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Marketings Drop As Cattle Storm-Stayed

Marketings of cattle at Manitoba auction markets in the first part of last week were described as good, but any sales from Wednesday, March 18 forward to Friday, March 27, were pretty thin because of the winter storm that hit the province.

“Marketings in the first part of the week started off OK, but when the storm hit, there was a huge drop-off in marketings,” said Rick Wright, a livestock order buyer and cattle broker for Cattlex Ltd. at Hamiota.

“Even sales at the Winnipeg Livestock yard dropped significantly in comparison to the previous week’s total,” Wright said.

However, he added, cattle yards in the province were expecting a very large carry-over of marketings into the following week’s cattle sales.

Prices for cattle at the auction yards remained extremely strong, especially on the light cattle that were going to grass, Wright said.

“There was aggressive demand for anything under the 700-pound mark with values at least $2 to $3 a hundredweight (cwt) over the previous week’s price,” he said.

Wright said the fat cattle market in the East has picked up and cattle were bringing an impressive dressed-weight value. “Essentially, the eastern guys were moving fat cattle out and were looking to replace some inventory,” he said.

There were very few 900-lb. cattle for sale this week despite there being some strong demand for the higher-end animals, Wright said.

Demand from the U. S., meanwhile, was evident, “but nothing to write home about,” Wright said, adding this was more a function of economics than anything else.

“The U. S. fat cattle market has not been all that good, and feedlots have been slow moving these animals as a result,” he said. “In order to create more room to buy additional inventory, there needs to be movement.”

Even some Canadian investors who had been feeding in the U. S. are now looking at Alberta and considering building up some inventory, he said, given the cheapness of feed there.

Eastern feedlots have once again gained access to U. S. markets, which has in turn helped to create demand for cattle, he added.

The flood outlook for Manitoba’s Red River Valley was only expected to have a minimal impact on cattle sales in the province, Wright said. The impact will be felt in terms of road restrictions on movement into the U. S.

“This will mean that any cattle movement from Manitoba will need to be lighter, which in turn will cost the producer more money to move those animals to destination,” Wright said, noting this cost comes off the purchase price of the cattle.

Quite a few Manitoba cattle continue to find their way into eastern Nebraska and Iowa, he added.

Wright also felt auction markets at Winnipeg and Grunthal may find their cattle numbers each week are a bit lighter longer term due to the flooding. However, he noted sales at those two yards could also increase significantly in the immediate future as producers try to move cattle to avoid flooding.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note: All prices in Canadian dollars per cwt. These prices also generally represent the top one-third of sales reported by the auction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart: An estimated 401 head of cattle were sold at the sale March 25. Of those, 100 were for slaughter while the remaining 301 were feeders.

In the slaughter market, the older shelly cows traded $15 and up. D1 and D2 cows brought $50-$59.50; D3 and D5 cows, $40-$50; and good bulls, $59-$72.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. traded $95-$109.50; 600-700 lbs., $100-$110; and 500-600 lbs., $114-$128. Feeder heifers in the 600-to 700-lb. category brought $86-$99; 500-600 lbs., $89-$106.50; and 400-500 lbs., $85-$105.50.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The March 24 sale saw 1,144 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, cows traded from $15 to $59 while bulls brought $40-$65.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. fetched $79-$96.50; 800-900 lbs., $70-$99; 700-800 lbs., $84-$108; 600-700 lbs., $80-$118.50; 500-600 lbs., $80-$127.50; 400-500 lbs., $80-$128.50; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$124. Feeder heifers, 800-900 lbs., traded $70-$93; 700-800 lbs., $73-$99.25; 600-700 lbs., $75-$107; 500-600 lbs., $80-$114; 400-500 lbs., $78-$113; and 300-400 lbs., $77-$110.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 161 head of cattle sold at the auction March 25, with the light numbers tied to the weather. Of the animals sold, 69 were for the slaughter sector with the remaining 92 feeders.

In the slaughter market, average fed cows traded $51.50-$56.50; good fleshed cows, $34.50-$50.50, lean cows, $5-$15 and average bulls, $52.50-$62.50.

