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Cattle Prices Seen Stabilizing

After very strong summer and autumn seasons for cattle prices, one analyst believes prices have hit their peak and will now begin to stabilize.

Speaking at the Canadian Wheat Board’s annual GrainWorld conference March 1 in Winnipeg, Jerry Klassen of GAP Grains said there should be a slight increase in numbers both in 2011 and 2012, which will stop the surge cattle prices have been seeing.

Klassen said Canadian cattle numbers have returned to levels last seen in 1995. Volumes have been declining since 2004, the year after the BSE situation closed the U.S. border to Canadian beef, meaning more animals were being kept on farms.

He added there will be a negligible increase in demand in 2011 from Asia and the U.S., but it won’t be enough for prices to continue shooting up.

While the overall outlook for the year is for values to remain stable or even decline a bit, the market at Heartland Livestock in Brandon was still a bullish one during the week ended March 4, according to unit manager Keith Cleaver.

“It was very steady to strong,” he said. “The heavy cattle have kind of levelled off, but the lighter grass cattle are fully steady to even a bit stronger.”

Cleaver said the main reason for the strong market was demand. “A lot of the grass cattle are staying local, with the heavier cattle heading east and west,” he said.

Many parts of the province fear the worst when it comes to the prospects of flooding this spring and Cleaver said it’s no different in Manitoba’s southwest. “Some areas will be affected, but it’s way too early to tell,” he said.

For producers who aren’t situated in low-lying areas, pasture prospects are now quite good, Cleaver said, especially with a forecast of solid precipitation throughout the spring.

“There should be a lot of grass this year. There was lots of moisture last fall,” he said. “There certainly will be some areas that experience flooding, but it depends on the spring and location.”

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:AllpricesinCanadian dollarsperhundredweight. Thesepricesalsogenerallyrepresent thetopone-thirdofsales reportedbytheauctionyard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 1,830 head of cattle were sold at the sale held March 2. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $58 to $64; D3 and D5 cows, $40-$58; age verified, $65- $74; and good bulls, $63-$85.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $111-$122; 700- 800 lbs., $110-$131.75; 600-700 lbs., $130-$149.25; 500-600 lbs., $142-$168; and 400-500 lbs., $156-$171.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $96-$117; 700- 800 lbs., $105-$121.50; 600-700 lbs., $115-$130; and 500-600 lbs., $120-$141.75, while 400- 500 lbs. brought $125-$150.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The March 1 sale saw a total of 1,376 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $60 to $75.25 while cows brought $24- $62.75.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $90 to $109.50; 800-900 lbs., $105-$122.50; 700-800 lbs., $115-$136; 600-700 lbs., $125- $146.75; 500-600 lbs., $130- $154.50; 400-500 lbs., $130- $172.50; and 300-400 lbs., $150- $161.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. sold from $85 to $117; 700-800 lbs., $102-$124.50; 600- 700 lbs., $90-$129.75; 500-600 lbs., $105-$139.50; 400-500 lbs., $110-$154; and 300-400 lbs., $120-$156.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 85 slaughter cattle and 656 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard March 2. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $58 to $61; lean export cows, $53-$57; mature cows, $48-$54; feeding cows, $57-$64; export bulls, $73- $78; and mature bulls, $65-$72.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $95-$106.50; 800-900 lbs., $105-$117; 700- 800 lbs., $114-$124; 600-700 lbs., $118-$127.50; 500-600 lbs., $125-$140; 400-500 lbs., $135- $143; and under 400 lbs., $135- $150.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. ranged from $110 to $120.75; 700-800 lbs., $118-$129; 600-700 lbs., $128-$145.50; 500- 600 lbs., $140-$165; 400-500 lbs., $160-$174; and under 400 lbs., $155-$170.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 1,886 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the March 1 sale. In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows went for $58-$60.25 and D3 cows, $50- $57.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $105 to $115; 800-900 lbs., $112-$120.50; 700-800 lbs., $120-$132; 600-700 lbs., $130-$149.75; 500-600 lbs., $145-$162; 400-500 lbs., $155- $170.50; and 300-400 lbs., $155- $172.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $92-$109; 800-900 lbs., $105-$113; 700- 800 lbs., $112-$121.50; 600-700 lbs., $118-$128.25; 500-600 lbs., $125-$140; 400-500 lbs., $132- $148.50; and 300-400 lbs., $135- $150.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 2,641 cattle sold at the sale held March 3. Butcher steers brought $92-$96.25 while butcher heifers sold from $91 to $95. Ageverified/ young cows ranged from $62 to $67; D1 and D2 cows, $60-$66; D3 cows, $55- $60; shelly cows, $45-$55; and mature bulls, $77-$84.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $107-$115.50; 800-900 lbs., $111-$119.75; 700- 800 lbs., $117-$134; 600-700 lbs., $133-$150; 500-600 lbs., $143- $161; 400-500 lbs., $150-$170; and 300-400 lbs., $158-$178.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $95 to $104; 800-900 lbs., $105-$112.50; 700-800 lbs., $111-$122; 600-700 lbs., $117-$131; 500-600 lbs., $127-$142; and 400-500 lbs., $130-$150.

