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Canadian Feedlot Demand Supports Feeder Prices

The onset of fall weather conditions led to an increase in activity at cattle auction yards across Manitoba during the week ended Oct. 2. With temperatures cooling down and the harvest wrapping up in many areas, there were more feeder cattle coming to market. Prices were thought to be holding steady, despite the uptick in volumes.

“We’ve started to see increases in volume,” said Rick Wright, a cattle buyer with Cattlex Ltd., noting that the first calves of the year were making their way into the auction yards.

All things considered, Wright thought the market on feeder cattle was stronger than it was expected to be. “So far the supply has not outstripped the demand,” he said, adding that it was a little surprising that prices were in line with where they were a year ago, given the current strength of the Canadian dollar.

“The dollar is still too high to attract any American interest on the cattle,” said Wright. While U. S. buyers were the dominant players in the Manitoba cattle market at this time a year ago, that’s not the case this year, he said. Unless something changes in the futures market or in the market for fat cattle to make it more profitable for U. S. buyers to bring in Canadian feeder cattle, Wright expected the lack of that market could weigh on local values.

In the meantime, the demand from Canadian feedyards was keeping prices supported during the week. With winter getting closer, Wright said, there were always some guys looking to get cattle placed on feed early.

Looking at the finished cattle market, Wright said plants were still booking 10 to 12 days out, which he saw as a sign that there was a lot of beef out there.

While there may not be any aggressive demand in the slaughter market, Wright said, there were definite premiums to be had for age-verified cattle, which can be shipped straight to the U. S. for processing.

“We’re certainly advising producers to get their animals age verified,” Wright said. Age verification in the current market works out to a premium of about five cents per pound on a cow, and on a 1,400-pound cow, “that’s some pretty easy dollars to be made,” he added.

Looking ahead, Wright expected volumes would pick up some more, which would serve to weigh on values.

“Once we get a frost and the pastures are done, then we’ll really see some movement,” said Wright. “We’re expecting fairly large numbers to come in all the markets across the countryside,” he added noting that marketings so far have been behind normal for September, and those calves will need to come to market eventually.

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: An estimated 1,270 head of cattle were sold at the sale held Sept. 30. In the slaughter market, age-verified cows sold for $42-$48; D1 and D2 cows, $38-$45; D3 and D5 cows, $32-$39; and good bulls, $46-$54.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. ranged from $80 to $92.75; 800-900 lbs., $84-$100; 700-800 lbs., $90-$102; 600-700 lbs., $99-$106.25; and 500-600 lbs., $100-$116.75.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded at $70-$84.75; 700-800 lbs., $78-$88.75; 600-700 lbs., $77-$88.25; and 500-600 lbs., $81-$97.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Sept. 29 sale saw a total of 520 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $40 to $51.25 while cows brought $20-$46.25.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $71 to $90.25; 800-900 lbs., $81-$91.50; 700-800 lbs., $85-$99.50; 600-700 lbs., $81-$105; 500-600 lbs., $88-$120; 400-500 lbs., $87-$119.50; and 300-400 lbs., $108-$119.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $60 to $83; 800-900 lbs., $71-$83.50; 700-800 lbs., $70-$85.75; 600-700 lbs., $75-$90; 500-600 lbs., $77-$95.50; 400-500 lbs., $75-$91.50; and 300-400 lbs., $75-$95.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There is no data available from Grunthal this week.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 825 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. D1-D2 cows sold from $40 to $47.25; feeder cows, $30-$40; shells, $15-$30; and good bulls, $57-$59.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $85 to $92; 800-900 lbs., $90-$99; 700-800 lbs., $92-$101.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$105; 500-600 lbs., $100-$112; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$111.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold for $78-$83.50; 800-900 lbs., $80-$85.50; 700-800 lbs., $80-$89.50; 600-700 lbs., $82-$86.50; 500-600 lbs., $88-$95.50; and 400-500 lbs., $90-$96.50.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 1,704 cattle sold at the sale held on Sept. 30. Butcher steers brought $74-$77.50 while butcher heifers sold from $73 to $75.50. Age-verified/ young cows sold for $42-$46.50; D1-D2 cows, $37-$42; D3 cows, $34-$37; shelly cows, $27-$34; and mature bulls, $55-$59.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $87-$93; 800-900 lbs., $89-$97.50; 700-800 lbs., $91-$102; 600-700 lbs., $99-$112; 500-600 lbs., $101-$115; 400-500 lbs., $107-$119; and 300-400 lbs., $108-$122.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $77 to $85; 800-900 lbs., $80-$86.50; 700-800 lbs., $83-$89; 600-700 lbs., $85-$90.50; 500-600 lbs., $87-$96; and 400-500 lbs., $88-$98.

