Your Reading List

Feeder Sales Slump On Outlook For Finished Cattle

– Buddy Bergner,Ashern Livestock Mart

“Guys are just selling the whole works and saying ‘That’s it, we’re quitting.’”

Feeder cattle in the Manitoba auction yards continued to trade at poor levels during the week ended Sept. 25, as buyers remained reluctant given the low price projections for finished cattle.

“The income doesn’t meet the expenses,” said Buddy Bergner of the Ashern Livestock Mart. It was difficult for feedlots to pay any more, he said, as the prices they are seeing for the finished cattle are currently unprofitable.

“The feedlot guys, the back-grounders, the cow-calf guys, they all need more money for their cattle,” said Bergner. “I guess it starts with the consumers, and if we can talk them into paying $2 a pound for butchered beef, we’d be OK. But until we can do that, it will be a rough road.”

The poor market outlook has led to increasing cases of herd liquidations. “Cows, calves, bulls and everything. Guys are just selling the whole works and saying ‘That’s it, we’re quitting,’” said Bergner.

Much of the weakness in the cattle markets can be tied to the strong Canadian dollar. Bergner said U. S. buyers only want to buy cattle at lower prices, but the exchange rates make it difficult for them to do so. In addition, he said, Canadian fat cattle are discounted by five cents per pound in the U. S. Sales to the U. S. have been very slow, he said, with no actual business to the U. S. at the past week’s sale.

“It would be a big plus if that dollar would go down,” said Bergner. The currency was trading at US91.6 cents at the end of the week, which compares with US93.48 cents on Sept. 18. The sharp reduction in the currency should conceivably lead to a firmer tone in the Manitoba cattle markets if it stays weaker.

While most of the feeder market was under pressure, Bergner said the market for the really light calves was not too bad. Those animals won’t be slaughtered until August 2010, which is “the only place we can see a bright spot in the finished market.”

Cows and bulls have also been holding reasonably steady at the cattle yards. Bergner likened the activity in the cows and bulls to trading off an old car, where whatever you get for it is better than nothing.

Numbers at the auctions remain reasonably steady, although the bulk of the fall run is still thought to be some time off, with many producers still busy in the fields. Relatively good pasture conditions in many areas also caused producers to hold off on marketing, as their animals continue to put on weight in the pasture.

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 1,013 head of cattle were sold at the sale held Sept. 23.

In the slaughter market, older shelly cows sold for $20 and up; age-verified cows, $44-$50; D1 and D2 cows, $42-$46, D3 and D5 cows traded from $35-$42; and good bulls, $45-$60.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900 to 1,000 lbs. ranged from $78 to $90.75; 800-900 lbs., $80.50-$94.50; 700-800 lbs., $88-$101.25; and 600-700 lbs., $90-$107.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded at $70-$77; 800-900 lbs., $72-$83; 700-800 lbs., $75-87.50; and 600-700 lbs., $80-$90.25.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Sept. 22 sale saw a total of 627 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $40 to $50 while cows brought $25-$44.25.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. category traded from $70 to $86.25; 800-900 lbs., $80-$95.75; 700-800 lbs., $84-$98; 600-700 lbs., $80-$104; 500-600 lbs., $80-$117; and 400-500 lbs., $90-$110.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $75 to $80.50; 800-900 lbs., $74-$85; 700-800 lbs., $70-$89.75; 600-700 lbs., $70-$93.25; 500-600 lbs., $70-$92; and 400-500 lbs., $81-$97.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 349 cattle sold at the Grunthal yard on Sept. 23. In the slaughter market, mature cows brought $36-$41 while good fleshed cows traded from $48 to $55. Lean cows went for $42-$47; export bulls, $52-$58; and older bulls, $47-$52.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $70 to $80; 700-800 lbs., $80-$86; 600-700 lbs., $81-$88; 500-600 lbs., $85-$92; 400-500 lbs., $90-$101; and under 400 lbs., $95-$110.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $87 to $93; 700-800 lbs., $90-$95.50; 600-700 lbs., $92-$99; 500-600 lbs., $95-$105; 400-500 lbs., $100-$110; and under 400 lbs., $110-$142.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 1,507 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week.

