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Demand Softens For Slaughter Cattle

Yearlings and the early calves moving through Manitoba s cattle auction yards continued to see aggressive demand and solid prices during the week ended Sept. 23. However, the butcher side of the coin is not showing the same kind of strength, leading to questions as to how much longer the feeder prices will be maintained, especially as numbers pick up during the fall run.

Dave Nickel of Gladstone Auction Mart said strength in the feeder market was a little hard to explain, given the softer tone on the slaughter side. There s just good demand.

He estimated some of the demand at present may be tied to expectations for good feed supplies as well as the likelihood of a slower fall run this year.

There are a lot of cows that have left the system, said Nickel. With fewer breeding cows, that works down to fewer feeder cattle as well.

The fall run won t be what it was last year, he said, noting the run was also getting pushed back in recent years, with more animals expected after the new year.

For what is moving, the demand for the feeders continues to come from both eastern and western feedlots, with local buyers not major purchasers during the week.

Haying operations ended up better than some early expectations, said Nickel. As a result, fewer bred cattle sales were also taking place, as more background operations should have enough feed.

The Canadian dollar dropped sharply relative to its U.S. counterpart during the week, moving well below parity. While U.S. buyers have been largely non-existent in the Canadian feeder market, the softer currency could make Canadian cattle more attractive to buyers south of the border.

Most of the cattle sales held in Manitoba during the week took place before the sharp declines seen in the global financial markets on Thursday and Friday. The interconnectedness of the markets could see those fears of an economic slowdown find their way into the cattle markets, and will be something to watch for moving forward.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:AllpricesinCanadian dollarsperhundredweight(cwt). Thesepricesalsogenerallyrepresent thetopone-thirdofsales reportedbytheauctionyard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 983 cattle were sold at the sale held Sept. 21. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $60 to $64; D3 and D5 cows, $45-$55; age verified, $62-$72.50; and good bulls, $60-$87.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $113-$128; 800-900 lbs., $112-$135; 700-800 lbs., $130-$142; 600-700 lbs., $137-$147.50; 500-600 lbs., $137- $160.50; 400-500 lbs., $149-$165; and 300-400 lbs., $150-$170.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. ranged from $109 to $121; 700- 800 lbs., $113-$129; 600-700 lbs., $110-$124.50; 500-600 lbs., $120- $129; 400-500 lbs., $127-$142; and 300-400 lbs., $130-$148.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Sept. 20 sale saw a total of 888 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls ranged from $60 to $77 and cows brought $35- $66.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $100 to $123.50; 800-900 lbs., $110- $133.50; 700-800 lbs., $120- $136.50; 600-700 lbs., $120- $144.50; 500-600 lbs., $135-$168; 400-500 lbs., $140-$189; and 300- 400 lbs., $140-$193.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $85-$99; 800- 900 lbs., $100-$118.50; 700-800 lbs., $100-$131; 600-700 lbs., $110-$134; 500-600 lbs., $115- $135; 400-500 lbs., $115-$148; and 300-400 lbs., $123-$165.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 51 slaughter cattle and 235 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard Sept. 20. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows sold from $57 to $60; lean export cows, $52-$56; feeding cows, $60-$65; and export bulls, $70-$75.

Feeder steers in the 800-to 900-lb. category traded at $110- $115; 700-800 lbs., $115-$132;

