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Less Predictability Seen In Christmas Clearance Sales

There were still some good numbers of cattle moving through the auction yards in Manitoba, as producers try to clean up marketings ahead of the holiday season shutdown. Values for the cattle marketed held generally steady but did manage to strengthen a bit at some locations.

“As we move towards the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, cattle delivery numbers are expected to begin easing off with the predicting of prices also likely to become more unstable,” said Rick Wright of Heartland Order Buying Co.

Markets will become less predictable, he said, because some Manitoba operations do not like taking in fresh stock ahead of Christmas. Some operations, Wright said, will cancel standing purchase orders over the holidays as well.

However, on the flipside of that coin, some operations will continue to be good buyers, making for some spotty market conditions, Wright said.

Butcher cow prices continued to hold fairly steady levels during the week.

Most of the cattle being purchased at the auction yards in Manitoba were destined for both eastern and western locations, and Wright described demand from those outlets as “very active.”

Very few of the cattle sales made in Manitoba were heading south into the U.S. market.

The big news making the circuit at Manitoba’s auction yards centred around the bred cattle sector, where demand for replacement bred cows and bred heifers was extremely strong, especially for good-quality animals, he said.

“We are seeing lots of bred cows trading between $1,300 and $1,400 out of the dispersal (and) lots of bred heifers were trading between $1,300 and $1,500, which is something that has not happened for a very, very long time,” he said. “So there seems to be some optimism in the marketplace at last.”

Wright linked the demand for bred cows and bred heifers by the strong values being offered for good-quality calves and cows due to the global shortage of beef.

As a result of this beef shortage, producers are looking at restocking herds, Wright said. “I would not classify this as rebuilding herds, however, as producers were still seen selling heifer calves and instead buying bred cows.”

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

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

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 3,450 head of cattle were sold at the sale held on Dec. 8. Included in the sale were 400 slaughter cattle and 3,150 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $44 to $50; D3 and D4 cows, from $35 to $44; age verified, $48-$56; and good bulls, $60-$73.50. Heiferettes traded from $60-$65.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. sold from $101 to $116.25; 600-700 lbs., $100-$134; 500-600 lbs., $115-$139; 400-500 lbs., $119- $150; and 300-400 lbs., $120-$140.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $85-$98.50; 700-800 lbs., $96-$98; 600-700 lbs., $105- $124; 500-600 lbs., $100-$126; 400- 500 lbs., $105-$134; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$138.

Holiday schedule: Last sale, Dec. 15; reopens Jan. 12.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Dec. 7 sale saw a total of 1,314 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market bulls sold from $35 to $58 while cows brought $30-$52.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000- lb. category traded from $80 to $107.25; 800-900 lbs., $90-$111.50; 700-800 lbs., $90-$117.75; 600-700 lbs., $105-$133; 500-600 lbs., $110- $142.50; 400-500 lbs., $122-$160; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$163.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $80 to $96.50; 700- 800 lbs., $90-$104.25; 600-700 lbs., $90-$117; 500-600 lbs., $90-$125; 400-500 lbs., $110-$132.50; and 300-400 lbs., $105-$140.

Holiday schedule: Last sale, Dec. 14; reopens Jan. 11.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 189 slaughter cattle and 721 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on Dec. 8.

In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $51 to $57; lean export cows, $47-$52; mature cows, $39-$47; feeding cows, $50-$58; export bulls, $62- $67.25; and mature bulls, $58-$62.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $95 to $103.75; 700-800 lbs., $98-$106; 600-700 lbs., $100-$110; 500-600 lbs., $110- $122.75; 400-500 lbs., $120-$138; and under 400 lbs., $120-$132.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $102-$112; 700-800 lbs., $105-$115; 600-700 lbs., $112- $122; 500-600 lbs., $120-$131; 400- 500 lbs., $130-$153; and under 400 lbs., $150-$164.