Killarney Auction Mart: There were 665 cattle sold at the Oct. 1 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $41 to $50; D3 and D4 cows, $35.50-$38.50; and bulls, $49.75-$54.

Feeder steers weighing 700-850 lbs. sold from $82 to $99; 500-700 lbs., $109-$115, with plain to medium, $91-$100; and under 500 lbs., $110-$116, plain to medium $94-$101.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-850 lbs. brought $78-$86; 500-700 lbs., $82-$90; and under 500 lbs., $100-$105, with plain to medium, $83-$95.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 511 cattle sold at the sale held on September 28. Included in the sale were 63 slaughter animals and 448 feeders.

In the slaughter market, A1 and A2 steers brought in $73-$76.50 while A1 and A2 heifers went from $37 to $42 and age verified, $42-$46.50. D1 cows sold from $33 to $36; D2 cows, $15-$30; and bulls, $50-$57.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $86-$94; 700-800 lbs., $90-$103; 600-700 lbs., $92-$104; 500-600 lbs., $97-$116.50; 400-500 lbs., $100-$120; and 300-400 lbs., $105-$120.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold for $70-$80.50; 700-800 lbs., $82-$87; 600-700 lbs., $84-$91.25; 500-600 lbs., $86-$94.50; 400-500 lbs., $88-$100; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$103.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 1,385 cattle were sold at the Oct. 1 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $38 to $44, while D3 cows brought $28-$37 and bulls sold from $50 to $59.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $80 to $87; 800-900 lbs., $90-$99; 700-800 lbs., $92-$101.50; 600-700 lbs., $98-$106; 500-600 lbs., $107-$115; 400-500 lbs., $110-$119; and 300-400 lbs., $95-$117.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. went for $75-$83; 800-900 lbs., $78-$85; 700-800 lbs., $80-$87; 600-700 lbs., $85-$91.50; 500-600 lbs., $90-$95; and 400-500 lbs., $90-$102.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held on Oct. 1 resulted in 30 slaughter cattle and 400 feeders being sold.

In the slaughter market, A1 and A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. brought $72-$75, and A1 and A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $70-$74. D1 and D2 cows sold from $35 to $46; D3 and D5 cows, $30-$35; and good bulls, $55-$60.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $88-$92; 800-900 lbs., $92-$95; 700-800 lbs., $95-$99; 600-700 lbs., $100-$104; 500-600 lbs., $105-$112; 400-500 lbs., $108-$116; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$119.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $78 to $82; 700-800 lbs., $80-$85; 600-700 lbs., $82-$88; 500-600 lbs., $82-$90; 400-500 lbs., $85-$90; and 300-400 lbs., $88-$95.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 1,219 head of cattle sold during the week ending Oct. 2. In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $34-$39; good fleshed, $28-$36; lean, $20-$28; young age verified, $37-$48.50; and good bulls, $40-$52.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $80-$93.50; 800-900 lbs., $80-$94; 700-800 lbs., $90-$99; 600-700 lbs., $90-$111; 500-600 lbs., $95-$113; 400-500 lbs., $100-$121; and under 400 lbs., $105-$124.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $74 to $84; 800-900 lbs., $75-$84.50; 700-800 lbs., $77-$85.75; 600-700 lbs., $80-$88; 500-600 lbs., $82-$96.50; 400-500 lbs., $85-$96; and under 400 lbs., $85-$107.

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Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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