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Demand Up For Lighter-Weight Feeders

Southe r n Manitoba saw its first real taste of winter during the week ended Dec. 4, which may have limited some of the movement at cattle auction yards. But now that winter’s here, activity is expected to be steady until the Christmas break.

Poor finished cattle prices remain the stumbling block for all other segments of the market, although high-quality bred cows and lighter-weight feeder animals saw some strength during the week.

Robin Hill of Heartland Livestock Services at Virden said the demand for the lighter-weight cattle under 550 pounds remained relatively strong during the week.

Hill thought timing was the key factor behind the greater demand for lighter-weight animals, as purchasers will have more options for selling those lighter animals down the road.

Compounding poor finished cattle prices is the fact that very few animals are moving to the U. S. this year. A year ago, half of all yearlings sold into the market were heading into the U. S. This fall, 90 per cent are staying on feed in Canada and will be marketed as finished cattle in the next few months.

However, quality still commands a premium. “We’re seeing that the cowboys who are looking for good, young dispersal cows are willing to spend a little more money than a month ago,” said Hill.

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 4,000 head of cattle were sold at the sale held Dec. 2. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows traded from $40 to $49; D3 and D5 cows, $32-$38; and good bulls, $50-$56.50. Older shelly cows brought $20 and up.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. ranged from $85 to $99; 600-700 lbs., $92-$104; 500-600 lbs., $97-$116; and 400-500 lbs., $106-$126.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. traded from $83 to $86; 600-700 lbs., $80-$91.50; 500-600 lbs., $82-$106.25; and 400-500 lbs., $85-$100.

Ashern will be closed for the holidays from mid-December to mid-January.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Dec. 1 sale saw a total of 1,229 head of cattle sold at the yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $30 to $46 while cows brought $15-$40.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $70 to $88.50; 800-900 lbs., $75-$89.50; 700-800 lbs., $75-$97.50; 600-700 lbs., $80-$103; 500-600 lbs., $85-$112; 400-500 lbs., $95-$129; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$132.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $60 to $79.50; 800-900 lbs., $60-$78.50; 700-800 lbs., $70-$83; 600-700 lbs., $75-$98.50; 500-600 lbs., $75-$97; 400-500 lbs., $80-$117 and 300-400 lbs., $75-$110.

The last sale of the year will be held Dec. 15; the first sale of the new year will be Jan. 12.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 247 slaughter cattle and 565 feeders sold at the yard on Dec. 2. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $41 to $45; lean export cows, $36-$42; mature cows, $30-$35; feeding cows, $40-$46; export bulls, $50-$55; and mature bulls, $40-$45.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $70 to $78; 700-800 lbs., $77-$83.50; 600-700 lbs., $80-$86; 500-600 lbs., $90-$99.50; 400-500 lbs., $100-$110; and under 400 lbs., $104-$111.50.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $80 to $92.50; 700-800 lbs., $86-$90; 600-700 lbs., $90-$98; 500-600 lbs., $97-$106; 400-500 lbs., $107-$116; and under 400 lbs., $112-$121.50.

The last sale of the year will be Dec. 23; the first sale in the new year will be Jan. 13.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 1,972 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. A1-A2 steers traded from $70 to $72.75; A1-A2 heifers, $70-$72.50; D1-D2 cows, $30-$38; feeder cows, $25-$30; shells, $15-$24; and good bulls, $45-$50.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold for up to $89.50; 800-900 lbs., $84-$88.25; 700-800 lbs., $85-$95; 600-700 lbs., $90-$98; 500-600 lbs., $98-$111.50; 400-500 lbs., $105-$122; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$134.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $78 to $85; 700-800 lbs., $78-$81.75; 600-700 lbs., $82-$88; 500-600 lbs., $85-$90; and 400-500 lbs., $90-$109.

