Lower Supplies, Steady Demand Spur Price Optimism

The decline in the level of cattle being marketed at the auction yards in Manitoba continued during the week ended June 4. Prices for the cattle remained steady to firm amid steady demand. Discounts for poor choice animals continued to be significant.

“The firmness in price for the various classes of cattle continued to reflect steady demand,” said Dave Nickel at Gladstone Auction Mart. “There has been an increase in optimism that cattle values will continue to climb, which in turn has helped to generate the stronger prices.”

Much of the price optimism was being associated with the fact that cattle numbers in both Canada and the U. S. remain on the decline, he said.

Demand for grass cattle also continued to be strong among local producers, given the predictions for cattle shortages, Nickel said. Producers continue to assess their yard situations and are adding cattle if the numbers work.

Packer interest for cattle remained steady to strong, with some trying to top up on animals ahead of the summer shutdown at the auction yards in the province.

Only a handful of cattle auction yards are up and running during the summer. Heartland Livestock Services in both Brandon and Virden will run weekly auctions while Winnipeg will move to a Friday-only sale. Sales in Grunthal will be held on a biweekly basis. Most of the other auction yards will be temporarily closed.

Cattle continued to be put out on pasture, with forage conditions said to be good for the most part, Nickel said. “There are certainly areas in which the moisture has benefited pastures, but there are some concerns about excess moisture in other areas.”

The Canadian dollar as of June 4 was quoted at US94.14 cents, which compared with US95.1 cents on May 28. The Canadian unit ranged between US94.14 and 96.38 cents during the week.

The path of least resistance for the Canadian dollar in the medium to longer term is up, with the strengthening of the currency tied to the decision by the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates, according to George Davis, chief technical currency analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

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: Ashern did not hold a sale this week. The last sale for the summer will be held June 9. It will reopen in mid-August.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The June 1 sale saw a total of 355 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $62 to $73 while cows brought $35-$55, with age verified up to $62.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $70 to $92.50; 800-900 lbs., $85-$105.50; 700-800 lbs., $90-$118.50; 600-700 lbs., $85-$123; 500-600 lbs., $100-$126.50; 400-500 lbs., $100-$125; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$115.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $68 to $84; 800-900 lbs., $84-$92.75; 700-800 lbs., $76-$99; 600-700 lbs., $80-$111.50; 500-600 lbs., $90-$114.50; 400-500 lbs., $80-$114; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$104. Gladstone’s last sale for the summer will be July 13 and it will open again Aug. 16.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 143 slaughter cattle and 200 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on June 2. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $57 to $60.25; lean export cows, $49-$55; mature cows, $48-$54; feeding cows, $55-$64; and export bulls, $71-$75.25.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $85 to $90; 700-800 lbs., $90-$98.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$105.50; 500-600 lbs., $97-$102; 400-500 lbs., $99-$108; and under 400 lbs., $99-$110.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $88 to $95; 700-800 lbs., $92-$102; 600-700 lbs., $95-$102; 500-600 lbs., $108-$112; 400-500 lbs., $115-$122; and under 400 lbs., $114-$125.

Auctions will be held every other week at Grunthal in July and August.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 462 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. A1-A2 steers traded from $80 to $84.50; A1-A2 heifers, $80-$83.25; D1-D2 cows, $58-$62, age verified $59-$64.50; feeder cows, $52-$58; shells, $45-$52; and good bulls, $74-$79, fancy high-yielding bulls up to $82.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $88 to $93; 800-900 lbs., $95-$105; 700-800 lbs., $100-$113; 600-700 lbs., $102-$117.50; 500-600 lbs., $110-$125.50; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$128.75.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $75 to $85; 800-900 lbs., $82-$88; 700-800 lbs., $90-$97; 600-700 lbs., $98-$107.50; 500-600 lbs., $105-$115; and 400-500 lbs., $105-$115.

Auctions will be held every Tuesday at Brandon during the summer.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 639 cattle sold at the sale held June 2. Butcher steers brought $83-$88 while butcher heifers sold from $81 to $85.75. Age-verified/young cows sold from $58 to $63.75; D1-D2 cows, $57-$62; D3 cows, $53-$57; shelly cows, $48-$53; and mature bulls $72-$79.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $87-$94; 800-900 lbs., $96-$105; 700-800 lbs., $102-$116; 600-700 lbs., $109-$122; 500-600 lbs., $111-$125; 400-500 lbs., $115-$128; and 300-400 lbs., $115-$130.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $78 to $86; 800-900 lbs., $83-$94; 700-800 lbs., $89-$100; 600-700 lbs., $97-$109; 500-600 lbs., $100-$114; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$115.

Auctions will be held every Wednesday at Virden during the summer.

Killarney Auction Mart: Killarney did not hold a sale this week. The next sale will be June 17, after which it will be closed until mid-August.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 225 cattle sold at the sale held May 31. Included in the sale were 85 slaughter cattle and 140 feeders. In the slaughter market, D1 cows sold from $57 to $62, age verified up to $64; D2 cows, $50-$57; D3 cows, $35-$40; and bulls, $65-$74.25.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $85-$97.50; 700-800 lbs., $92-$113.25; 600-700 lbs., $105-$125; 500-600 lbs., $105-$125; 400-500 lbs., $110-$128; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$127.

Feeder heifers weighing over 900 lbs. traded from $70 to $85; 800-900 lbs., $82-$90; 700-800 lbs., $87-$97; 600-700 lbs., $90-$107; 500-600 lbs., $95-$107; 400-500 lbs., $100-$111; and 300-400 lbs., $105-$116.50.

Pipestone will be closed during July and August.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 546 cattle were sold at the June 3 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $54 to $60; D3-D4 cows, $40-$50; and bulls, $75-$81.50.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $95 to $105.50; 700-800 lbs., $104-$108; 600-700 lbs., $110-$119; 500-600 lbs., $110-$124; and 400-500 lbs., $115-$127.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $85-$97.50; 700-800 lbs., $90-$101.50; 600-700 lbs., $100-$108; 500-600 lbs., $98-$109; and 400-500 lbs., $95-$113.

Ste. Rose’s last sale before the summer break will be held June 24.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held June 3 resulted in 200 slaughter cattle and 152 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1 and A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. brought $72-$75.50; A1 and A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $80-$83; D1 and D2 cows, $55-$65; and D3 and D5 cows, $45-$55.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $88-$95; 800-900 lbs., $95-$100; 700-800 lbs., $100-$114; 600-700 lbs., $108-$118; 500-600 lbs., $110-$125; 400-500 lbs., $115-$128; and 300-400 lbs., $120-$132.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $82 to $92; 700-800 lbs., $85-$95; 600-700 lbs., $90-$104; 500-600 lbs., $95-$108; 400-500 lbs., $100-$112; and 300-400 lbs., $105-$115.

Taylor Auctions will be closed for the month of July.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 700 head of cattle sold during the week ending June 4. In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold from $85 to $89; select steers and heifers $81-$86; dry fed cows, $48-$53; good fleshed, $45-$48; lean, $42-$46; young age verified, $48-$58; and good bulls, $65-$79.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $97-$106; 700-800 lbs., $102-$110; 600-700 lbs., $110-$120; 500-600 lbs., $115-$127; and 400-500 lbs., $115-$126.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $80 to $90; 800-900 lbs., $85-$96; 700-800 lbs., $88-$93; 600-700 lbs., $95-$106; 500-600 lbs., $100-$110; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$111.50.

Winnipeg will hold sales on Fridays only during the summer.

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