Feeder steers weighing 600-700 lbs. sold from $96 to $106; 500-600 lbs., $99-$120; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$127. Feeder heifers in the 600-to 700-lb. class sold from $90-$108.50 and 500-600 lbs., $94-$110.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 715 cattle sold at the sale March 23. Of those, 139 consisted of slaughter animals while the remainder were feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 cows brought $48-$55, D2 cows $44-$47 and D3 cows $35-$43. Good bulls traded $60-$74.75. Pasture-exposed cows brought $48-$60.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. traded from $78 to $89.75; 800-900 lbs., $85-$96.50; 700-800 lbs., $88-$107.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$119.50; 500-600 lbs., $98-$125; and 400-500 lbs., $108-$128.50. Feeder heifers in the over-900-lb. category brought $70-$83; 800-900 lbs., $78-$93.75; 700-800 lbs., $87-$101.75; 600-700 lbs., $90-$107.50; 500-600 lbs., $90-$110; and 400-500 lbs., $95-$112.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: An estimated 228 head of cattle were sold at the sale March 26. Of the animals sold, 19 were for the slaughter market; the remainder were feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows brought $43-$54 while D3 cows sold from $30 to $43. Good bulls traded from $45 to $60.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $93-$102; 700-800 lbs., $95-$108; 600-700 lbs., $108-$120; and 500-600 lbs., $110-$130. Feeder heifers weighing 600-700 lbs., sold from $100 to $105; 500-600 lbs., $100-$107; and 400-500 lbs., $95-$106.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 1,270 head of cattle were sold in Brandon during the sale held March 24. In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows $48-$55.25, while D3 cows sold from $35 to $48. Good bulls brought $68-$73.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $85 to $91.50; 800-900 lbs., $90-$96; 700-800 lbs., $92-$105; 600-700 lbs., $105-$117.25; 500-600 lbs., $110-$123; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$122. Feeder heifers, 800-900 lbs., sold from $82 to $88; 700-800 lbs., $82-$92.25; 600-700 lbs., $92-$106.25; 500-600 lbs., $110-$123; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$122.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were 758 cattle on offer at the sale held March 25. In the slaughter market, butcher steers sold from $82 to $87.50; butcher heifers saw $81-$86.25, while age-verified young cows traded from $52 to $57. D1-D2 cows sold from $47 to $52 while D3 cows brought $40-$47. Shelly cows traded $33-$40 while mature bulls fetched $65-$72.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. category sold from $86 to $93.50; 800-900 lbs., $90-$99; 700-800 lbs., $97-$108; 600-700 lbs., $102-$119; 500-600 lbs., $108-$127; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$128. Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $77 to $83; 800-900 lbs., $86-$96.25; 700-800 lbs., $90-$98.75; 600-700 lbs., $95-$106; 500-600 lbs., $98-$108.50; and 400-500 lbs., $98-$109.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held March 26 resulted in 35 slaughter cattle and 90 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $52 to $60; D3 and D5 cows, $40-$52; and good bulls, $68-$76.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category ranged from $88 to $96; 800-900 lbs., $90-$98; 700-800 lbs., $95-$108; 600-700 lbs., $105-$115; 500-600 lbs., $110-$118; 400-500 lbs., $110-$124 and 300-400 lbs., $110-$128. Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs., fetched $80-$95; 700-800 lbs., $85-$98; 600-700 lbs., $90-$100; 500-600 lbs., $90-$102; 400-500 lbs., $90-$105 and 300-400 lbs., $90-$105.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were 638 head of cattle sold at the two sales held during the week ended March 27. Of those, at least 50 were for the slaughter market; the remainder generally consisted of feeders.

In the slaughter market, cows (dry fed) traded from $44 to $50; good fleshed cows, $39-$44 and lean cows, $30-$39. Good bulls traded from $50 to $62. Young age-verified cattle traded from $50 to $59.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs., traded from $90 to $97.50; 800-900 lbs., $95-$103.50; 700-800 lbs., $102-$111.50; 600-700 lbs., $108-$123; 500-600 lbs., $125-$130; and 400-500 lbs., $125-$134. Heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $86-$95.50; 700-800 lbs., $90-$96.50; 600-700 lbs., $94-$101; 500-600 lbs., $102-$112; and 400-500 lbs., $105-$114.

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