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Loonie Weighs On Heavier Animals

Marketings of cattle at auction yards in Manitoba during the latest week held fairly steady. Values for the cattle marketed during the week ended March 12 were little changed overall from the previous week to slightly lower for heavier-weight animals.

“The exception to the prices were grass cattle in the under-700-pound weight category, which were fully steady if not stronger,” said Robin Hill, manager of Heartland Livestock Services at Virden.

Cattle in the 850-lbs.-plus weight category, meanwhile, were definitely off in terms of price in comparison to the previous week.

Prices for the fat cattle sector have certainly improved, he noted, but values continue to be nowhere near where producers and feedlots need them to be.

The decline in prices for cattle was linked in part to the continued strengthening of the Canadian dollar, Hill said.

The Canadian currency finished at US98.18 cents on March 12. The Canadian unit had moved to a 20-month high on Friday, topping out near the US98.37-cent level. The rest of the week, the Canadian currency traded between US97.29 and 97.58 cents. The Canadian unit on March 5 had closed at US97.13 cents.

Avery Shenfeld, CIBC’s chief economist, forecast that interest rate hike expectations and strong global investor demand could push the Canadian dollar past parity with the U. S. unit by as early as this summer.

BUYING LOCAL

Much of the demand for the grass cattle that surfaced during the week came from local buyers, Hill said.

Demand from packers in both Eastern and Western Canada also remained steady, although there were indications that some scaling back was pending in hopes of making purchases at lower prices.

Some of the price weakness evidenced by cattle this week was also associated with sentiment from end-users that there may be a few more cattle available than what they were thinking a month ago, Hill said.

“There was some concern by end-users about exactly how many cattle were out there, which probably helped values strengthen to the degree they did over the past month,” Hill said. “However, with the stronger values, more marketings occurred than anticipated.”

The extra movement also could mark the beginning of calving season. “Usually producers about a week or two ahead of calving getting underway will begin to move animals and clear out the pens for the next group,” Hill said.

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.

Ashern Livestock Mart: An estimated 2,643 head of cattle were sold at the sale held March 10. In the slaughter market, heiferettes traded up to $68; older shelly cows, $20 and up; age-verified D1 and D2 cows, $50-$57.75; D3 and D5 cows, $42-$50; and good bulls, $60-$73.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. ranged from $85 to $91; 800-900 lbs., $80-$96; 700-800 lbs., $90-$103.75; 600-700 lbs., $100-$116.75; 500-600 lbs., $98-$127.25; and 400-500 lbs., $114-$122.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $85-$94; 600-700 lbs., $90-$100; 500-600 lbs., $95-$106; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$113.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The March 9 sale saw a total of 1,212 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $56 to $69.75 while cows brought $35-$45, with age verified up to $56.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $68 to $89; 800-900 lbs., $82-$104; 700-800 lbs., $85-$105; 600-700 lbs., $95-$115.75; 500-600 lbs., $100-$129; 400-500 lbs., $100-$130; and 300-400 lbs., $119-$136.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $68 to $89.25; 800-900 lbs., $70-$94.50; 700-800 lbs., $80-$95.50; 600-700 lbs., $80-$109; 500-600 lbs., $80-$122; 400-500 lbs., $87-$114; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$126.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 138 slaughter cattle and 696 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on March 10. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $51 to $56.50; lean export cows, $47-$53; mature cows, $46-$47; feeding cows, $49-$58; export bulls $64-$69.50; and mature bulls, $58-$61.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $75 to $83.50; 700-800 lbs., $82-$91; 600-700 lbs., $90-$103; 500-600 lbs., $100-$110; 400-500 lbs., $103-$111; and under 400 lbs., $105-$114.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $80 to $89; 800-900 lbs., $86-$94.50; 700-800 lbs., $92-$102.25; 600-700 lbs., $100-$112; 500-600 lbs., $110-$119; 400-500 lbs., $120-$130; and under 400 lbs., $120-$130.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 1,200 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week.

