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DWAYNE KLASSEN RNI

Asteady flow of cattle moved to the various cattle auction yards in Manitoba during the week ended Feb. 6. Prices, particularly for feeders, held fairly strong in view of steady demand from all outlets. Quality calves sold well while large discounts were evident on the second-and third-cut choices.

“The cattle market in general again looked pretty good this week,” said Henry Penner, with Grunthal Auction Mart.

Demand remained constant from the usual buyers, including the U. S., the East and the western outlets. However, he said, a lot of prominent local producers have also started to pick up grass-weight cattle.

“Anything that was in the 500-to 600-pound area and maybe even in the 650 region, saw some good interest from these locals,” Penner said.

Local demand for heifers was also fairly strong, as individuals were looking to make a few breeders out of them, he said.

Marketings of cattle at Manitoba auction yards were seen as solid, with steady to firmer values for the animals, steady demand from packers and the weakening Canadian dollar all factors. As a result, Manitoba producers’ marketings of cattle were likely to remain large over the next couple of weeks.

At the close of business on Feb. 6, a Canadian dollar was worth US81.55 cents, compared to US81.53 cents on Jan. 30. The loonie had weakened down into the US79.44-cent range during the week and topped out near the US81.78-cent level.

George Davis, chief technical currency analyst with RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, said cattle producers in Manitoba who monitor the financial markets closely might be happy to learn the outlook for the dollar calls for some further weakening.

“Basically, Canada’s economy still has some catching up to do with the world and U. S. economies, which have suffered greater losses,” Davis said. “In doing so, the Canadian dollar will ease further.”

He projected the Canadian dollar will weaken to the US79-cent range by the end of March and possibly into the US78.43-cent area by spring.

Some of the talk making the rounds at the various auction yards this week again focused on country-of-origin labelling (COOL) laws in the U. S. U. S. Senator Byron Dorgan, the well-known trade protectionist from North Dakota, was said to be leading a group of Senate colleagues who will call on incoming Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to revise pending COOL rules that they say would circumvent the intent of the program and deprive U. S. consumers of important information about the meat they buy at the grocery store.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

These prices also generally represent the top one-third of sales reported by the auction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart: An estimated 1,320 head of cattle were sold at the sale held Feb. 4. Of the animals sold, 250 were for slaughter while the remaining 1,070 were feeders.

In the slaughter market, heiferettes traded from $46 to $72 and older shelly cows $20 and up. D1 and D2 cows brought $45-$52.50, D3 and D5 cows $40-$45 and good bulls $45-$59.75.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $87 to $96.50; 700-800 lbs., $80-$105.25; 600-700 lbs., $82-$112; 500-600 lbs., $95-$120.50; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$121. Feeder heifers in the 700-to 800-lb. weight category brought $85-$96.75; 600-700 lbs., $80-$97.25; 500-600 lbs., $89-$104; 400-500 lbs., $92-$103.50; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$104.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Feb. 3 sale saw 1,136 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, cows traded from $10 to $48.75 while bulls brought $35-$56. Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. fetched $73-$94.50; 800-900 lbs., $80-$98.50; 700-800 lbs., $88-$105.75; 600-700 lbs., $90-$110; 500-600 lbs., $95-$118.50; 400-500 lbs., $95-$126.50; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$127. Feeder heifers 800-900 lbs. traded $70-$83.50; 700-800 lbs., $70-$95.50; 600-700 lbs., $70-$97; 500-600 lbs., $75-$97.50; 400-500 lbs., $78-$106; and 300-400 lbs., $80-$109.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 782 head of cattle sold at the auction held on Feb. 4, of which 123 were for the slaughter sector with the remaining 659 feeders.

