Your Reading List

Pork, Poultry Prices Pressure Cattle Values

DWAYNE KLASSEN RNI – Gene Parks,Pipestone Livestock Sales

“If you are selling pork chops for $2.50 a pound, consumers don’t want to pay $11.50 a pound for ribeye.”

Marketi ngs of cattle at the auction yards in Manitoba continued to increase during the week ended Aug. 28. Prices for cattle, however, remained on the defensive given the general strength of the Canadian dollar and reduced packer demand due to weak values for competing meats such as pork.

“The market is what the market is, with prices for finished cattle being at extremely low values due to the gloomy outlook,” said Gene Parks, co-owner of Pipestone Livestock Sales. High feed costs and the extremely strong Canadian dollar are also working against the value of cattle as well.

Extremely low pork and poultry prices were also seen as a major factor as to why cattle values are so low.

“You have to remember that a cow is tied directly to the tail of a hog, and if you are selling pork chops for $2.50 a pound, consumers don’t want to pay $11.50 a pound for ribeye,” Parks said.

There is consumer resistance in the U. S. to all the top cuts of beef, which is subsequently causing a downward shift in demand all the way back through the cattle chain, he said.

The drop in demand means packers are not going to pay top dollar for the top-quality animals and they are certainly not going to pay very much for any salvaged animal, Parks said.

“Unfortunately, it’s a trend which cattle producers will have to endure for a while longer,” Parks said, noting that once the hog industry starts to turn around and find some sort of foundation, improvements in the cattle sector will also occur.

A depreciation in the Canadian dollar back to the US85-cent level would help but a push back to the US75-cent level would be ideal.

The movement of yearlings will likely be picking up between now and the third week of September, he added. “In previous years, the majority of the yearlings would have likely been moved by the end of August,” he said. “The late start to the spring put grass conditions behind, and, in turn, the grazing.”

At this time a year ago, Parks noted, roughly 90 per cent of the yearlings had been moved as stronger prices were generally achieved on the movement of yearlings early.

After the yearlings are moved, Parks felt that “wet-nose calves” would be next.

Parks also speculated that the movement of cows to the auction yards this fall will be similar to last year, when thousands were moved.

“Last year we saw a lot of cows sold, as producers could not afford to feed them,” Parks said. “The same situation exists this year and will be why producers are again going to be aggressive in moving cows this year.”

The amount of feed available during the winter will determine how many cattle producers are going to keep around, he said. “There is certainly no abundance of hay in Manitoba this year.”

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: An estimated 552 head of cattle were sold at the sale held on Aug. 26. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold for $40-$45, while D3 and D5 cows traded from $30 to $40. Older shelly cows sold for $1 and up and good bulls for $50-$58.50.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. ranged from $85 to $94; 700-800 lbs., $90-$104.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$111.75; and 500-600 lbs., $100-$114.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. traded at $85-$96.75; 600-700 lbs., $85-$102 and 500-600 lbs., $87-$102.75.

Gladstone Auction Mart: There is no data available from Gladstone this week.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There were 82 slaughter cattle and 80 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on Aug. 26.

In the slaughter market, mature cows brought $32-$36, while good fleshed cows traded from $46 to $50.25. Lean cows went for $38-$44 and bulls brought $50-$57.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $82 to $88.50; 700-800 lbs., $84-$94; 600-700 lbs., $88-$94; 500-600 lbs., $90-$98; 400-500 lbs., $92-$105; and under 400 lbs., $95-$105.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $90 to $96.75; 700-800 lbs., $93-$100; 600-700 lbs., $95-$102; 500-600 lbs., $102-$110; 400-500 lbs., $100-$115; and under 400 lbs., $105-$115.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: Data is not available from Brandon this week.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 2,393 cattle sold at the sale held on Aug. 26.

Butcher steers brought $76-$80.50 while butcher heifers sold from $75 to $79. D1-D2 cows sold for $44-$49; D3 cows, $39-$44; shelly cows, $25-$35; and mature bulls, $56-$61.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $88-$95; 800-900 lbs., $91-$99; 700-800 lbs., $94-$103; 600-700 lbs., $97-$107; 500-600 lbs., $100-$112; 400-500 lbs., $103-$118; and 300-400 lbs., $105-$118.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $81 to $89; 800-900 lbs., $86-$93.50; 700-800 lbs., $86-$95; 600-700 lbs., $87-$97; 500-600 lbs., $88-$99; and 400-500 lbs., $88-$102.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 261 cattle sold at the sale held on Aug. 24. Included in the sale were 75 slaughter animals and 186 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 cows sold for $41-$47; D2, $31-$38; D3 cows, $14-$29; and bulls, $39-$61.25.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $79-$96.25; 700-800 lbs., $85-$101; 600-700 lbs., $88-$102; and 500-600 lbs., $90-$112.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $76-$89.50; 700-800 lbs., $77-$92; 600-700 lbs., $78-$91; and 500-600 lbs., $80-$92.50.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 755 cattle sold at the Aug. 27 sale.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $38 to $45.50, while D3 cows brought $28-$37 and bulls sold from $50 to $59.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $89 to $95; 800-900 lbs., $90-101.50; 700-800 lbs., $90-$102.50; 600-700 lbs., $95-$109; and 500-600 lbs., $105-$115.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold for $88-$94; 700-800 lbs., $88-$96; 600-700 lbs., $90-$98; 500-600 lbs., $89-$99.50; and 400-500 lbs., $90-$94.50.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held Aug. 27 resulted in 140 slaughter cattle and 221 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. traded at $75-$81; A1-A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $75-$80; D1 and D2 cows, $45-$53; D3 and D5 cows, $35-$45; and good bulls, $58-$64.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $85-$96; 800-900 lbs., $88-$98; 700-800 lbs., $92-$102; 600-700 lbs., $98-$105; 500-600 lbs., $100-$107; 400-500 lbs., $100-$110 and 300-400 lbs., $110-$115.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $82 to $93; 700-800 lbs., $85-$95; 600-700 lbs., $88-$96; 500-600 lbs., $90-$100; 400-500 lbs., $90-$100; and 300-400 lbs., $95-$100.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 165 head of cattle sold at the sale on Aug. 25.

In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $35-$40; good fleshed, $30-$35; lean, $25-$30; young age verified, $40-$49; and good bulls, $42-$53.50.

Cattle auctions will be held at Winnipeg once a week on Tuesdays during the summer months.

Comments

explore

Stories from our other publications