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Higher Prices For Grass Cattle Don’t Stem Demand

The movement of cattle to the various auction marts in Manitoba has continued at a good pace, although the Good Friday holiday April 10 was expected to result in some producers holding animals back until after the Easter break.

Values for cattle sold across the province continued to hold firm and in most cases improved from the previous week’s level. Even the prices for heavier cattle were said to have climbed.

“Demand for lightweight grass cattle continued to be aggressive, with buyers not deterred by the higher values,” said Scott Anderson, with Winnipeg Livestock Sales Ltd.

Demand for cattle sold at the various auctions came from the traditional outlets, including end-users in the West, East and the U. S., Anderson said. Locals were also aggressive buyers during the week.

“The majority of the end-users had very little problem in filling trucks,” he said.

The demand from eastern and western outlets continued to reflect depleted inventories and the desire to restock pens. Availability of cheap feed supplies also continued to influence some of the demand.

“What is particularly interesting, is that this demand is also coming despite the fact the Canadian dollar continues to appreciate in value,” Anderson said, noting that in normal times, strength in the currency has a habit of scaring off buyers.

NOT TAKING CHANCES

Demand, he speculated, might be a function of tight supply concerns in view of lower cattle numbers in general.

“There have been some suggestions that there will be a shortage of fat cattle this spring and in turn end-users are not taking any chances and have been trying to stock up in anticipation of that occurring,” he said.

At the end of the business day on Thursday, April 9, one Canadian dollar was worth US81.59 cents, up from US81.21 cents on Friday, April 3. The Canadian unit had weakened down into the US80.54-cent range during the week and topped out near the US80.87-cent level.

The pace of marketings was expected to be strong through to the end of May, Anderson predicted. “We haven’t seen a lot of cull calves moving yet and at some point those animals will start moving.”

At the end of May, he said, the marketings should begin to slow, but were unlikely to come to a “screeching halt.”

Strong prices for cattle were likely to keep marketings stable in the near term. “The stronger prices for cattle have made it a lot easier for producers to take compared to three months ago..”

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 1,590 head of cattle were sold at the sale held April 8. Of those, 230 were slaughter animals while the remaining 1,360 were feeders.

In the slaughter market, heiferettes sold for $60-$79 and older shelly cows sold from $15 and up while D1 and D2 cows traded from $58 to $65. D3 and D5 cows brought $40-$55. Good bulls sold from $50 to $71.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $90 to $96.25; 800-900 lbs., $80-$106.50; 700-800 lbs., $80-$109; 600-700 lbs., $100-$119; 500-600 lbs., $95-$121 and 400-500 lbs., $99-$120. Feeder heifers, 800-900 lbs., traded $83-$98.75; 700-800 lbs., $80-$102.95; 600-700 lbs., $85-$109; 500-600 lbs., $80-$113.50 and 400-500 lbs., $83-$109.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The April 7 sale saw a total of 1,269 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $47 to $61 while cows brought $15-$50, with age verified up to $63.50.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $84 to $95.50; 800-900 lbs., $85-$104; 700-800 lbs., $100-$112; 600-700 lbs., $90-$119.50; 500-600 lbs., $100-$127.50; 400-500 lbs., $100-$130; and 300-400 lbs., $104-$129.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $75 to $93.50; 800-900 lbs., $71-$98; 700-800 lbs., $75-$103; 600-700 lbs., $80-$110; 500-600 lbs., $85-$112.50; 400-500 lbs., $90-$115 and 300-400 lbs., $90-$116.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 127 slaughter cattle and 662 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on April 8.