Holiday schedule: Last sale, Dec. 15; reopens Jan. 4.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 1,361 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the Dec. 7 sale. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers brought $88- $92.25; A1-A2 heifers, $85-$88.25; D1-D2 cows, $50-$58.25; D3 cows, $36-$49; and good bulls, $60- $66.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. ranged from $98 to $111; 800-900 lbs., $104-$117; 700-800 lbs., $108-$122; 600-700 lbs., $118-$135; 500-600 lbs., $125-$144; and 400-500 lbs., $130-$155.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. sold from $95 to $105; 800-900 lbs., brought $100-$112; 700-800 lbs., $102-$114; 600-700 lbs., $110-$122; 500-600 lbs., $112-$126; 400-500 lbs., $118-$140; and 300-400 lbs., $122-$142.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 1,981 cattle sold at the sale held Dec. 8. Butcher steers brought $85-$89.75 while butcher heifers sold from $84 to $88. Age-verified/young cows ranged from $49 to $55.50; D1-D2 cows, $47-$53; D3 cows, $43-$47; shelly cows, $25-$35; and mature bulls, $58-$64.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $99-$109; 800-900 lbs., $106-$112.75; 700- 800 lbs., $106-$117; 600-700 lbs., $112-$129; 500-600 lbs., $123- $141; 400-500 lbs., $135-$154; and 300-400 lbs., $145-$161.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $94 to $105; 800-900 lbs., $98-$107; 700-800 lbs., $98-$109; 600-700 lbs., $102- $115; 500-600 lbs., $108-$121; and 400-500 lbs., $117-$136.

Killarney Auction Mart:There were 600 cattle sold at the Dec. 9 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $42 to $50; D3 and D4 cows, $29-$42; and slaughter bulls sold for $47-$59.25.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. sold for $80-$93.50; 800-900 lbs., $93-$108; 700-800 lbs., $105- $114.50; 600-700 lbs., $113.50- $125.50; 500-600 lbs., $112- $123.50; 400-500 lbs., $114-$133 and 300-400 lbs., $111-$129.

Feeder heifers weighing 900 lbs. and up brought $89-$104; 800-900 lbs., $93-$108; 700-800 lbs., $105-$114.50; 600-700 lbs., $113.50-$125.50; 500-600 lbs., $117-$137.50; 400-500 lbs., $124- $154; and 300-400 lbs., $127-$145.

Holiday schedule: Last auction, Dec. 16; reopens Jan. 20.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 1,989 cattle were sold at the Dec. 7 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $48 to $56; D3 and D4 cows, $35- $47; canners, $25-$32; and bulls, $55-$67.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $105-$116; 700-800 lbs., $107-$122; 600-700 lbs., $118- $129; 500-600 lbs., $125-$139; 400- 500 lbs., $135-$159; and 300-400 lbs., $140-$165.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $95-$102.50; 700-800 lbs., $98-$103.50; 600-700 lbs., $108-$118.50; 500-600 lbs., $112- $123; 400-500 lbs., $120-$140; and 300-400 lbs., $115-$137.

Taylor Auctions, Melita:The sale held Dec. 9 resulted in 200 slaughter cattle and 602 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $48 to $55; D3 and D5 cows, $40-$48; and good bulls, $58-$64.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $105-$110; 800-900 lbs., $110-$115; 700-800 lbs., $112-$118; 600-700 lbs., $118- $125; 500-600 lbs., $125-$140; 400- 500 lbs., $130-$145; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$155.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $100 to $105; 700-800 lbs., $102-$108; 600-700 lbs., $105-$114; 500-600 lbs., $110- $122; 400-500 lbs., $115-$125; and 300-400 lbs., $120-$135.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were a total of 1,500 head of cattle sold at the auction held Dec. 10, of which 240 were for the slaughter sector and 1,260 feeders.

In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $47-$51; good fleshed cows, $43-$47; lean cows, $36-$43; young age verified, $42- $56; and good bulls, $55-$66.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. sold from $105 to $116; 700-800 lbs., $105-$118; 700-800 lbs., $110-$123.50; 500-600 lbs., $120-$138.50; 400-500 lbs., $125- $148.50; and under 400 lbs., $110- $150.

Feeder heifers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. category brought $90- $93; 800-900 lbs., $95-$101; 700- 800 lbs., $98-$105; 600-700 lbs., $100-$111; 500-600 lbs., $105- $122.50; 400-500 lbs., $115-$140; and under 400 lbs., $115-$138.50.

Holiday schedule: Last auction Dec. 17; first sale of 2011, Jan. 6.

———

DWAYNE KLASSEN

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