“We’re probably a week or two away from higher volumes.”
– Robin Hill, Heartland Livestock Services, Virden
There was some good news for cattle producers this week, as prices saw a slight increase during the week ending Aug. 6.
“The yearlings came out a little stronger that expected,” said Robin Hill, manager of Heartland Livestock Services at Virden. “Butcher cows and bulls looked to be another dollar stronger again this week, while butcher steers and heifers have come up about two cents or so over the last three weeks. So they’ve gotten a little better, but a long way from where we need them.”
Hill believes the higher prices are mainly due to a lack of movement, which is normal for this time of year. Heartland Livestock at Virden saw around 100 feeder cattle and 150 butcher cattle come through the gates last week. However, he feels the annual lull in movement shouldn’t be around for much longer.
“Yearlings are just around the corner. We’re probably a week or two away from higher volumes,” Hill said, and he expects the increase in movement should improve prices a bit more as well.
Although cattle movement has not been great, demand from feedlots has been positive.
“For feedlots, the demand for yearling heifers is just a little bit better than we had expected, but it’s the start of the run too,” he said. “Will it continue through the yearling run (in the fall)? I don’t know,” he said.
Demand from packers was also a bit higher. “The biggest trade right now is the hamburger meat from the bulls and cows,” Hill said. “As far as steers and heifers go, the demand has been just a little bit better these last couple of weeks.”
Although some of the animals purchased by packers are going east, he added, the majority continues to go west, as well as to the U. .
With all of the moisture that has fallen in the southwestern part of the province, the animals moving have been looking healthy, and it would appear as if that trend will continue into the fall.
“There’s more hay out there than you can shake a stick at. There’s a pile of feed in the country, and there is going to be this fall,” Hill said.
Hill expects to see prices increase come autumn, but noted often it’s better to sell yearlings early rather than late.
“Usually the yearling run is better at the start than at the end,” he said.
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 Livestock Mart: Closed until mid-August.
Gladstone Auction Mart: Closed until Aug. 16.
Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: No auction held this week. Auctions will be held every other week in July and August.
Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 103 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. A1-A2 steers traded from $80 to $84.25; A1-A2 heifers, $80-$83.25; D1-D2 cows, $55-$61, age verified, $56-$63.25; D3 cows, $50-$55; and good bulls, $72-$74.
Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $95 to $103.50; 800-900 lbs., $98-$103.25; 700-800 lbs., $100-$110; 600-700 lbs., $105-$115; and 500-600 lbs., $110-$121.
Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs., sold from $80 to $88.75; 800-900 lbs., $85-$91; 700-800 lbs., $90-$100; 600-700 lbs., $98-$106; and 500-600 lbs., $100-$109.50.
Auctions will be held every Tuesday during the summer months.
Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 259 cattle sold at the sale held on Aug. 4. Butcher steers brought $81-$84.50 while butcher heifers sold from $79-$83.50. Ageverified/young cows sold from $59-$63.25; D1-D2 cows, $58-$62; D3 cows, $55-$58; shelly cows, $48-$55; and mature bulls, $72-$77.50.
Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $90-$102; 800-900 lbs., $97-$105; 700-800 lbs., $100-$112; 600-700 lbs., $105-$118; and 500-600 lbs., $110-$122.
Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $80-$92; 800-900 lbs., $89-$96; 700-800 lbs., $92-$108; 600-700 lbs., $99-$110; and 500-600 lbs., $100-$112.
Auctions will be held every Wednesday during the summer.
Killarney Auction Mart: Closed until mid-August.
Pipestone Livestock Sales: Closed until the end of August.
Ste. Rose Auction Mart: The next sale will be held Aug. 12.
Taylor Auctions, Melita: The next sale will be held Aug. 19.
Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 176 head of cattle sold during the week ending Aug. 6. In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold from $81 to $83; select steers and heifers, $77-$80; dry fed cows, $49-$52.50; good fleshed, $46-$49; lean, $40-$46; young age verified, $48-$59; and good bulls, $65-$74.
Winnipeg will hold a sale on Fridays only.