A1-A2 steers went for $72-$75; A1-A2 heifers, $72-$75.25; D1-D2 cows, $40-$48; feeder cows, $30-$42; shells, $15-$36; and good bulls, $54-$59.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. went for $82-$91; 800-900 lbs., $88-$97; 700-800 lbs., $90-$106; 600-700 lbs., $92-$108; 500-600 lbs., $105-$117.50; and 400-500 lbs., $105-$122.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold for $78-$84.50; 800-900 lbs., $80-$87; 700-800 lbs., $80-$89.75; 600-700 lbs., $82-$91; and 500-600 lbs., $88-$98.50.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 1,142 cattle sold at Virden’s sale on Sept. 23.

Butcher steers brought $74-$78 while butcher heifers sold from $73 to $76. Age-verified/ young cows sold for $43-$48.50; D1-D2 cows, $39-$44; D3 cows, $36-$39; shelly cows, $28-$35; and mature bulls, $56-$60.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $86-$91.75; 800-900 lbs., $87-$94.50; 700-800 lbs., $89-$101; 600-700 lbs., $97-$109; 500-600 lbs., $100-$115; 400-500 lbs., $105-$117; and 300-400 lbs., $108-$123.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $77 to $86; 800-900 lbs., $81-$87.75; 700-800 lbs., $83-$90.50; 600-700 lbs., $85-$91.75; 500-600 lbs., $87-$98.50; and 400-500 lbs., $92-$101.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 484 cattle sold at the sale held on Sept. 21. Included in the sale were 32 slaughter animals and 452 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 cows sold from $42 to $45.75; D2 cows, $37-$41; D3 cows, $28-$36; and bulls, $50-$58.25.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. fetched $84-$90; 800-900 lbs., $87-$93; 700-800 lbs., $88-$98; 600-700 lbs., $95-$111.75; 500-600 lbs., $97-$115; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$111.

Feeder heifers weighing over 900 lbs. went for $75-$85; 800-900 lbs., $77-$87.75; 700-800 lbs., $78-$89.25; 600-700 lbs., $84-$91; 500-600 lbs., $84-$91; and 400-500 lbs., $85-$91.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 772 cattle were sold at the Sept. 24 sale.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $38 to $46, while D3 cows brought $28-$37 and bulls sold from $50 to $59.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $88 to $95; 700-800 lbs., $90-$98; 600-700 lbs., $94-$106.25; 500-600 lbs., $105-$113.75; 400-500 lbs., $105-$119; and 300-400 lbs., $95-$117.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. went for $78-$85; 700-800 lbs., $83-$90; 600-700 lbs., $85-$88; 500-600 lbs., $85-$93; and 400-500 lbs., $90-$96.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held Sept. 24 resulted in 90 slaughter cattle and 154 feeders being sold.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $40 to $48 and D3 and D5 cows, $35-$40.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $82-$86; 800-900 lbs., $88-$94; 700-800 lbs., $90-$98; 600-700 lbs., $95-$104; 500-600 lbs., $100-$108; 400-500 lbs., $105-$115; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$118.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $78 to $85; 700-800 lbs., $78-$85; 600-700 lbs., $80-$88; 500-600 lbs., $85-$95; 400-500 lbs., $90-$98; and 300-400 lbs., $95-$100.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 140 head of cattle sold at Tuesday’s slaughter cattle sale. Prices for Friday’s feeder sale were unavailable.

In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold for $74-$76. Dry fed cows brought $36-$42; good fleshed, $30-$36; lean, $20-$30; and young age verified, $42-$48.50.

About the author

Columnist

Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm's recent articles

Comments

explore

Stories from our other publications