$117.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs., traded from $78 to $87; 800-900 lbs., $86-$95; 700-800 lbs., $87-$99; 600-700 lbs., $90-$101; 500-600 lbs., $92-$103; and 400-500 lbs., $93-$104.

There will be no changes to the cattle auction schedule at Virden during the summer months.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: Closed until Aug. 10.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: There will be no auctions during the month of July.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: There will be no auctions during the month of July.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 235 head of cattle sold at the sale on Tuesday, July 14.

In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers brought $78-$81 and select steers and heifers, $74-$78, while dry fed cows brought $44-$49; good fleshed, $39-$44; lean, $29-$39; young age verified, $45-$57.50; and good bulls, $50-$57.50.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought up to $90; 700-800 lbs., up to $93.50; 600-700 lbs., up to $113; and 500-600 lbs., up to $119.50.

Heifers weighing 600-700 lbs. brought up to $105.50 and 500-600 lbs., up to $91.

Cattle auctions will be held once a week on Tuesdays at Winnipeg during the summer months.

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