600-700 lbs., $130-$142; 500-600 lbs., $140-$163; 400-500 lbs., $155-$167; and under 400 lbs., $160-$175.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. sold from $105 to $112; 700-800 lbs., $112-$125.50; 600- 700 lbs., $115-$124.50; 500-600 lbs., $118-$127; 400-500 lbs., $120-$130; and under 400 lbs., $130-$149.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 644 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the Sept. 20 sale. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers brought $92-$97.75; A1-A2 heifers, $90-$93.75; D1-D2 cows, $60-$65.50; D3 cows, $55- $59; feeder cows, $67-$75; and mature bulls, $75-$79.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $115 to $123.50; 800-900 lbs., $120-$132; 700-800 lbs., $127-$141.25; 600- 700 lbs., $130-$150; 500-600 lbs., $135-$160; 400-500 lbs., $145- $164; and 300-400 lbs., $150- $189.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $100-$112.50; 800-900 lbs., $110-$119.50; 700- 800 lbs., $112-$128.50; 600-700 lbs., $120-$130.50; 500-600 lbs., $125-$140; 400-500 lbs., $130- $154; and 300-400 lbs., $135- $157.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 1,588 cattle sold at the sale held Sept. 21. Butcher steers brought $93- $97.50 while butcher heifers sold from $92 to $96.50. Age-verified/ young cows ranged from $62 to $68; D1-D2 cows, $60-$65; D3 cows, $56-$60; shelly cows, $45-$55; and mature bulls, $73- $78.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $115-$122.75; 800-900 lbs., $121-$131; 700-800 lbs., $129-$141; 600-700 lbs., $135-$148; 500-600 lbs., $138- $160; 400-500 lbs., $148-$172; and 300-400 lbs., $155-$185.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $108 to $114; 800-900 lbs., $112-$119.50; 700-800 lbs., $116-$124; 600-700 lbs., $118-$130; 500-600 lbs., $122- $140; and 400-500 lbs., $135-$160.

Killarney Auction Mart:There were 320 cattle on offer at the Sept. 19 sale. D1 and D2 cows ranged from $55 to $61; D3 and D4, $45-$50; and slaughter bulls, $70-$75.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $110-$116; 800-900 lbs., $118-$125; 700- 800 lbs., $124-$131; 600-700 lbs., $130-$142.50; 500-600 lbs., $135-$146.50; 400-500 lbs., $145- $160.50; and 300-400 lbs., $155- $180.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. ranged from $110 to $117.50; 700-800 lbs., $115-$122; 600-700 lbs., $119-$126; 500- 600 lbs., $125-$141; 400-500 lbs., $135-$157; and 300-400 lbs., $145-$163.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 1,505 cattle were sold at the Sept. 22 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $55 to $62; D3-D4 cows, $50-$56; canners, $35-$51; slaughter bulls, $72-$84; and medium bulls, $65-$75.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $115-$133; 700- 800 lbs., $120-$142; 600-700 lbs., $128-$149; 500-600 lbs., $150- $165; 400-500 lbs., $160-$185; and 300-400 lbs., $165-$182.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $108 to $124; 700-800 lbs., $115-$129; 600-700 lbs., $120-$132; 500-600 lbs., $125- $146; 400-500 lbs., $130-$161; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$152.

Taylor Auctions, Melita:The Sept. 22 sale saw 75 slaughter and 263 feeder animals move through the yard. A1-A2 heifers brought $95-$99; D1-D2 cows, $63-$73; D3 and D5 cows, $55-$63; and good bulls, $75-$80.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $110-$124; 800-900 lbs., $120-$130; 700-800 lbs., $130-$138; 600-700 lbs., $140-$155; 500-600 lbs., $150- $160; 400-500 lbs., $160-$170; and 300-400 lbs., $170-$180.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $100 to $110; 800-900 lbs., $105-$118; 700-800 lbs., $118-$125; 600-700 lbs., $125-$130; 500-600 lbs., $135- $145; 400-500 lbs., $140-$150; and 300-400 lbs., $145-$155.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 710 cattle sold at the sale held Sept. 23. In the slaughter market, dry fed cows ranged from $57 to $60; good fleshed, $53-$57; lean, $48-$53; age verified, $50-$64; and good bulls, $67-$75.25.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $118-$124; 700- 800 lbs., $128-$133; 600-700 lbs., $130-$140; 500-600 lbs., $145- $153; 400-500 lbs., $150-$175; and under 400 lbs., $160-$181.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs., traded from $108 to $112; 700-800 lbs., $112-$125.50; 600-700 lbs., $120-$125; 500-600 lbs., $125-$136; and 400-500 lbs., $140-$154.

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Thefallrunwon tbe whatitwaslastyear.

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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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