Faltering Dollar Seen Supporting Near-Term Prices

Cattle prices at Manitoba auction marts we re mostly

stable during the week ended Aug. 8, but according to one market analyst, the week may be the low point for the summer months.

Anne Dunford, general manager of Gateway Livestock at Taber, Alta., said volumes across not only Manitoba, but all of Western Canada, were down during the week, with producers feeling there could be better prices ahead.

“There was some reluctance from sellers this week, kind of sensing there could be some weakness in the Canadian dollar,” Dunford said. “Feedlots were kind of expecting to see this, so they will likely bring more animals to market next week.”

The Canadian dollar saw significant weakness over the week, as it retreated to around the US$1.02 level, which Dunford said will likely be a bullish influence for cattle prices down the road.

“I think we will see some higher prices established next week,” she said. “How much remains to be seen, as we are still kind of in the dog days of summer, but I think we will see better money next week, especially if the loonie stays where it is.”

Another factor likely to bring better values in the coming weeks, she said, was that feedlots would have to be selling finished animals.

“We have a pretty small window when talking about selling feedlot cattle, because producers have to pull the pin on cattle that are ready to go to market, especially in these warmer conditions,” she said.

With autumn fast approaching and most areas still seeing favourable grass conditions, Dunford said it will be interesting to how long producers wait to sell their livestock, given that both grass and prices are good at the moment.

“The calf run could be a bit delayed this year because of good grass, and producers feeling more confident about pricing,” she said. “No matter how you look at it, farmers appear to be holding a pretty fair hand of cards right now.”

However, one issue that could affect cattle prices moving forward is global economic uncertainty.

“That is the No. 1 dark cloud over the market,” Dunford said. “We know supplies are tighter, but the next question is how much further can you push prices along before there stops being demand from the end consumer given the economic troubles.”

Asked if Canada was exporting a lot of cattle, she said, “Supplies are smaller so it is difficult to be a prominent exporter. The relatively strong Canadian dollar is also not helping us.”

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.

AshernLivestockMart: Closed for summer. Sales to resume in August.

GladstoneAuctionMart: Summer schedule in place. Auctions to resume in mid- August.

GrunthalLivestockAuction Mart:Summer schedule in place. No sales until August.

HeartlandLivestock Services,Brandon:Atotal of 308 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the Aug. 2 sale.

In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows went for $70- $77; D3 cows, $62-$70; feeder cows, $55-$62; and good bulls, $76-$78.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $108 to $114.50; 800-900 lbs., $110- $119.50; 700-800 lbs., $112- $121.50; 600-700 lbs., $115- $131; 500-600 lbs., $120-$132; and 400-500 lbs., $120-$138. Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $100-$106.50; 600-700 lbs., $110-$121; and 500-600 lbs., $112-$124.

HeartlandLivestock Services,Virden:Atotal of 379 cattle were on offer in Virden at the Aug. 3 sale. In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows went for $66-$71; D3 cows, $61-$66; age verified, $67-$73; and good bulls, $78-$82.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $108 to $119; 800-900 lbs., $112-$122; 700-800 lbs., $116-$127; 600- 700 lbs., $119-$134; and 500- 600 lbs., $124-$138.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $98-$111; 800-900 lbs., $102-$113; 700- 800 lbs., $108-$116; 600-700 lbs., $110-$122; and 500-600 lbs., $112-$125.

KillarneyAuctionMart: No auction this week. Sales to resume in August.

Ste.RoseAuctionMart:Sales finished for summer. Auctions to resume in fall.

TaylorAuctions,Melita: Sales concluded for summer. Auctions to resume Aug. 18.

WinnipegLivestockSales: There were about 178 cattle sold at the sale held on Aug. 5.

In the slaughter market, age-verified/ young cows ranged from $54 to $66; D1 and D2 cows, $61-$66; D3 cows, $56- $61; shelly cows, $50-$56; and mature bulls, $75-$83.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. ranged from $100 to $110.50; 700-800 lbs., $105- $113; and 600-700 lbs., $110- $114. Feeder steer prices were not available from the sale.

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