Larger Feed Crops Seen Boosting Feeder Prices – for Aug. 5, 2010

The cattle on offer at Manitoba’s cattle auction yards during the week ended July 30 were generally holding firm, although volumes remain seasonally light moving through the quiet summer months.

“We saw some large groups of heavyweight yearlings off the grass move this week,” said Rick Wright, a cattle buyer with the Heartland Order Buying Co., adding that “they sold very strong – probably two to three cents higher than what most people thought they would sell for.”

However, he said, the stronger Canadian dollar was putting the U. S. buyers at a bit of a disadvantage.

There were a few more cows than average coming to the market, due to better prices, Wright said.

In the feeder market, there were very few calves moving, and Wright said he didn’t expect to see many until the end of August at the earliest.

Finished steers and heifers were slightly stronger, but were still at disappointing levels overall, according to Wright.

“The good news in the cattle side is that it looks like there will be a tremendous corn crop in the U. S., which should make for some fairly reasonably priced feed,” he said, adding that lower feed costs will bode well for feeder cattle prices.

The fact that China is opening its doors to boneless beef from cattle under 30 months of age (UTMs) from Canada also has created a lot of excitement in the industry. “That’s just a huge market to tap into,” said Wright.

“All in all, there’s some pretty good optimism for this fall.”

Demand for the yearlings off the grass should be very aggressive, he said, “and it looks to me as if there will be an increased demand for bred cattle this fall.”

There will be fewer feeder cattle coming to the markets this fall, he said, as the North American herd size continues to decline. “We didn’t fill the pens to capacity on either side of the border last year, so the supply/demand ratio should kick in and unless the dollar goes absolutely crazy, we should see some fairly active trade.”

The Manitoba Cattle Producers Association came out during the week requesting more government financial assistance, in line with what’s already been given to grain producers, in order to help deal with the adverse weather conditions seen this spring.

Wright agreed that the Manitoba government was a little behind some of the other provinces in helping the cattle sector. While the problems

were regionalized across Manitoba, some of those areas that were flooded out this year were dealing with weather-related problems for the third year in a row, he said.

Pasture conditions vary across the province, with moisture issues causing problems with the hay harvest in some areas. However, Wright said, “the crops that aren’t flooded out are looking pretty good.”


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 until mid-August.

GladstoneAuctionMart: Closed until Aug. 16.

GrunthalLivestockAuction Mart:There was no auction held this week. Auctions will be held every other week in July and August.

KillarneyAuctionMart: Closed until mid-August.

PipestoneLivestockSales: Closed until the end of August.

Ste.RoseAuctionMart:The next sale will be held on Aug. 12.

TaylorAuctions,Melita:The next sale will be held on Aug. 19.

HeartlandLivestockServices, Brandon:A total of 258 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. D1-D2 cows went for $55-$60. Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $90 to $99; 800-900 lbs., $98-$104.25; 700-800 lbs., $102-$108.75; 600- 700 lbs., $110-$119; and 500-600 lbs., $110-$120. Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. ranged from $90 to $98.50; 700-800 lbs., $92-$103.25; 600-700 lbs., $95- $107.25; and 500-600 lbs., $98- $108.

Auctions will be held every Tuesday during the summer.

HeartlandLivestockServices, Virden:There were about 197 cattle sold at the sale held July 29. Butcher steers brought $81-$85 while butcher heifers sold from $79 to $83.50. Ageverified/ young cows sold from $58 to $62.50; D1-D2 cows, $57- $61; D3 cows, $54-$57; shelly cows, $48-$54; and mature bulls, $71-$75.50. Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $88-$99; 800-900 lbs., $96-$105; 700-800 lbs., $99-$111; 600-700 lbs., $105-$116; and 500-600 lbs., $110-$122. Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $79 to $89; 800-900 lbs., $87-$96; 700-800 lbs., $91-$102; 600-700 lbs., $98-$108; and 500- 600 lbs., $100-$110.

Auctions will be held every Wednesday during the summer.

WinnipegLivestockSales: There were about 120 head of cattle sold during the week ending July 30. In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold from $79 to $82.75; select steers and heifers, $76- $79; dry fed cows, $48-$50; good fleshed, $44-$49; lean, $38-$44; young age verified, $50-$58; and good bulls, $65- $73.

Winnipeg will hold a sale on Fridays only during the summer.

– Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Resource News

International (RNI), a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.


– Rick Wright, Heartland Order Buying Co.

Wedidn’tfillthe penstocapacityon eithersideofthe borderlastyear,so thesupply/demand ratioshouldkickin.”

About the author


Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm

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



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