“Renewed Optimism” Boosts Demand For Grass Cattle

Mov e -ment o f cattle to the auction yards in Manitoba declined during the week ended April 1. The closure of a number of auction yards because of the Good Friday and Easter holiday long weekend was tied to the lower marketings.

Values for the cattle held steady, with strong demand for grass cattle resulting in firmer bids for those classes of animals.

“The level of marketings are likely to be down at least for the next while,” said Buddy Bergner of Ashern Livestock Sales. With the implementation of spring road bans, there will be less movement, he said, and producers were also seen concentrating on spring field work for the upcoming season, which helps to slow marketings.

Good demand for grass cattle came from a variety of outlets, he said, including producers from Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba. Much of the demand for grass-weight heifers is for replacement purposes, he said.

“Some of the demand for the grass cattle can be tied to the renewed optimism that producers seem to have in regards to the cattle market’s outlook,” Bergner said.

Slaughter cattle demand also remained strong and helped to keep values for those animals steady, if not a bit firmer, Bergner said.

“The packers from right across Canada continue to want to stockpile these types of animals, and that demand is being reflected back to the price,” he said. The shortage of slaughter animals available has also helped to keep values firm.

Bergner cautioned, however, that the upside in the cattle market continues to be limited by the strengthening Canadian dollar. The Canadian dollar finished at US99.18 cents on April 1.

The Canadian currency is expected to make another attempt at parity with the U. S. dollar and could surge above that level in the very near future, said Camilla Sutton, a currency analyst with Scotia Capital in Toronto.

Strengthening of the Canadian dollar will come, she said, given that the Bank of Canada is close to hiking its interest rates because of steady economic growth.

“The Canadian dollar could move to the US$1.01 level,” she said.

George Davis, the chief currency strategist with RBC Capital in Toronto felt the upward momentum in the Canadian dollar would push it to the US$1.02 level.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

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

Ashern Livestock Mart: An estimated 946 head of cattle were sold at the sale held March 31. In the slaughter market, older shelly cows traded for $20 and up; D1 and D2 cows, $50-$57; D3 and D5 cows, $40-$49; and good bulls, $60-$71.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. ranged from $90 to $94; 700-800 lbs., $90-$106; 600-700 lbs., $95-$117; 500-600 lbs., $100-$126; 400-500 lbs., $117-$129; and 300-400 lbs., $105-$135.

Feeder hei fers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $80-$90; 700-800 lbs., $82-$98; 600-700 lbs., $85-$99; 500-600 lbs., $90-$107; 400-500 lbs., $95-$111; and 300-400 lbs., $101-$111.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The sale at the Gladstone yard was held on March 30. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $55 to $69 while cows brought $30-$55 with age verified up to $68.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $70 to $91; 800-900 lbs., $77-$97.25; 700-800 lbs., $80-$108.50; 600-700 lbs., $90-$118; 500-600 lbs., $100-$126.75; 400-500 lbs., $100-$128.50; and 300-400 lbs. , $100-$115.

Feeder hei fers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $70 to $85; 800-900 lbs., $70-$90.50; 700-800 lbs., $73-$99.50; 600-700 lbs., $85-$103; 500-600 lbs., $80-$111.75; 400-500 lbs., $90-$111; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$106.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: There was no information available from Grunthal this week.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 711 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. Butcher steers traded from $75 to $79.75; D1-D2 cows, $48-$54, age verified $52-$59.25; D3 cows, $38-$48; and mature bulls, $64-$69.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $80 to $87.25; 800-900 lbs., $88-$94; 700-800 lbs., $92-$105; 600-700 lbs., $105-$116; 500-600 lbs., $108-$123.50; 400-500 lbs., $110-$128 and 300-400 lbs., $115-$130.

Feeder hei fers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $80 to $85.75; 700-800 lbs., $85-$93.75; 600-700 lbs. , $88-$94.50; 500-600 lbs., $90-$104; and 400-500 lbs., $92-$103.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 3,006 cattle sold at the sale held March 24. Butcher steers brought $76-$81.25 while butcher heifers sold from $75 to $79.75. Ageverified/ young cows sold from $50-$56; D1-D2 cows $47-$53; D3 cows, $43-$47; shelly cows, $37-$43; and mature bulls, $64-$69.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $83-$88.75; 800-900 lbs., $86-$93.75; 700-800 lbs., $92-$103; 600-700 lbs., $98-$115; 500-600 lbs., $108-$123; 400-500 lbs., $115-$130; and 300-400 lbs., $118-$132.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $75 to $82; 800-900 lbs., $78-$85.75; 700-800 lbs., $81-$92; 600-700 lbs., $87-$101; 500-600 lbs., $93-$103.75 and 400-500 lbs., $95-$107.

Killarney Auction Mart: Killarney did not have a sale this week due to the holiday weekend.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 440 cattle sold at the sale held March 29. Included in the sale were 80 slaughter animals and 360 feeders.

In the slaughter market, age-verified D1 cows sold from $53-$57; D2 cows, $48-$53; D3 cows, $28-$40; and bulls, $58-$70.75.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. fetched $81-$87.25; 800-900 lbs., $85-$93; 700-800 lbs., $92-$106.50; 600-700 lbs., $96-$108; 500-600 lbs., $100-$118; 400-500 lbs., $105-$118; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$119.

Feeder heifers weighing over 900 lbs. traded from $70 to $75; 800-900 lbs., $74-$82.75; 700-800 lbs., $82-$92; 600-700 lbs., $87-$98.25; 500-600 lbs., $90-$103; 400-500 lbs., $90-$103; and 300-400 lbs., $90-$102.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: Ste. Rose did not hold a sale this week due to the holiday weekend.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held April 1 resulted in 65 slaughter cattle and 499 feeders being sold. There were 120 bred cows and heifers on offer.

In the slaughter market, A1 and A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. brought $82-$85; A1 and A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $78-$82.50; D1 and D2 cows, $48-$58; D3 and D5 cows, $38-$48; and good bulls, $68-$72.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $85-$92.50; 800-900 lbs., $90-$97.50; 700-800 lbs., $95-$106; 600-700 lbs., $100-$114; 500-600 lbs., $105-$118; 400-500 lbs., $110-$125; and 300-400 lbs., $115-$129.

Feeder hei fers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $78 to $85; 700-800 lbs., $82-$95; 600-700 lbs., $85-$98; 500-600 lbs., $90-$100; 400-500 lbs., $95-$104; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$108.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 335 head of cattle sold March 30. In the slaughter market, choice steers and heifers sold from $76 to $80.75; select steers and heifers, $72-$76.50; dry fed cows, $40-$44; good fleshed, $37-$41; lean, $32-$37; young age verified, $42-$51.75; and good bulls, $50-$68.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $80-$89; 800-900 lbs., $86-$94; 700-800 lbs., $92-$103; 600-700 lbs., $102-$118; 500-600 lbs., $108-$122; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$130.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $70 to $75; 800-900 lbs., $79-$86.50; 700-800 lbs., $85-$90; 600-700 lbs., $88-$102.25; 500-600 lbs., $92-$110; and 400-500 lbs., $95-$108.50.

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