The last sale of the year will be Dec. 21; the first sale in the new year will be Jan. 5.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 1,594 cattle sold at the sale held Dec. 2. Butcher steers brought $71-$74.75 while butcher heifers sold from $70 to $73.75. Age-verified/young cows sold from $34 to $40; D1-D2 cows, $28-$34; D3 cows $25-$28; shelly cows $20-$25; and mature bulls, $45-$52.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs., brought $82-$89; 800-900 lbs., $84-$91; 700-800 lbs., $85-$92; 600-700 lbs., $88-$98.75; 500-600 lbs., $98-$113; 400-500 lbs., $110-$129; and 300-400 lbs., $112-$133.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $73 to $81.50; 800-900 lbs., $76-$83.50; 700-800 lbs., $77-$84.50; 600-700 lbs., $78-$90; 500-600 lbs., $83-$96 and 400-500 lbs., $90-$103.

Virden’s yard will be closed Dec. 20 to Jan. 6.

Killarney Auction Mart: There were 753 cattle sold at the Dec. 3 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows went from $27 to $36; D3 and D4 cows, $10-$18; and bulls, $43.50-$44.75.

Feeder steers weighing 700-850 lbs. sold from $88 to $93; 500-700 lbs., $99-$109, plain to medium $91-$99; and under 500 lbs., $125-$132, plain to medium $100-$113.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-850 lbs. brought $78-$84; 500-700 lbs., $87-$96, plain to medium $73-$82; and under 500 lbs., $100-$108, plain to medium $80-$93.

The last sale of 2009 will be held Dec. 17; the first sale of the new year will be Jan. 14.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 759 cattle sold at the sale held Nov. 30. Included were 94 slaughter animals and 665 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 cows sold from $31 to $38; D2 cows, $20-$27; D3 cows, $11-$19; and bulls $38-$41, age verified, $42-$52.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs., fetched $80-$91.25; 700-800 lbs., $83-$94; 600-700 lbs., $86-$101; 500-600 lbs., $97-$112; 400-500 lbs., $106-$129; and 300-400 lbs., $125-$133.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. went for $73.50-$86; 700-800 lbs., $75-$85; 600-700 lbs., $76-$88.50; 500-600 lbs., $81-$104; 400-500 lbs., $85-$108; and 300-400 lbs., $91-$106.

Pipestone will hold its last sale of the year Dec. 14. Its first sale of the new year is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 11.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 2,363 cattle were sold at the Dec. 3 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $28 to $33; D3-D4 cows, $18-$27; and bulls, $45-$52.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $78 to $86; 800-900 lbs., $85-$92; 700-800 lbs., $90-$101.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$106; 500-600 lbs., $97-$116; 400-500 lbs., $100-$125; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$132.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. went for $75-$85; 700-800 lbs., $77-$88; 600-700 lbs., $85-$92; 500-600 lbs., $85-$96; 400-500 lbs., $90-$106; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$106.

The last sale of the year will be Dec. 17; the first sale of 2010 will be Jan. 14.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The Dec. 3 sale resulted in 200 slaughter cattle and 947 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold for $30-$40; D3 and D5 cows, $25-$34; and good bulls, $45-$52.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $80-$84; 800-900 lbs., $85-$88; 700-800 lbs., $88-$96; 600-700 lbs., $90-$98; 500-600 lbs., $105-$118; 400-500 lbs., $115-$128; and 300-400 lbs., $120-$130.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs., traded from $75 to $80; 700-800 lbs., $78-$84; 600-700 lbs., $80-$88; 500-600 lbs., $85-$90; 400-500 lbs., $90-$100; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$105.

The last regular sale of the year will be Dec. 17 and the opening date in the new year will be Jan. 14.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 1,538 head of cattle sold during the week ending Dec. 4. In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers brought $70-$71.75; dry fed cows, $30-$35; good fleshed, $26-$31; lean, $20-$27; young age verified, $29-$41.75; and good bulls, $36-$50.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $74-$83; 800-900 lbs., $78-$84.50; 700-800 lbs., $82-$95; 600-700 lbs., $88-$106.50; 500-600 lbs., $90-$112.50; 400-500 lbs., $90-$121; and under 400 lbs., $110-$123.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $69 to $76; 800-900 lbs., $74-$86.50; 700-800 lbs., $75-$84; 600-700 lbs., $78-$92.50; 500-600 lbs., $80-$99; 400-500 lbs., $85-$106; and under 400 lbs., $105-$110.

The last sale of the year will be Dec. 18; the first sale of the new year will be Jan. 5.

About the author

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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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