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Cattle Sneak Past Briefly Faltering Loonie

– Robin Hill, Heartland LivestockServices, Virden

“I think we’ve seen most of the cleaning out of the cattle from the yards that we are going to see.”

The arrival of pre-c ipitation across Manitoba helped to slow the movement of cattle to the auction yards in the province during the week ended May 7. However, values for the animals that were sold held steady in most cases and even a bit firmer in some.

“There was a fair bit of rain that hit some regions of Manitoba, making it difficult to get trucks into some of the farmyards to move the animals,” said Robin Hill, manager of Heartland Livestock Services at Virden.

The result of the mud was that there were fewer animals than are normally available at some of the auctions.

There continued to be strong demand for cows and bulls, which led prices to hold steady, if not firm up somewhat, Hill said. Values for the butcher steers and heifers were also steady to stronger in view of the good demand base.

Demand for butchers continued to come from all directions, including eastern and western outlets and the U. S. “The pullback in the value of the Canadian dollar was associated with some of the U. S. interest that surfaced,” he said.

Age-verified cattle also continued to draw a bit of a premium.

The Canadian dollar managed to weaken as far as the US94.75-cent level during the week, before strengthening back to the US95.9-cent area at the close of North American trading on May 7. On April 30, the Canadian dollar had been trading around the US98.35-cent level.

Financial analysts, however, continued to warn that the strong Canadian economy will result in the Canadian dollar moving back above par with the U. S. currency in the not-too-distant future.

Demand for grass cattle also continued to be strong, especially with the improved soil moisture situation, Hill said.

“The cow-calf producers were especially pleased with the rain as the prospects for hay and pasture land have seen some significant improvements,” he said.

The number of cattle being moved to the auction yards was expected to begin shifting downward in the weeks ahead, especially as producers are able to get back on the fields that have dried out enough, Hill noted.

“I think we’ve seen most of the cleaning out of the cattle from the yards that we are going to see.”

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

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

Ashern Auction Mart: An estimated 749 head of cattle were sold at the sale held May 4. In the slaughter market, older shelly cows traded for $30 and up; age-verified D1 and D2 cows, $55-$67.50; D3 and D5 cows, $48-$55; slaughter steers, up to $85.25; and good bulls, $60-$77.75.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. ranged from $90 to $102; 700-800 lbs., $95-$108; 600-700 lbs., $105-$119.50; 500-600 lbs., $110-$125; and 400-500 lbs., $115-$129.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $80-$92.75; 700-800 lbs., $80-$101.75; 600-700 lbs., $88-$108.50; 500-600 lbs., $90-$115 and 400-500 lbs., $90-$110.50.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The May 4 sale saw a total of 796 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $58 to $67.75 while cows brought $29-$50, with age verified up to $55.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $75 to $92.75; 800-900 lbs., $86-$94; 700-800 lbs., $87-$104.25; 600-700 lbs., $95-$116; 500-600 lbs., $95-$122; 400-500 lbs., $96-$134; and 300-400 lbs., $95-$138.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $65 to $77; 800-900 lbs., $75-$92.50; 700-800 lbs., $75-$103.50; 600-700 lbs., $80-$108; 500-600 lbs., $85-$109; 400-500 lbs., $87-$114; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$114.50.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 107 slaughter cattle and 230 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on May 5. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $58 to $65.25; lean export cows, $49-$56; mature cows, $47-$52; feeding cows, $49-$59; export bulls $67-$70.25; and mature bulls, $60-$68.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $85 to $91; 700-800 lbs., $90-$97.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$105; 500-600 lbs., $103-$111; 400-500 lbs., $108-$120; and under 400 lbs., $110-$120.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $94 to $103.75; 700-800 lbs., $100-$107; 600-700 lbs., $106-$116; 500-600 lbs., $110-$120; 400-500 lbs., $114-$124; and under 400 lbs., $110-$120.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 590 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. A1-A2 steers traded from $82 to $84.50; A1-A2 heifers, $80-$83; D1-D2 cows, $55-$60.75; feeder cows, $48-$54; and good bulls, $66-$73.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $85 to $91.75; 800-900 lbs., $90-$100; 700-800 lbs., $98-$110; 600-700 lbs., $105-$116; 500-600 lbs., $110-$125; 400-500 lbs., $115-$135.50; and 300-400 lbs., $115-$132.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $78 to $84.50; 800-900 lbs., $82-$87.75; 700-800 lbs., $85-$94.75; 600-700 lbs., $92-$105; 500-600 lbs., $95-$109; 400-500 lbs., $100-$111.50; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$106.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 671 cattle sold at the sale held May 5. Butcher steers brought $81-$85.25 while butcher heifers sold from $79 to $83.75. Age-verified/ young cows sold from $57 to $62.50; D1-D2 cows, $53-$58; D3 cows, $49-$53; shelly cows, $44-$50 and mature bulls $65-$71.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $85-$91.75; 800-900 lbs., $90-$97.50; 700-800 lbs., $98-$108; 600-700 lbs., $107-$117; 500-600 lbs., $110-$123; 400-500 lbs., $115-$130; and 300-400 lbs., $118-$133.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $76 to $81.75; 800-900 lbs., $79-$85.75; 700-800 lbs., $86-$96; 600-700 lbs., $94-$105; 500-600 lbs., $95-$107; and 400-500 lbs., $98-$113.

Killarney Auction Mart: Killarney did not hold a sale this week.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 355 cattle sold at the sale held May 3. In the slaughter market, D1 cows sold from $54 to $57, age verified $56-$60; D2 cows, $38-$51; and bulls, $65-$72.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $90-$101; 700-800 lbs., $96-$111; 600-700 lbs., $101-$119; 500-600 lbs., $104-$122; and 400-500 lbs., $98-$134.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $76 to $90; 700-800 lbs., $84-$98; 600-700 lbs., $92-$108; 500-600 lbs., $95-$110; and 400-500 lbs., $98-$114.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 380 cattle were sold May 6. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $55 to $62; D3-D4 cows, $44-$50; and bulls, $70-$79.75.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $95 to $103; 700-800 lbs., $98-$108; 600-700 lbs., $110-$120; 500-600 lbs., $110-$122; and 400-500 lbs., $115-$124. Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $90-$98.75; 600-700 lbs., $95-$112; and 500-600 lbs., $98-$115.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held May 6 resulted in 150 slaughter cattle and 90 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1 and A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. brought $82-$86; A1 and A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $80-$84; D1 and D2 cows, $57-$62; D3 and D5 cows, $47-$57; and good bulls, $65-$72.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $88-$94; 800-900 lbs., $90-$98; 700-800 lbs., $95-$110; 600-700 lbs., $100-$112; 500-600 lbs., $105-$118; 400-500 lbs., $110-$122; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$125.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $85 to $90; 700-800 lbs., $88-$95; 600-700 lbs., $92-$102; 500-600 lbs., $95-$105; 400-500 lbs., $100-$108; and 300-400 lbs., $105-$112.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 100 head of cattle sold during the week ending May 7. Only Tuesday’s Winnipeg livestock sales report was available.

In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold from $84 to $87; select steers and heifers, $80-$84; dry fed cows, $50-$55; good fleshed, $47-$50; lean $40-$47; young age ver ified, $50-$63; and good bulls, $63-$73.75.

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