In the slaughter market, average cows traded $46-$53.50; mature lean cows $36-$47.50; and good bulls, $55.50-$65. Feeder steers weighing 900 lbs. to 1,000 lbs. sold from $70 to $88; 800-900 lbs., $72-$97; 700-800 lbs., $78-$98.25; 600-700 lbs., $80-$107.50; 500-600 lbs., $85-$123.50; and 400-500 lbs., $95-$124.50. Feeder heifers in the 800-to 900-lb. weight class sold from $72.50 to $83.50; 700-800 lbs., $69-$86.50; 600-700 lbs., $84-$101; 500-600 lbs., $85-$109; and 400-500 lbs., $85-$110.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 570 cattle sold at the sale Feb. 2, of which 94 were slaughter animals and the remainder feeders. In the slaughter market, D1 cows brought $43-$50.25, D2 cows $29-$36 and D3 cows $17-$274. Good bulls traded $49-$56.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. traded from $85 to $94; 800-900 lbs., $86-$97; 700-800 lbs., $92-$107; 600-700 lbs., $97-$112; 500-600 lbs., $103-$118.50; and 400-500 lbs., $105-$122. Feeder heifers in the 800-to 900-lb. category brought $75-$85.50; 700-800 lbs., $77-$89; 600-700 lbs., $84-$96; 500-600 lbs., $83-$99; and 400-500 lbs., $84-$100.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart Ltd.: An estimated 1,165 head of cattle were sold Feb. 5, of which 169 were for the slaughter market and the remainder feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows brought $40-$49 while D3 cows sold from $28 to $39. Good bulls traded from $56 to $63.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. fetched $88-$96; 800-900 lbs., $90-$98; 700-800 lbs. $94-$105; 600-700 lbs. $100-$110; 500-600 lbs., $105-$118; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$128. Feeder heifers 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $75 to $85; 800-900 lbs. $84-$90; 700-800 lbs., $90-$96; 600-700 lbs., $90-$99; 500-600 lbs., $90-$100; and 400-500 lbs., $90-$100.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 1,377 head of cattle were sold in Brandon Feb. 3. In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows brought $36-$52, while D3 cows sold from $32 to $36. Mature bulls brought $50-$56.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $82 to $92.50; 800-900 lbs., $88-$95; 700-800 lbs., $92-$101.75; 600-700 lbs., $100-112; 500-600 lbs., $105-$120.25; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$123.50. Feeder heifers 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $82 to $89.25; 800-900 lbs., $86-$93.75; 700-800 lbs., $88-$97.75; 600-700 lbs., $88-$97.75; 500-600 lbs., $88-$97.50; 400-500 lbs., $88-$98.50; and 300-400 lbs., $88-$100.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were 2,529 cattle on offer at the sale Feb. 4. In the slaughter market, butcher steers sold from $81 to $85.50; butcher heifers saw $80-$83.75, while age-verified young cows traded $44-$51. D1-D2 cows sold from $38 to $44 while D3 cows brought $32-$38. Shelly cows traded $25-$32 while mature bulls fetched $46-$56.

Feeder steers weighing in the 900-to 1,000-lb. category sold from $86 to $93; 800-900 lbs., $91-$98; 700-800 lbs., $95-$106; 600-700 lbs., $99-$113.50; 500-600 lbs., $105-$119; and 400-500 lbs., $108-$120. Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $78 to $86; 800-900 lbs., $82-$90; 700-800 lbs., $86-$94; 600-700 lbs., $87-$97; 500-600 lbs., $88-$102; and 400-500 lbs., $90-$102.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held Feb. 5 resulted in 100 slaughter cattle and 480 feeders sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $35 to $45; D3 and D5 cows $25-$35; and good bulls, $48-$58. Age-verified cattle brought $45-$58.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category ranged from $85 to $94; 800-900 lbs., $90-$96; 700-800 lbs., $95-$106; 600-700 lbs., $100-$108; 500-600 lbs., $105-$115; 400-500 lbs., $110-$118; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$120. Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $78-$86; 700-800 lbs., $80-$90; 600-700 lbs., $80-$90; 500-600 lbs., $85-$95; 400-500 lbs., $90-$96; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$100.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales Ltd.: There were 1,645 head of cattle sold at the two sales the week ended Feb. 6. Of that amount, at least 305 animals were for the slaughter market while the remainder generally consisted of feeders.

In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold from $87 to $89.50 while select steers and heifers fetched $80-$85.

Cows, dry fed, traded $38-$40; good fleshed, $35-$38; and lean cows, $28-$35. Good bulls traded $52-$61. Young age-verified cattle traded $48-$60. Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded $83-$90.50; 800-900 lbs. sold from $87 to $96.50; 700-800 lbs., $96-$103; 600-700 lbs., $105-$115; 500-600 lbs., $108-$120; and 400-500 lbs., $116-$125.

Heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded $82-$90; 700-800 lbs., $85-$96.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$106; 500-600 lbs., $98-$110; and 400-500 lbs., $98-$110.

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