In the slaughter market, average dry fed cows brought $51-$59.75, while mature, good-fleshed cows traded from $42 to $49.25. Lean cows sold from $27 to $36 while average bulls brought $58-$65.75 and mature bulls, $42-$48.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $71 to $96; 700-800 lbs., $84-$100; 600-700 lbs., $91-$113; 500-600 lbs., $94-$118; 400-500 lbs., $97-$121; and under 400 lbs., $98-$125.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $80 to $102.50; 700-800 lbs., $91-$111; 600-700 lbs., $89-$124; 500-600 lbs., $99-$128; 400-500 lbs., $103-$133; and under 400 lbs., $102-$134.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 689 cattle sold at the sale held on April 6. Included in the sale were 74 slaughter animals and 615 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 cows brought $42-$55, age verified up to $62, D2 cows $30-$41 and D3 cows $17-$27 while bulls traded from $63 to $74.50.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. fetched $82-$95; 800-900 lbs., $84-$98; 700-800 lbs., $96-$112.50; 600-700 lbs., $100-$124.50; 500-600 lbs., $102-$131; and 400-500 lbs., $109-$132. Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $82-$92.50; 700-800 lbs., $86-$104.75; 600-700 lbs., $93-$109; 500-600 lbs., $98-$114; and 400-500 lbs., $104-$115.50.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart Ltd.: No sale was held April 9 due to the Good Friday holiday. Sales resume Thursday, April 16.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 1,600 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week.

In the slaughter market, A1-A2 butcher steers ranged from $82 to $87 and A1-A2 butcher heifers also $82-$87. D1-D2 cows sold from $50 to $59.25; D3 cows $40-$50; and shelly cows, $30-$40. Good bulls brought $72-$79.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $88-$96.25; 800-900 lbs., $96-$102.55; 700-800 lbs., $99-$112.75; 600-700 lbs., $110-$127.25; 500-600 lbs., $112-$130.50; 400-500 lbs., $115-$128.50; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$118. Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $82 to $88.50; 800-900 lbs., $86-$95.75; 700-800 lbs., $88-$105; 600-700 lbs., $92-$107; 500-600 lbs., $102-$114; 400-500 lbs., $105-$116; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$111.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were 2,911 cattle sold at the sale held April 8.

In the slaughter market, butcher steers sold from $82 to $86 while butcher heifers traded $81-$84. Age-verified young cows brought $58-$66; D1-D2 cows, $48-$58; D3 cows, $42-$48; and mature bulls, $68-$76.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $88-$94; 800-900 lbs., $94-$101; 700-800 lbs., $98-$114; 600-700 lbs., $106-$116; 500-600 lbs., $115-$134; and 400-500 lbs., $115-$129. Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. and 800-900 lbs. traded from $86 to $94; 700-800 lbs., $94-$105; 600-700 lbs., $102-$109; 500-600 lbs., $107-$112; and 400-500 lbs., $108-$114.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held April 9 resulted in 110 slaughter cattle and 641 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. traded at $84.50-$88.50; A1-A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $82-$86; D1 and D2 cows, $50-$61; D3 and D5 cows, $30-$50; and good bulls, $74-$82.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category ranged from $94 to $102; 800-900 lbs., $95-$108; 700-800 lbs., $100-$118; 600-700 lbs., $105-$122; 500-600 lbs., $110-$128; 400-500 lbs., $120-$132; and 300-400 lbs., $125-$134. Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $90-$98; 700-800 lbs., $92-$103; 600-700 lbs., $95-$108; 500-600 lbs., $98-$110; 400-500 lbs., $100-$112; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$115.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales Ltd.: There were 572 cattle sold at the two sales held during the week ended April 9. An abbreviated sale was held April 9 instead of Friday because of the Easter holiday. Of the animals sold, 127 were for slaughter while the rest were feeders.

In the slaughter market, Canadian slaughter cows sold at $45-$52 while dry fed cows brought $47-$52; good fleshed, $35-$47; lean, $20-$42; young age verified, $50-$66.50; and good bulls, $61-$73.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $88-$100; 800-900 lbs., $96-$104; 700-800 lbs., $102-$106; 600-700 lbs., $105-$112.50; 500-600 lbs., $110-$124; and 400-500 lbs., $115-$125. Heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. ranged from $85 to $93; 700-800 lbs., $90-$105; 600-700 lbs., $94-$98; 500-600 lbs., $105-$113; and 400-500 lbs., $108-$122.

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