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Expectations For Fats Boost Feeder Markets

Feeder cattle moving through Manitoba’s auction yards continued to see their values rise during the week ended Feb. 11, as expectations for higher fat cattle prices down the road kept some optimism in the markets.

“Everything is very strong,” said Scott Anderson of Winnipeg Livestock Sales. Everything, from the lighter-weight grass cattle up to the largest animals, was being met with good demand, he added.

The solid feeder prices now were tied to expectations for a good fat cattle market down the road, Anderson said.

Dave Nickel of Gladstone Auction Mart echoed those sentiments, pointing out that prices keep “creeping up.” There were some ideas in the market that “we may run out of cattle this year,” causing the buyers to stock up now while they can, he said.

Feeder numbers coming to market could start to come down in the next few weeks, he said, as there are just not as many cows out there in the countryside as there once were.

Demand continues to come from both eastern and western feedlots, with some animals also being held locally. Feeding costs favour Canada over the U.S. right now, as feed grain supplies are relatively ample in Canada, while in the U.S. concerns over tightening corn supplies have sent corn values sharply higher. Some of that strength in the corn market is also tied to the demand from the ethanol sector.

On the butcher side, prices quoted from the auction yards around the province show improvements to the top-end bids of a couple dollars per hundredweight in most classes.

The Canadian dollar moved above US$1.01 during the week, which likely cut into the fat cattle market slightly. However, the strong currency is becoming less of a factor in the overall Canadian cattle sector, as participants north of the border have adjusted themselves to the new exchange situation. A currency analyst during the week forecast the Canadian dollar would likely trade in the US$1.05 area at some point over the next year.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:AllpricesinCanadian dollarsperhundredweight.These pricesalsogenerallyrepresentthe topone-thirdofsalesreportedby theauctionyard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 1,987 head of cattle were sold at the sale held Feb. 9, of which 200 were slaughter animals. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $57 to $64; D3 and D5 cows, $50- $57; age verified, $62-$75.50; and good bulls, $70-$84.25.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $112-$122; 700- 800 lbs., $110-$129; 600-700 lbs., $120-$142; 500-600 lbs., $135- $160; 400-500 lbs., $138-$162; and 300-400 lbs., $140-$160.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. ranged from $88 to $102; 700-800 lbs., $100-$119; 600-700 lbs., $110-$129; 500-600 lbs., $115-$141; 400-500 lbs., $118- $144; and 300-400 lbs., $121- $139.

Gladstone Auction Mart:The Feb. 8 sale saw a total of 844 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $55 to $70.25 while cows brought $30-$65.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $85 to $117.50; 800-900 lbs., $85-$123.50; 700-800 lbs., $105-$128.25; 600-700 lbs., $105-$145.75; 500-600 lbs., $125- $157.50; 400-500 lbs., $130-$160; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$159.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $80-$100.50; 800-900 lbs., $85-$112; 700-800 lbs., $85-$123.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$134.50; 500-600 lbs., $90- $136.25; 400-500 lbs., $120-$140; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$145.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 113 slaughter cattle and 945 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on Feb. 9. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $58 to $61.25; lean export cows, $52-$56; mature cows, $48-$53; feeding cows, $58-$64; export bulls, $70- $76; and mature bulls, $65-$70.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. sold from $100 to $117.50; 700-800 lbs., $114-$125.50; 600- 700 lbs., $120-$134; 500-600 lbs., $130-$147; 400-500 lbs., $135- $157; and under 400 lbs., $130- $143.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $95 to $109; 800-900 lbs., $108-$119.25; 700-800 lbs., $117-$129.75; 600- 700 lbs., $130-$142.50; 500-600 lbs., $140-$158.50; 400-500 lbs., $155-$164; and under 400 lbs., $160-$171.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 2,455 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the Feb. 8 sale. In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows brought $60- $67.50; D3 cows, $50-$59; feeder cows, $40-$49; and good bulls, $68-$75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $105 to $116.75; 800-900 lbs., $112- $120.50; 700-800 lbs., $120-$130; 600-700 lbs., $128-$143.50; 500- 600 lbs., $140-$157; 400-500 lbs., $145-$167; and 300-400 lbs., $160-$176.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $95-$110.75; 800-900 lbs., $105-$116; 700-800 lbs., $110-$122.25; 600-700 lbs., $118-$128; 500-600 lbs., $127- $142; 400-500 lbs., $135-$149; and 300-400 lbs., $132-$156.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 1,081 cattle sold at the sale held Feb. 9. Butcher steers brought $93- $97.75, while butcher heifers sold from $92 to $96.75. Age-verified/ young cows ranged from $58 to $63; D1 and D2 cows, $57-$62; D3 cows, $52-$57; shelly cows, $42-$52; and mature bulls, $69- $76.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $109-$116; 800-900 lbs., $113-$122.50; 700- 800 lbs., $119-$131; 600-700 lbs., $127-$144.50; 500-600 lbs., $140- $159; 400-500 lbs., $148-$168; and 300-400 lbs., $160-$182.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $99 to $107; 800-900 lbs., $104-$113.50; 700-800 lbs., $111-$125; 600- 700 lbs., $118-$130; 500-600 lbs., $127-$144; and 400-500 lbs., $130-$146.

