Cattle prices stay high with large fall run volume

Auction marts were packed with cattle, yet prices stayed on the stronger side


The momentum from previous weeks continued at Manitoba auction marts during the week ended Nov. 3, as prices held steady and volumes stayed strong.

“Pretty much every auction mart around the countryside was full this week for the consignments and prices stayed relatively strong,” said Rick Wright of Heartland Order Buying Company.

Approximately 17,282 head were sold at the province’s eight major auction marts during the week ended Nov. 3, up slightly from the previous week where 17,201 were sold.

Prices for feeder cattle held steady. Steers 800 to 900 pounds sold anywhere from between $165 to $214 per hundredweight. Heifers in the same weight sold for slightly less, falling between $160 to $191 cwt.

“The heifers have already increased in prices the last three weeks… still a fairly big spread but it did tighten up quite a bit,” Wright said.

On the slaughter market prices held steady from the previous week as well. D3 to D5 cows sold between $65 to $81 cwt across the province.

“We thought if the market was going to break it would break this week… the week’s pretty much wrapped up and things held on fairly well,” Wright said.

Wright said there is starting to be more interest from buyers in Eastern Canada, which is helping the market in Manitoba.

“The fat market is a little better than what it was in the East. Some of these guys are getting a little better price for the finished cattle so they’re starting to inquire about buying calves out of the West,” he said.

This is one of the busiest weeks at auction marts in the province for the fall run which can lead to transportation issues. However, this is always the case at this time of year, according to Wright.

“Transportation does dictate a little bit as to what the price is going to be. But we seemed to get through this week pretty unscathed,” he said.

Volumes are expected to start to fall in the coming weeks. However, Wright said with most portions of the province receiving snow over the week, it could push some cattle into the auction marts.

“If the cows are out there now they’ve got to be supplemented with some feed. And so (the snow will) make marketing decisions fairly easy for them. It’ll either be weaning them and selling them or they’ll be hanging on to them,” he said.

About the author


Ashley Robinson - MarketsFarm

Ashley Robinson writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.



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