Killarney Auction Mart:There were about 221 cattle sold at the sale held March 3. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $62 to $67.25, while D3 and D4 cows went for $37-$57. Slaughter bulls sold from $76.25 to $82.25.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $103.50-$104; 700-800 lbs., $119-$126; 600- 700 lbs., $135-$143.50; 500-600 lbs., $143-$155; 400-500 lbs., $154.50-$169; and under 400 lbs., $147-$159.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $99 to $102; 800-900 lbs., $102-$109; 700-800 lbs., $111-$115; 600-700 lbs., $119-$128; 500-600 lbs., $127-$137; 400-500 lbs., $135- $143.50; and 300-400 lbs., $135- $149.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 1,177 cattle were sold at the March 3 sale.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $62 to $70; D3 and D4 cows, $54-$60; canners, $40-$52; and bulls, $80-$87.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $103-$112; 800-900 lbs., $112-$124.50; 700- 800 lbs., $122-$134.50; 600-700 lbs., $130-$145; 500-600 lbs., $144-$166; and 400-500 lbs., $150-$176.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $105-$116.50; 700-800 lbs., $110-$123; 600-700 lbs., $120-$134; 500-600 lbs., $126-$140; 400-500 lbs., $130- $156; and 300-400 lbs., $125- $140.

Taylor Auctions, Melita:The sale held March 3 resulted in 70 slaughter cattle and 514 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $62 to $68; D3 and D5 cows, $55-$62; and good bulls, $78-$82.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $100-$112; 800-900 lbs., $105-$118; 700-800 lbs., $115-$130; 600-700 lbs., $130-$145; 500-600 lbs., $140- $155; 400-500 lbs., $150-$165; and 300-400 lbs., $155-$170.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $105 to $110; 700-800 lbs., $110-$115; 600-700 lbs., $115-$120; 500-600 lbs., $120-$125; 400-500 lbs., $125-$135; and 300-400 lbs., $130-$150.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 920 cattle sold at the sale held March 4. In the slaughter market, age-verified/ young cows ranged from $50 to $65; D1 and D2 cows, $58-$61; D3 cows, $54-$58; shelly cows, $48-$54; and mature bulls, $70- $78.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $100-$115; 800-900 lbs., $112-$123.75; 700- 800 lbs., $120-$136.50; 600-700 lbs., $132-$147; 500-600 lbs., $140-$163; 400-500 lbs., $145- $164; and 300-400 lbs., $130- $146.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $100 to $106; 700-800 lbs., $108-$118; 600-700 lbs., $118-$133; 500- 600 lbs., $125-$143; and 400-500 lbs., $130-$145.

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