Killarney Auction Mart:There were 389 cattle sold at the Feb. 10 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $56.50 to $63.75; D3 and D4, $49-$55; and slaughter bulls, $71.25-$78.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $94-$109.50; 800-900 lbs., $105-$118.50; 700- 800 lbs., $116-$127.50; 600-700 lbs., $127-$140; 500-600 lbs., $138.50-$149; 400-500 lbs., $141- $160.50; and under 400 lbs., $145- $152.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $81 to $96.50; 800-900 lbs., $96-$113.50; 700-800 lbs., $104.50-$113.50; 600-700 lbs., $113-$127; 500-600 lbs., $128-$141.50; 400-500 lbs., $132-$147; 300-400 lbs., $114- $126; and under 300 lbs., $113- $116.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 1,265 cattle were sold at the Feb. 10 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $59 to $66; D3 and D4 cows, $50- $59; canners, $35-$48; and bulls, $70-$80.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $108-$118; 800- 900 lbs., $112-$122.50; 700-800 lbs., $118-$131.50; 600-700 lbs., $131-$144; 500-600 lbs., $140- $157; 400-500 lbs., $140-$167; and 300-400 lbs., $145-$175.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $102-$113; 700- 800 lbs., $109-$122; 600-700 lbs., $115-$130; 500-600 lbs., $125- $139; 400-500 lbs., $130-$145; and 300-400 lbs., $125-$144.

Taylor Auctions, Melita:The sale held Feb. 10 saw 737 feeder and 94 slaughter cattle sold. A1 and A2 steers traded from $94 to $98; A1 and A2 heifers, $91- $96.50; D1 and D2 cows, $54- $65.50; D3 and D5 cows, $40-$54; and good bulls, $68-$79.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $104-$119; 800-900 lbs., $110-$126; 700-800 lbs., $122-$136; 600-700 lbs., $130-$148; 500-600 lbs., $142- $163.50; 400-500 lbs., $150-$168; and 300-400 lbs., $155-$173.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $95 to $112; 700-800 lbs., $108-$124; 600-700 lbs., $118-$136; 500-600 lbs., $128-$140; 400-500 lbs., $136- $152; and 300-400 lbs., $145- $161.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 1,590 cattle sold at the sale held Feb. 11. In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold from $87 to $89; select, $85-$87; dry fed cows, $58-$63; good fleshed, $54- $58; lean, $49-$54; age verified, $55-$67; and good bulls, $64-$78.

Feeder steers weighing over 1,000 lbs. brought $100-$108; 900-1,000 lbs., $108-$114; 800-900 lbs., $115-$125.25; 700-800 lbs., $120-$131; 600-700 lbs., $130- $148; 500-600 lbs., $135-$158; and 400-500 lbs., $150-$166.

Feeder heifers weighing over 1,000 lbs. traded from $92 to $98; 900-1,000 lbs., $100-$107; 800- 900 lbs., $105-$122; 700-800 lbs., $110-$122; 600-700 lbs., $115- $125; 500-600 lbs., $128-$141; and 400-500 lbs., $135-$147.

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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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