Activity at Ma n i t o b a’s cattle auction yards remained light during the week ended Aug. 14, although there was a slight increase in movement, with more yards restarting after their summer shutdowns.
Robin Hill of Hear tland Livestock Services at Virden said activity was starting to pick up on the yearling run.
“We’re seeing a lot of yearlings getting ready to move,” he said, adding that dry pasture conditions in that area of the province were likely behind the pickup in marketings.
Sales in Alberta and Saskatchewan were also already seeing an increase from the summer slowdown, he said.
Demand for yearlings was coming from all directions, with the bulk going to western feedlots, Hill said. There wasn’t much activity to the U. S. right now, “but we’re hoping that will pick up.”
Cows were also moving steadily during the week, said Hill. About half of the cows were heading down to the U. S., with the remainder staying in Canada to be slaughtered.
“The cow markets stayed decent, with reasonable prices,” he said, noting that age-verified cows suitable for export to the U. S. were seeing the highest prices.
The strong Canadian dollar remained a detrimental factor on the cattle markets during the week, although it was starting to trend a little weaker. The currency bounced around the US91-to 92-cent level during the week, which compared to highs above US93 cents the previous week.
Buddy Bergner of Ashern Auction Mart said the strong currency, combined with low meat prices, was not boding well for the cattle sector. His auction yard was restarting in the next week and Bergner was concerned that the poor returns would see more cattle producers exiting the market and liquidating their herds this year.
Bergner said he thought many people in the cattle sector would be in need of subsidies in order to keep going. He said he had heard some estimates that 20 per cent of producers could go into bankruptcy if things don’t turn around and another 20 per cent may quit.
Haying progress was varied across the province during the week, with the Interlake still seeing the most problems due to wet fields. The prolonged harvest will cut into yields and quality.
Pasture land was generally thought to be improving around the province, although some areas were on the wet side and other areas were in need of more rain.
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 : Reopens Aug. 19.
Gladstone Auction Mart: No data was available.
Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: Auctions will be held every other week until mid-August.
Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 395 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. A1-A2 steers went for $75-$78; A1-A2 heifers, $75-$78; D1-D2 cows, $46-$54; feeder cows, $40-$45; shells, $30-$40; and good bulls, $58-$60.75.
Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. went for $88-$94.50; 800-900 lbs., $92-$99; 700-800 lbs., $95-$100.75; 600-700 lbs., $95-$101; 500-600 lbs., $100-$110 and 400-500 lbs., $100-$112.
Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold for $85-$92.50; 800-900 lbs., $88-$95; 700-800 lbs., $88-$95.25; 600-700 lbs., $90-$95; and 500-600 lbs., $90-$97.50.
Auctions will be held on Tuesdays only at Brandon during the summer months.
Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 577 cattle sold at the sale held on Aug. 12. Butcher steers brought $74-$77, while butcher heifers sold from $73 to $76. Ageverified/ young cows sold for $47-$53; D1-D2 cows, $43-$48; D3 cows, $40-$43; shelly cows, $32-$40; and mature bulls $58-$62.75.
Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $89-$96; 800-900 lbs., $94-$101.50; 700-800 lbs., $96-$104; 600-700 lbs., $97-$109; 500-600 lbs., $100-$111; and 400-500 lbs., $103-$115.
Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $83 to $91; 800-900 lbs., $86-$95; 700-800 lbs., $86-$96; 600-700 lbs., $86-$96; 500-600 lbs., $87-$98 and 400-500 lbs., $88-$98.
Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 161 cattle sold at the sale held on Aug. 10. Included in the sale were 36 slaughter animals and 125 feeders.
In the slaughter market, D1 cows sold for $44-$49.50; D2, $38-$43; D3 cows, $32-$37; and bulls, $53-$63.75.
Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. fetched $88-$92.50; 800-900 lbs., $76-$94; 700-800 lbs., $88-$101; 600-700 lbs., $90-$104; and 500-600 lbs., $96-$108. Feeder heifers weighing over 900 lbs. sold for $79-$85; 600-700 lbs., $76-$93; and 500-600 lbs., $87-$101.
Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 206 cattle sold at the Aug. 13 sale.
In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $38 to $47.50, while D3 cows brought $28-$37 and bulls sold from $50 to $61.
Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $90 to $97.75; 700-800 lbs., $90-$102; and 600-700 lbs., $95-$102. Feeder heifers weighing 400-500 lbs. sold from $90 to $94.50.
Taylor Auctions, Melita: The market was steady, although only a few slaughter cattle traded hands.
Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 225 head of cattle sold at the sale on Tuesday, Aug. 11. In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers brought $74-$77.25; select steers and heifers, $70-$74; dry fed cows, $38-$45; good fleshed, $34-$38; lean, $28-$34; young age verified $45-$55; and good bulls, $50-$57.
Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought up to $98; 600-700 lbs., up to $100; and 500-600 lbs., up to $105.
Cattle auctions at Winnipeg will be held once a week on Tuesdays during the summer months.