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Marketings Taper Off As Holidays Approach

DWAYNE KLASSEN

The app roach of the Christmas and New Year holidays, combined with some winter issues, resulted in a decline in the number of cattle moving through the auction yards in Manitoba during the week ended Dec. 17.

Prices for the most part held steady, with values for select types of cattle seeing some improvement. Some decent numbers were still evident as producers tried to clear yards ahead of the holidays.

Activity at the auction yards will really begin to drop off as quite a few outlets begin their holiday shutdown, said Keith Cleaver, general manager of Heartland Livestock Services at Brandon. He said his auction yard will hold one more general sale Dec. 21 before reopening Jan. 11.

Demand for the cattle on auction in Manitoba continued to come mainly from packers in both Eastern and Western Canada, with a few truckloads also making their way into the U.S.

U.S. buyers, he noted, have been finding it quite expensive to purchase cattle from Manitoba due in part to the continued upswing in the value of the Canadian dollar.

“A lot of the northernstate U.S. buyers are finding it cheaper to bring in cattle from Nebraska, after the dollar, transportation and the health paperwork is factored in,” Cleaver said, noting that in some situations the value was five to eight cents a pound cheaper than bringing cattle in from Manitoba.

As for the cattle heading toward Ontario and Quebec, the issue was truck availability, Cleaver said, adding that a lot of the drivers wanted to be closer to home around the holiday season. The prospect of getting stuck in Eastern Canada because of the recent spate of winter storms also was not very appealing to individuals who move cattle for a living.

Some of the strength in the market continued to reflect the tight cow numbers, which have been steadily declining since 2005, a market analyst commented.

The analyst forecasts that cattle prices are ending the 2010 season on a firm note, and it appears the start of 2011 will see those values continue to firm.

Growing international demand for Canadian beef will also be a factor in values for cattle holding firm, if not strengthening further, the analyst forecast.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:Allpricesin Canadiandollarsperhundredweight. Thesepricesalso generallyrepresentthetop one-thirdofsalesreported bytheauctionyard.

Ashern Livestock Mart: An estimated 1,567 head of cattle were sold at the sale held Dec. 15. Included in the sale were 300 slaughter cattle and 1,267 feeders. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $48 to $52; D3 and D4 cows, $40-$48; age verified, $55-$68.50; and good bulls, $67.50. Heiferettes traded at $80.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. sold from $112 to $126; 600-700 lbs., $110- $127; 500-600 lbs., $115- $143; and 400-500 lbs., $120- $150.

Feeder heifers weighing 600-700 lbs. sold from $100 to $123; 500-600 lbs., $105- $126; and 400-500 lbs., $110- $131.

The Ashern market reopens Jan. 12.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Dec. 14 sale saw a total of 1,379 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $45 to $52 while cows brought $34-$51.50.

Feeder steers in the 900- to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $82 to $103.25; 800-900 lbs., $90-$114.75; 700-800 lbs., $95-$124.50; 600-700 lbs., $100-125.50; 500-600 lbs., $100-$139.50; 400-500 lbs., $110-$153.50; and 300-400 lbs., $120-$157.

Feeder hei fers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. went for $70-$94; 800-900 lbs., $90- $103.50; 700-800 lbs., $85- $103; 600-700 lbs., $95-$120; 500-600 lbs., $100-$123.50; 400-500 lbs., $105-$137.50; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$144.

The Gladstone market reopens Jan. 11.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 208 slaughter cattle and 399 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on Dec. 15.

In the slaughter market, lean export cows fetched $51-$55; mature cows, $40- $47; feeding cows, $50-$56; export bulls, $60-$67.75; and mature bulls, $55-$60.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $90 to $100; 700-800 lbs., $95- $104; 600-700 lbs., $100- $110; 500-600 lbs., $110- $130; 400-500 lbs., $115- $132; and under 400 lbs., $120-$133.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $95- $110; 700-800 lbs., $105- $113; 600-700 lbs., $112- $122.50; 500-600 lbs., $120- $135; 400-500 lbs., $135- $154; and under 400 lbs., $145-$159.

The Grunthal auction market reopens Jan. 12.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 826 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the Dec. 14 sale. In the slaughter market, butcher steers brought $85- $89.50; butcher heifers, $84- $87.75; D1-D2 cows, $48- $56; D3 cows, $36-$47; and mature bulls, $58-$62.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. ranged from $100-$107; 800-900 lbs. , $105-$112; 700-800 lbs. , $112-$125; 600-700 lbs. , $115-$128; 500-600 lbs. , $122-$139; and 400-500 lbs., $130-$153.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $100- $105.25; 700-800 lbs., $100- $107.50; 600-700 lbs., $105- $114; 500-600 lbs., $112- $124.50; and 400-500 lbs., $115-$137.

Heartland’s last sale at Brandon ahead of the holidays will be on Dec. 21. Sales resume Jan. 11.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 794 cattle were sold at the Dec. 16 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $48 to $59; D3 and D4 cows, $35-$48; canners, $25-$32; and bulls, $55-$67.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. fetched $107- $120; 600-700 lbs., $118- $129; 500-600 lbs., $125- $145; 400-500 lbs., $135- $159; and 300-400 lbs., $140- $157.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $98- $112.50; 600-700 lbs., $108- $118.50; 500-600 lbs., $112- $129; 400-500 lbs., $120- $136; and 300-400 lbs., $115- $134.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held Dec. 16 resulted in 170 slaughter cattle and 148 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $48 to $56; D3 and D5 cows, $40-$48; and good bulls, $60-$66.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $95- $105; 800-900 lbs., $100-$112; 700-800 lbs., $110-$115; 600- 700 lbs., $115-$128; 500-600 lbs., $125-$135; 400-500 lbs., $135-$145; and 300-400 lbs., $140-$150.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $95 to $100; 700-800 lbs., $100- $105; 600-700 lbs., $105- $110; 500-600 lbs., $110- $120; 400-500 lbs., $115- $125; and 300-400 lbs., $120- $130.

Killarney Auction Mart: Results weren’t available from the Dec. 16 sale. The Killarney market reopens Jan. 20.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:No results were available from this week’s sale.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales:No results were available from the Dec. 17 sale. Winnipeg’s first sale of 2011 is to be held Jan. 6.

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