Butcher steers traded from $74 to $80; butcher heifers, $74-$78.75; D1-D2 cows, $46-$54, age verified $54-$57.50; D3 cows $40-$45; and mature bulls, $63-$68.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $82 to $88.25; 800-900 lbs., $90-$98; 700-800 lbs., $95-$108.25; 600-700 lbs., $100-$115.25; 500-600 lbs., $110-$128.25; 400-500 lbs., $112-$129; and 300-400 lbs., $115-$132.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $75-$81.50; 800-900 lbs., $82-$86.25; 700-800 lbs., $85-$95; 600-700 lbs., $90-$100.25; 500-600 lbs., $95-$107.50; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$111.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 2,429 cattle sold at the sale held on March 10. Butcher steers brought $74-$78.75 while butcher heifers sold from $73 to $77.75. Ageverified/ young cows sold from $51 to $57; D1-D2 cows, $47-$55; D3 cows, $44-$47; shelly cows, $37-$44; and mature bulls, $64-$68.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $84-$91.75; 800-900 lbs., $89-$98.75; 700-800 lbs., $95-$106; 600-700 lbs., $104-$116; 500-600 lbs., $110-$127; 400-500 lbs., $115-$128; and 300-400 lbs., $118-$129.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $76 to $82; 800-900 lbs., $79-$86.75; 700-800 lbs., $83-$94.50; 600-700 lbs., $89-$102; 500-600 lbs., $94-$106 and 400-500 lbs., $98-$107.

Killarney Auction Mart: The market report was not available this week.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 416 cattle sold at the sale held March 8. Included in the sale were 107 slaughter animals and 309 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 cows sold from $46 to $57, age verified up to the mid-$60s; D2 cows, $36-$43; D3 cows, $20-$27; and bulls, $54-$71.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. fetched $80-$93; 800-900 lbs., $84-$98; 700-800 lbs., $91-$106; 600-700 lbs., $95-$115; 500-600 lbs., $102-$122; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$133.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. went for $74-$87; 700-800 lbs., $77-$91; 600-700 lbs., $86-$100; 500-600 lbs., $90-$107; and 400-500 lbs., $92-$109.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 1,085 cattle were sold at the March 11 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $43 to $51; D3-D4 cows, $30-$40; and bulls, $63-$70.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $86 to $93; 800-900 lbs., $88-$98; 700-800 lbs., $95-$105; 600-700 lbs., $105-$116; 500-600 lbs., $110-$125; 400-500 lbs., $115-$136; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$128.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $78-$85; 800-900 lbs., $80-$88; 700-800 lbs., $88-$94; 600-700 lbs., $95-$107; 500-600 lbs., $95-$107; 400-500 lbs., $95-$108; and 300-400 lbs., $95-$104.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held March 11 resulted in 80 slaughter cattle and 658 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. brought $78-$81.25; A1-A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $78-$80.50; D1-D2 cows, $45-$56; D3 and D5 cows, $35-$45; and good bulls, $62-$68.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs., brought $85-$94; 800-900 lbs., $90-$98; 700-800 lbs., $95-$106; 600-700 lbs., $100-$114; 500-600 lbs., $105-$124; 400-500 lbs., $110-$126; and 300-400 lbs., $115-$129.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs., traded from $80 to $88; 700-800 lbs., $85-$93; 600-700 lbs., $93-$100; 500-600 lbs., $100-$105; 400-500 lbs., $105-$110; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$115.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 1,859 head of cattle sold during the week ending March 12. In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold from $76 to $77.50; select steers and heifers, $73-$76; dry fed cows, $43-$48; good fleshed, $39-$44; lean, $32-$39; young age verified, $45-$58; and good bulls $54-$68.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $82-$87; 800-900 lbs., $85-$94; 700-800 lbs., $90-$105.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$112; 500-600 lbs., $105-$121; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$127.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $79 to $84; 700-800 lbs., $83-$88.25; 600-700 lbs., $86-$94.50; 500-600 lbs., $90-$108.50; and 400-500 lbs., $95-$112.

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